John Gibbons gives sarcastic thumbs-up to Pillar double

A day after a dugout-ripping of Kevin Pillar following the centre fielder’s failed and futile attempt to steal third with two outs, John Gibbons let everyone know that everything is A-OK.

After Pillar knocked a first-inning double — his seventh straight game with a hit — the camera quickly panned to a sunflower seed-munching Gibbons who whipped out a classic smile while giving a couple hearty thumbs up to the camera.

The Blue Jays held off the Orioles for a 5-3 win thanks to a pair of fench-clearing blasts from Kendrys Morales. 

During Sunday’s frustrating loss to the Yankees, Gibbons was seen giving Pillar an aggressive earful after his base-running blunder. After the contest, the Blue Jays skipper continued to lament his centrefielder’s decision making.

Kevin Pillar was back in his manager’s good books on Monday. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

“Well, that play is unacceptable in rookie ball. That play is unacceptable in high-school ball. That shouldn’t happen. It can’t happen. You’re down. He knows it,” said Gibbons. “It’s tough to criticize Kevin because of the way he plays the game. He does everything right.

“He sacrifices his body and all of that. But every now and then we lock up mentally, I guess. He knows that. That’s part of it,” he said.

However, Gibbons thrust praise upon his guy in a presser on Monday, calling it all water under the bridge. “Let’s be realistic: it’s hard to criticize Kevin Pillar,” said Gibbons. “For the way he goes about his business. You never worry about effort, he sacrifices everything he’s got.”

“I don’t think we should make too big a deal about it.”