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Blue Jays Manager: ‘The World Needs to Lighten Up a Little’

Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons offers no apologies for his quip wondering if making his players wear “dresses” next would please everybody.

“It was meant as a little humor,” he told reporters Wednesday in St. Petersburg. “My mom, my wife, and my daughter found it kind of funny and they know me. I do think the world needs to lighten up a little bit.”

The initial remarks came in response to a replay review that reversed a 4-3 Blue Jays lead into a 3-2 win for the Tampa Bay Rays. Blue Jays outfielder Jose Batista slid hard into second on a potential game-ending double play that resulted in a poor throw that allowed two runs to score. MLB reviewers in New York determined interference based on the new Chase Utley rule that forbids sliding past the bag and intentionally obstructing the fielder, among other traditional baseball tactics.

“You’re going to end the game like that?” Gibbons asked reporters after Tuesday’s loss. “It’s a joke. Maybe we’ll come out and wear dresses tomorrow. Maybe that’s what everybody’s looking for.”

Jesse Spector of the Sporting News labeled the remarks “misogyny.” Keegan Matheson at FanSided called Gibbons’ words “lazy and insensitive language.”

The Rays won Wednesday’s game as well, albeit in less controversial fashion, 5-3.

“I know who I am and I know where my heart is,” Gibbons told reporters before that loss. “What I do is I show up every day and do the best job I can and try to treat people the way I want to be treated and for the most part I think I do that. But it amazes me in the world nowadays, simple things you try to calm a situation, add a little humour to something and it gets thrown out of whack.”

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