Former Toronto Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell told a story once about how, during a losing streak, he was making his way down to the Air Canada Centre and was accosted by a squeegee guy.

As the story goes, the guy was absolutely thrilled to inform Mitchell that he was a Maple Leafs fan, and not a fan of the “lousy” Raptors. Mitchell said he was proud of himself for letting it slide, adding that in his younger days, he probably would have gotten out of the car and gone fist city with the dude. Sitting in his office outside the home team dugout at the Rogers Centre prior to Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons had a good laugh when told the Mitchell anecdote.

“Maybe that’s what I need,” the Jays manager said, when asked if any angry fans have approached him to talk about The Jays’ 19-27 start.

“You know what? More people recognize me this time than last,” said Gibbons, who also managed the Jays from 2003 to 2008. “But I have to say, the people have all been pretty positive. Of course, I don’t know that when I turn around after talking to them they cut my throat. But, yeah, they’ve all been pretty supportive. Maybe I’m just hanging out in the right part of town.”

The Jays were supposed to be force to be reckoned with this season. Instead, they’ve been a disappointment (so far) and fans have already begun screaming for changes, including the firing of the manager — although to put the blame on Gibbons at this point for his team’s pitching and hitting woes is pretty short-sighted. But Gibbons admitted that, yes, there have been times during the first two months of the season — when his team blew a late lead or made a costly error (i.e. Maicer Izturis’ fielding error in the third inning on Wednesday which cost the Jays a run) — when it’s all been a little overwhelming, though he laughed again when told that sometimes when the TV cameras flash to him on the screen after a bad play on the field, he looks somewhat beaten up.

“I do?” he said. “But yeah. It’s been a struggle, no question, especially with the expectations. You live and die in this business. Your life’s a scoreboard. You’re winning games and you’re losing games and it’s an emotional roller coaster. The losses stick with you a lot more than the wins do. So yeah, it’s a business that if you let it get to you, it will. But for the most part, no, I’ve been pretty good. I’ve been able to let it go.”

That seems to be the case. Despite his team’s play — the poor hitting, pitching, defence, whatever — Gibbons has remained upbeat, and optimistic that his team can, and will, turn things around.

“Each day I approach it, ‘Win this game today.’ You can’t get too far ahead of yourself and you can’t dwell on stuff,” he said. “Everybody says that, but I’m not letting things linger. You learn that the first go-round. Because that’s what eats you alive.”