VIDEO: John Gibbons’ time is up as Blue Jays manager

Gibbons won’t return in 2019 after spending 11 seasons over two separate tenures as team manager

Manager John Gibbons will not return to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2019, ending his second run with the club.

The Blue Jays made the long-expected announcement on Wednesday, ahead of Toronto’s final home game of the season against the Houston Astros.

Gibbons’s job security was in question earlier this summer as rumours circulated that the club was contemplating making a managerial change. But the Jays announced in August that Gibbons would finish the season, which concludes Sunday after a three-game series in Tampa against the Rays.

In early 2017, Gibbons was rewarded for back-to-back playoff appearances with a contract extension through 2019 with a club option for 2020. But the Blue Jays missed the playoffs last year and played below expectations again this season.

The Jays went into rebuilding mode this year after the club fell out of playoff contention early in the season, leading to trades of key players like Josh Donaldson and J.A. Happ.

Gibbons is in second place on the team’s all-time list for managerial victories with 791. Cito Gaston is the all-time leader with 892 wins.

The 56-year-old from San Antonio, Texas, also managed the team from August 2004 to June 2008. He was rehired in November 2012.

Gibbons guided the Blue Jays to a disappointing 74-88 record in 2013 but the Blue Jays improved to 83-79 the following year. A flurry of moves at the 2015 trade deadline by then-GM Alex Anthopoulos helped reignite the fanbase and the team soared in the second half en route to ending a 22-year playoff drought.

A 93-69 mark in 2015 gave the Blue Jays the American League East division crown. Toronto beat the Texas Rangers in the ALDS before losing the AL Championship Series in six games to the eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals.

Bolstered by AL MVP Donaldson and sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, the Blue Jays led the league in runs scored (891), home runs (232), RBIs (852), walks (570) and on-base plus slugging (.797).

Most of the offensive weapons returned for 2016 and the team’s 89-73 mark was good enough for a return to the post-season. Toronto beat the Baltimore Orioles in the AL wild-card game and took Texas down again before falling to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS.

The Blue Jays struggled in 2017 and were essentially out of the playoff mix by mid-season in 2018.

Gibbons first joined the Blue Jays’ coaching staff in 2002 as a bullpen catcher. He was promoted mid-season to first base coach and served in that capacity until replacing manager Carlos Tosca.

Gibbons spent parts of three seasons as a catcher with the New York Mets after being drafted by the team in 1980.

He later worked as a coach and manager for a number of teams at a variety of minor-league levels.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Colwood promises to fix potholes, road issues on Ocean Boulevard

City says winter conditions damaged roadway

Saanich swaps last propane-powered Zamboni for electric model

Pearkes arena’s all-electric ice resurfacing fleet to reduce carbon emissions by six tonnes

VIDEO: Traffic snarled during Friday evening rush hour, now clear

Traffic was backed up all over Greater Victoria

PHOTOS: New BC Ferries hybrid vessels arrive in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

The ferries will run two gulf island routes in upcoming months

Province’s oldest lawyer shares advice for living well at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Dashcam records driver’s near-miss near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

Most Read