After sitting out the 2019 season, former Blue Jay manager John Gibbons’ name has come up in the rumour mill around some vacant manager’s jobs.
When the 2018 season came to an end, so did the second tenure at the helm of the Toronto Blue Jays dugout for John Gibbons. After having served as the manager from 2004-2008, Gibbons was brought back for a second go around in 2013 and remained in the position until the end of the 2018 campaign.
Since then we haven’t seen a whole lot of “Gibby”, but there’s a chance that could change by next season. In fact, according to MLB Network Insider Mark Feinsand, Gibbons’ name has been mentioned “a couple of times in regard to some of the current managerial/coaching openings”, which is good news for fans of the 57-year-old.
Feinsand goes on to say that Gibbons is interesting returning to a role as either a MLB skipper again, or possibly as a bench coach. That likely means that he’ll at least express interest in some of the jobs that have and could still become available this off-season, which already includes the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, L.A. Angels, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, and the Kansas City Royals, some because of firings and others because of retirements.
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It’s hard to say whether or not Gibbons will be able to convince another team to hire him as a skipper, especially with the recent trends in baseball. There have been more manager’s hired with zero coaching experience over the last few years than those with an actual coaching resume, and teams are trending harder toward the analytical side of the game than ever. That doesn’t mean that Gibbons is some sort of old coot that won’t budget in his ways, not at all, but perception is everything.
There’s also the fact that Joe Maddon is almost certainly going to get one of those coaching jobs, and there are many other strong, experienced candidates around the game waiting for a shot.
That said, Gibbons had a lot of success in Toronto at different points during his two tenures, and was a beloved figure both in the clubhouse and also with the majority of the fan base. There are always going to be critics and Gibbons had many, but there was no denying his likeable personality.
Whether or not there is a fit for him in the big leagues as a skipper or even a bench coach in 2020 remains to be seen, but it’s nice to hear that his name is at least popping up in the rumour mill. Here’s hoping he gets another opportunity, and with all due respect, it likely won’t be a “third time is the charm” scenario with him coming to Toronto. At least not any time soon.