Missions on Gibbons: Hayden Beard

“Missions on Gibbons” is a series I have been doing in which I have interviewed 2012 San Antonio Missions. The Missions are the AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres, and they just happen to be the team that John Gibbons managed in 2012. I thought I would get a player’s perspective on what it was like playing under Gibby. The first edition of the series featured outfielder Cody Decker. He had nothing but great things to say about Gibby, claiming that he was “the best manager I have ever played for.” That interview can be seen here.

For the second edition, I have brought in Hayden Beard, an Australian pitcher who in 2012 had a 5.58 ERA to go with a 5-6 win-loss record. Here’s what he had to say about the current Blue Jays skipper.

First, can you tell me a little bit about yourself? How you got into the game, etc. Not many ballplayers come from Australia.

I attended the Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program (MLBAAP) in 2005 where I signed a contract to play with the New York Mets. I started playing baseball at 6 years old for a local baseball club here in Canberra, Australia, and have been playing ever since.

Can you give us an idea of what Gibby was like in the clubhouse? Cody Decker mentioned he “made the game easier”, what would you have to say about that?

I absolutely agree with what Cody has said. Gibby simplifies the game through the way he communicates with players, and the way he runs a team. He keeps the game nice and simple, catch the ball… Throw the ball… Hit the ball. In the clubhouse he loves to have a joke… He would always say he couldn’t understand me because of me Australian accent and I would always tell him to stop speaking ‘Gibbynese’ so I could understand him! He used to have braces and I could never understand a word he said *laughs* it was fun giving it to each other! He’s a very genuine man… What you see is what you get.

Was there anything specific that Gibby taught you?

Really just how to play the game the right way. Always practice and play hard. The rest will fall in to place.

What will you always remember about John Gibbons as your manager?

As I said before, just the clubhouse banter between us was awesome. It’s great to have a manager you can have a laugh with. The stories he has a from throughout his 100 or so years in professional baseball were always entertaining. Also he loves to fish, so sharing our fishing stories was cool.

Do you have any criticisms for Gibby?

Nope. He’s a great fella!

This concludes my interview with Hayden, I would like to thank him for giving his time. Follow him on twitter @yepimhayden.

I’m starting to sense a trend that players adore Gibby. Do with that information what you will..

Stay tuned for the next Missions on Gibbons, where I will talk to Dustin Pease about his experience with Gibby.

Picture courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr.

About Isaac Boloten

Isaac is a freshman in high school, who has had an avid passion for Blue Jays baseball for as long as he can remember. A lover of numbers, he was immediately hooked on sabermetrics. He will contribute to BlueJaysPlus with assorted articles about the Blue Jays, and the rest of the MLB. You can sometimes find Isaac in section 127, row 6.

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