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Shea Hillenbrand Cut


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Updated: July 20, 2006, 12:35 AM ET

Hillenbrand cut after criticizing Jays front officeESPN.com news services

 

 

TORONTO -- Shea Hillenbrand was cut by the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night after he was chastised during a team meeting and he refused to sit in the dugout with his teammates.

 

Shea Hillenbrand

First Base

Toronto Blue Jays

 

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2006 SEASON STATISTICS

GM HR RBI R OBP AVG

81 12 39 40 .342 .301

 

 

Hours before, Hillenbrand criticized the organization and said he expected to be traded. The designated hitter and corner infielder was upset because he wasn't in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game and nobody in Toronto's front office congratulated him on adopting a baby girl last weekend.

 

 

The Blue Jays held a meeting before Wednesday night's 5-4 loss to Texas. Hillenbrand, reached by The Toronto Star during the game, said manager John Gibbons admonished him in front of the team.

 

 

"Gibby called a team meeting and then he stood up and reamed me out in front of my teammates," Hillenbrand told the newspaper. "I'm very disappointed about what he did and I find it very unprofessional."

 

 

Hillenbrand was designated for assignment during the game and was not in the locker room afterward.

 

 

"It will do wonders for the clubhouse," Gibbons said.

 

 

General manager J.P. Ricciardi cited irrevocable differences and said: "His version of events are different from ours."

 

"From the beginning of the season, there were times when I wasn't playing and there would be no justifiable excuse," Hillenbrand told The Toronto Star. "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."

 

 

 

Hillenbrand was batting .301 with 12 homers, 15 doubles and 39 RBI. The Blue Jays have 10 days to trade, release or send him outright to the minors.

 

 

With the trade deadline approaching July 31, Hillenbrand figured to draw interest from at least a couple of contending teams looking for offense.

 

 

"I love my teammates here, but I'm waiting to be traded," Hillenbrand said during a profanity-filled tirade before the game. "I should have been traded two months ago."

 

 

Hillenbrand, who will turn 31 next week, left the team last Friday to be with his family for the adoption and didn't return until Tuesday.

 

 

"They are making me feel like I did something wrong," Hillenbrand said.

 

 

He added that he should have just stayed home, and the team should trade him if it's not going to play him.

 

 

"They wonder why they are not winning," Hillenbrand said. "It's the atmosphere."

 

 

The Blue Jays (52-42) are in third place in the AL East. The second-place New York Yankees visit Toronto for an important four-game series starting Thursday.

 

 

Ricciardi said Hillenbrand's dismissal had nothing to do with his family absence.

 

 

"No one is bigger than the organization," the GM said.

 

The Blue Jays have been short-handed this week because of Hillenbrand's absence and injuries to slugger Troy Glaus and right fielder Alex Rios.

 

Hillenbrand's locker was empty after the game.

 

 

The move shocked Hillenbrand's teammates.

 

 

Right-hander Casey Janssen called it crazy and catcher Gregg Zaun said he didn't see it coming.

 

 

"It's just weird, but obviously they felt like it had to be done. I stand by their decision," outfielder Frank Catalanotto said.

 

 

Team leader Vernon Wells said Hillenbrand took the news hard.

 

 

"Normally, you see Shea with a smile on his face and joking around," Wells said. "It was hard for a lot of us to take. It's just something you don't see that often. I know it hit me hard."

 

 

When Hillenbrand and his wife, Jessica, applied to adopt a child in June, they figured the season would be over by the time they received any news. But they were matched quickly with a woman who gave birth last Friday.

 

 

"Not one person from the front office has even come up to congratulate me," he said. "It's all the little people like you guys. But nobody from higher up. That's a disgrace."

 

 

Hillenbrand flew to California last weekend and stayed there to fill out the necessary paperwork. He said he was "very surprised" he wasn't in the starting lineup for the second consecutive day Wednesday.

 

 

"He hasn't played in four days and we like the lineup we have in there," Gibbons said before Hillenbrand's outburst.

 

 

Hillenbrand pleaded to stay with the Blue Jays in late May when reports surfaced about a possible trade to the Los Angeles Angels for second baseman Adam Kennedy.

 

 

Hillenbrand, a six-year veteran, was traded to the Blue Jays by Arizona before last season.

 

 

There has been increased pressure on Toronto to win this year after general manager J.P. Ricciardi spent millions to acquire A.J. Burnett, B.J. Ryan, Glaus, Bengie Molina and Lyle Overbay in the offseason.

 

 

Ricciardi chastised the Blue Jays just before the All-Star break, saying his 3-4-5 hitters were killing the club. Wells objected to the comments when asked about them at the All-Star game.

 

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report

 

 

 

 

 

I wish we could find room for him, but he plays positions where we have depth.

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I wish I knew more about the guy, makeup-wise, and whether he could/would play left field.

 

He never has, at least in the majors, but "if" he could and "if" he isn't traded in the next ten days, and "if" Toronto has to eat what's left of his $5.8 million contract, he would be the ideal guy to hit behind Miguel Cabrera the rest of the season.

 

Lots of "if"s, lots of fantasy in play here, just dreaming for a moment...knowing it isn't going to happen...not knowing if he's a clubhouse cancer or who is really to blame here...just for a minute...oh wow.

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He's a corner infield guy, I'd like to have him, but there's no room.

 

I hate to continue this fantasy because so many other teams could use his bat and have more resources and are conceivably would be a better fit, but it's worth mentioning that Miguel Cabrera was a career infielder who came up to the bigs to play left field.

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He's a corner infield guy, I'd like to have him, but there's no room.

 

I hate to continue this fantasy because so many other teams could use his bat and have more resources and are conceivably would be a better fit, but it's worth mentioning that Miguel Cabrera was a career infielder who came up to the bigs to play left field.

 

I would take a flier on him. But his 5.8 mil price tag is pretty high. He is a free agent next year?

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And if I am not mistaken a team would just have to pay league minimum of whats left, which probably isnt much to begin with.

 

Of all the teams before us that would take him(altho I doubt we'll claim him), the Pirates might seem likely, since they are probably going to trade Casey.

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He's a corner infield guy, I'd like to have him, but there's no room.

 

I hate to continue this fantasy because so many other teams could use his bat and have more resources and are conceivably would be a better fit, but it's worth mentioning that Miguel Cabrera was a career infielder who came up to the bigs to play left field.

I forget the details but I know Hillenbrand went to Toronto with baggage. If we were to get him who would you put on the bench, Willingham or Hermida? I've been a little disappointed in Willingham's output but I would still take him or Hermida over Hillenbrand. Take a look at Hillenbrand's career numbers... they're not good for a corner IF or corner OF (.290 / .328 / .451).

 

If getting Hillenbrand somehow translated into bye bye Reggie then I would be all for it but I don't see the scenerio where Hillenbrand would eat into Reggie's PT.

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Even if he played CF or C, an expensive sore loser/ non-team player is the last thing this team needs right now.

 

who said he was either?

 

Lol no one. I meant that even if, hypothetically, he played a position that we could use some depth at, he still wouldn't be the kind of guy this team wants.

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If anyone is truly interested in this saga (and parenthetically "Hey Boog, you really think there's no such thing as team chemistry?") of Hillenbrand, the Jays clubhouse and Gibbons, take ten minutes (I know for those you MTV generationers out there it might be tough) and read the Toronto Star's coverage of what transpired.

 

It's a great read :thumbup

 

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentSe...ol=970081593064

 

and another take

 

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentSe...ol=970081593064

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If anyone is truly interested in this saga (and parenthetically "Hey Boog, you really think there's no such thing as team chemistry?") of Hillenbrand, the Jays clubhouse and Gibbons, take ten minutes (I know for those you MTV generationers out there it might be tough) and read the Toronto Star's coverage of what transpired.

 

It's a great read :thumbup

 

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentSe...ol=970081593064

 

 

Very interesting article. Thanks for the post.

 

And Ramp, I think I've misinterpreted your question haha. If you're asking who says he's not a team player, well I'm saying that. Sure it may be a bit presumptuous, but refusing to sit with your teammates in the dugout, and allegedly writing "this is a sinking ship" in the clubhouse isn't exactly positive thinking. Also, John Gibbons is thought of as a players' manager and it's somewhat odd that something like this would happen with him. If Hillenbrand was on a less talented team like the Marlins, and played for a no-nonsense manager like Girardi, something like this could easily happen again. I also seem to remember his calling Theo Epstein a "fag" a few years back when he played for the BoSox...

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If he cant fit in the Boston clubhouse! Why would we want him? :thumbdown :thumbdown

 

Not to say we want him or will get him, but his problem in Boston stemmed from his comment regarding Theo Epstein not from any clubhouse problem.

 

BTW, there's another good article on this from Canada's most prestigeous newspaper the Globe and Mail.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...ports/Baseball/

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