The Toronto Blue Jays will begin their search for a new manager in the coming days however a familiar name has surfaced recently as John McDonald is being tabbed as a potential candidate for the managerial vacancy.
During his playing days, John McDonald was a defensive wizard renowned for providing Gold Glove-caliber until the day he hung up the spikes. McDonald played for eight teams including the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians during his 16-year career. Not a bad run for a career .233 hitter.
McDonald is currently the Infield Coordinator for the Indians with aspirations of managing. With names like Eric Wedge and Stubby Clapp being tossed around for the vacancy, McDonald emerges somewhat of an underdog having no prior experience at the helm of a major league or minor league team.
The middle infielder was drafted by the Tribe in the 12th round of the 1996 amateur draft and spent seven seasons with both Cleveland and Toronto during his career. He is very familiar with the City of Toronto and the Blue Jays current brain trust in Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro.
However, is he that much of an underdog? Johnny Mac is a fan favourite in Toronto with ties to Cleveland and current Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro. Check out the kind words Shapiro had for McDonald when he officially announced his retirement from the game at the beginning of 2015.
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The Jays are in the middle of a rebuild and need a manager who can employ sound defence and possesses the ability to play small ball. The new manager will have to enhance the kid’s development and find creative ways to win at the big league level. I would think McDonald definitely fits that mold.
Best known for his emotional Father’s Day homer after the passing of his father, McDonald would be welcomed back by the fan base with open arms even if he is replacing the beloved John Gibbons.
So although he may not have the resume of some of the other managerial candidates, McDonald brings intangibles and determination to the table. Don’t ever count out the underdog especially if he is named John McDonald.