Shea Hillenbrand was designated for assignment (i.e. released) yesterday after he criticized the Blue Jays for not having him in the starting lineup for the second day in a row and for failing to congratulate him on adopting a baby girl. Hillenbrand was particulatly upset with manager John Gibbons for criticizing him in front of the whole team.
According to the Toronto Star, the final straw in a strained relationship between Hillenbrand and Gibbons came when Hillenbrand wrote “This is a sinking ship” on a clubhouse chalkboard. Gibbons confronted Hillenbrand in a team meeting, called him a cancer and a coward and challenged him to a fight.
Gibby called a team meeting and then he stood up and reamed me out in front of my teammates. I’m very disappointed about what he did and I find it very unprofessional.
From the beginning of the season, there were times when I wasn’t playing and there would be no justifiable excuse. He said that if I had a problem with the team or what was going on, I should come into the manager’s office and talk to him.
But then, he would get mad at me when I did that and accuse me of being a selfish player.
The Blue Jays organization has said their version of events differ considerably but won’t elaborate on what happened.
Meanwhile, speaking about the adoption of his baby girl, Hillenbrand somehow managed to insult the reporters out of the blue.
Not one person from the front office has even come up to congratulate me. It’s all the little people like you guys. But nobody from higher up. That’s a disgrace.
Gee, Hillenbrand, I’m sure the beat reporters like to be reminded that they make no money and are just “little people” to you.
[Toronto Star]: Fired Jay blames manager
[ESPN ]: Hillenbrand cut after criticizing Jays front office