Asked why he didn't return to Michigan on Thursday night for his son Cam's high school graduation, the Arizona Diamondbacks manager gave the sort of response you'd totally expect from a skipper known for being so gruff and no nonsense that he banned all toys and cell phones from the team's clubhouse last season.
(Opening packs of Justin Bieber trading cards, though, is apparently exempt.)
"You're supposed to graduate,'' Gibson said. ''His mom and the rest of the family will be there. He's coming to see me next week.''
Gibson's explanation, of course, generated a lot of opinions after I tweeted that quote out. Many people mentioned that yeah, you're "supposed" to graduate, just like you're "supposed" to show up at important milestones in your child's life. Graduating high school would seem to qualify and it's pretty routine for managers, coaches and broadcasters to miss games for that exact reason each June. (Jamie Moyer might have faced a similar choice with his son's graduation this month but being cut by the Colorado Rockies saved him from the decision on whether to stay or go.)
On the other side of the argument, some Tweeters contended that Gibson's decision was the right one because they had also skipped walking in their school's ceremony.
I fall in the first camp because while rituals like religious ceremonies and graduations and weddings might be considered boring and routine, they're also great chances to be together. They're opportunities not only to have a nice dinner but to look at where you're going as a family and also where you've been. In my opinion, that's a lot better than sticking around to watch your third-place team salvage one win out of a mid-June series against the Texas Rangers.
But Gibby's outlook is his outlook and he's entitled to that. Maybe he'll make his absence up to Cam once they reunite at a ballpark next week.
Still, it would have been nice for Gibson to attend the graduation, if only so he could have informed whether his son hobbled up on stage before accepting his diploma and launching into his pop's famous World Series walk-off routine. (I like to think that he did.)
UPDATE: He did fist pump! Here's proof.
UPDATE #2: Cam took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to defend dear ol' dad.
"All these reporters need to stay out of my family business, i knew Dad wouldnt make graduation he has to pay the bills somehow, love you Dad"
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