Former Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is throwing his hat in the ring for the many managerial openings across Major League Baseball, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter).
Gibbons last managed a major league team in 2018 when he led the Toronto Blue Jays to a record of 73-89. It was the final season of a 6-year stint in Toronto during which the Blue Jays went 488-484, winning the AL East with a 93-win season in 2015. Toronto came within two wins of reaching the World Series, falling in six games to the eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals in the ALCS.
They made the playoffs twice in Gibbons’ tenure, also capturing the Wild Card in 2016. The Blue Jays won that WC game in thrilling fashion when Edwin Encarnacion walked off Ubaldo Jimenez in the bottom of the 11th with a 3-run home run. That game is more famous for the decisions made in the opposing dugout, as Buck Showalter never got uber-closer Zack Britton into the ballgame, despite owning a 0.54 ERA across 69 games on the season. Showalter’s decision certainly played a role in the expansion of the fireman concept in contemporary bullpens, as teams are far less likely these days to save someone like Britton for a save situation that may never come.
Gibbons’ teams performed well in the postseason, winning not just the WC game but also sweeping the Rangers in the ALDS. Losing two straight seasons in the ALCS won’t etch Gibbons name anywhere in Cooperstown, but it was an achievement nonetheless. He helped end a 22-year postseason drought that extended from their World Series victory in 1993 until the division title in 2015.
Of course, Gibbons was well aware of the drought, as his first and only other managerial experience came with the Blue Jays from August 2004 until June of 2008. Those Blue Jays teams were always competitive, despite never reaching the postseason. His entire Blue Jays tenure ended with a record of 793-789, a .501 winning percentage.
There are a number of managerial vacancies around the MLB at present, including high profile offices in New York and Chicago. The Royals, Padres, Pirates, Giants and Angels are the other clubs hunting a new field manager. For what it’s worth, Gibbons began his professional coaching career with the Mets in 1990. He also served as a bench coach in Kansas City, and Double-A manager in the Padres system for the 2012 season.