Along with a modest contract extension for 2008, manager John Gibbons has received a warning from the management of the Blue Jays that he must avoid confrontations with his players in 2007.
Club sources tell Metro that any scrap for Gibby this season that is reminiscent of those he had with ex-Jays Shea Hillenbrand and Ted Lilly last season will result in his immediate dismissal.
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“I can’t keep that up,” Gibby acknowledged in an interview. “It’s like that law they passed, three strikes and you’re out. You can’t keep doing that in this day and age. In the old days, that might have been fun and acceptable. In this day and age, no. I’ve got to be conscious of it ... The world is so politically correct right now, you’re under the gun.”
•Also under the gun is Seattle manager Mike Hargrove, who’s disliked by the Mariners’ star player, Ichiro Suzuki. Unless this team jumps off to a respectable start, bench coach John McLaren will quickly become manager. McLaren was the Jays’ third-base coach many years ago, under manager Jimy Williams... Coolest comeback story at any major-league camp: Reliever Dave Veres of the Colorado Rockies, who’s 40 and coming off hip-replacement surgery, the kind generally performed on patients 60 and older ... Philadelphia pitching coach Rich Dubee has switched to uniform No. 30 in honour of Cory Lidle, formerly on the Phillies’ staff. Lidle, who also pitched for the Jays and Yankees, died in the off-season in an airplane crash.
•Torontonian Jamaal Magloire likely will be dealt by Portland before the NBA’s trading deadline tomorrow. He’s being fined today for missing the Trail Blazers’ flight and practice Monday ... Rumblings are strong that the Nets will trade all-stars Vince Carter and/or Jason Kidd, with Carter possibly en route to the Orlando Magic for Darko Milicic, Hedo Turkoglu and J.J. Redick — which would be significantly better than the Raptors did when they dealt him to New Jersey ... Other established NBAers who could be traded are Rashard Lewis, Luke Ridnour, Morris Peterson, Dale Davis, Pau Gasol and Mike Bibby... Barack Obama, U.S. presidential candidate, used to be Barry Obama, basketball player for Occidental College. Those who saw him play say that, at about 6-feet and 170 pounds, he could slash his way to the hoop with efficiency and had a decent jump shot.
•And what’s this we’re hearing about old-timer Eddie Shack refusing to show up at the Maple Leafs’ reunion last Saturday night because of his disdain for former teammate Dave Keon?