Blue Jays sticking with John Gibbons as manager for 2014

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Toronto has been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball, sitting in last place at 59-73 following an offseason full of huge moves, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters today that manager John Gibbons’ job is not in jeopardy.

“I actually think, the in-game managing, he has done a great job,” Anthopoulos said, via Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. “I think it’s so easy to pin results on one person. I think it’s convenient. I just don’t think blame falls on one person. There’s blame to share.”

This is Gibbons’ second stint as Blue Jays manager. He previously held the job from mid-2004 to mid-2008, when a different front office regime fired him with a 35-39 record. Overall he’s 364-378 (.491) as Toronto’s manager. And now we know he’ll be back in 2014.

Nick Markakis leads all NL outfielders in All-Star voting

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I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.

Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.

The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.

Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.

Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.

The rest of the voting: