It would appear that the proverbial clock is ticking on the shelf life of John Gibbons as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Love him or hate him, it would be difficult to cast blame toward John Gibbons and his staff for the uninspiring play of the Blue Jays this season. Nobody could have predicted that Josh Donaldson would miss the better part of the season or that Kendrys Morales, Devon Travis, Russell Martin and Randal Grichuk would flirt with the Mendoza Line for the entire first half of the season.
The Jays have gotten very little in terms of production from the entire starting rotation minus J.A. Happ who was dealt to the Yankees before the trade deadline.
Numerous outlets are speculating that this final homestand may be Gibby’s last and he is not who the brain trust envision to lead the club into a rebuild or youth movement. The skipper has been at the helm of the Blue Jays ship for two separate stints for a combined 11 seasons and has 771 wins under his managerial belt.
Eric Wedge has long been speculated as a possible replacement for Gibbons as Wedge followed Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins north of the border from Cleveland and has previous managerial experience. Wedge was Manager of the Year in 2007 with the Indians and has 10-years of bench experience with the tribe and Mariners.
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The current Jays bench boss DeMarlo Hale could also be a viable internal option and also speaks fluent Spanish which is a huge asset for any major league manager when communicating with foreign players.
Double-A New Hampshire manager John Schneider has an impressive minor league resume throughout various stops in the Jays system. Schneider is more than deserving of an opportunity with the big club.
Aside from Wedge, Hale and Schneider there are a ton of interesting available candidates ranging from Mike Scioscia who is reportedly considering leaving the Los Angeles Angels after 19 seasons, however, nothing has been finalized. The recently fired Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny is also available as is Joe Girardi and John Farrell. It probably would not be a great public relations move to bring Farrell back after he abandoned the Blue Jays for his dream job in Boston.
The likes of Dusty Baker, Jim Leyland, Willie Randolph, Tony Pena, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Joe Torre are also names floating around the managerial circle for potential vacant jobs, however, Torre and Leyland would be long shots.
Personally, if I am Mark Shapiro, I am honing in on Stubby Clapp as a possible replacement. The Canadian sparkplug has enjoyed success at the Triple-A level managing the Memphis Redbirds and will soon be in line for a major league audition.
Regardless of who they select, I will miss the no-nonsense John Gibbons and his laid-back sense of humour and loyalty to his players. Gibby will undoubtedly return back to San Antonio to enjoy the finer things in life while he waits for that next opportunity to come calling.