After another disappointing season, the Toronto Blue Jays have officially announced that they will not be bringing back manager John Gibbons for another stint at the helm as reported by MLB Daily Dish. While the total blame for a bad season cannot be placed on Gibbons, serious talk of him being replaced dates back several weeks as was reported by Jon Heyman at Fancred. The Blue Jays are sitting on a 72-87 record with three games to go, ahead of only Baltimore in the A.L. East standings.
As Fancred reported, in the July to early August time frame, Gibbons and Toronto GM Ross Atkins discussed his future with the team multiple times but never seemed to reach an agreement on how to move forward with a new relationship. Gibbons was in his second stint as manager of the team. His first time was from 2004-2008 when he had moderate success, but no postseason victories to brag about. After several years away, he was brought back by new management, leading the team to a pair of postseason appearances which broke a 21-year drought.
Lovely farewell in Toronto for John Gibbons.pic.twitter.com/25FuY8YAmI
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 26, 2018
Despite his past successes, the players that made the team a potential powerhouse only a few seasons ago are gone or past their prime now. David Price and Edwin Encarnacion are gone, and those who remain, such as Russell Martin, have their best years in the rearview mirror. While Gibbons cannot be blamed for not retaining the right players, someone has to take the fall.
— Frank Gunn (@frankgunnphoto) September 26, 2018
Gibbons is still under a contract extension that is valid through 2019, so he will receive his full salary for the season per MLB regulations. While the Blue Jays have not commented on a replacement specifically, they have hinted they want to go with a younger skipper this time around, which removes Joe Girardi from the discussion, assuming he even had interest in the gig. Stubby Clapp, the Cardinals AAA manager, was a name that Jon Heyman mentioned in relation to the opening per MLB Daily Dish, but the Jays have not confirmed he is on their radar.
Gibbons, who is 56, still wants to manage somewhere and reportedly will toss his name in the ring for some potential openings this winter according to Global News. While everything he and the Toronto front office are saying presents an amicable front, the Jays have spun the move as being their only option per Jays Journal, which not all fans are buying, at least not on Twitter.
— Toronto Sun (@TheTorontoSun) September 28, 2018