This past offseason, the Angels, Cubs, Giants, Mets, Pirates, Phillies, Padres, and Royals were all looking to fill their vacant managerial positions. Former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who did not manage in 2019, was unable to secure any in-person interviews for any of those positions, Gregor Chisolm of the Toronto Star reports. It wasn’t until two separate Major League Baseball investigations into cheating allegations against the Astros and Red Sox, which resulted in an additional two managerial openings, that Gibbons was able to score an in-person interview.
Gibbons believes he has gotten a bad reputation as an anti-analytics manager who can’t get along with younger players. He said, “It’s obvious what’s going on, teams going with more youth. But I think I’ve gotten a bad rap. I’m not anti-analytics. Think about all the stuff we did. We hit José Bautista first, we did all the shifts like everybody else. I played Troy Glaus at shortstop when we had fly ball pitchers going.”
Gibbons conceded he made some comments during his tenure that likely didn’t help his reputation. However, he justified it by saying, “I question and I debate to find out the best way to do things. If I’m the one who has to answer for something, I also have to call my own shots. Every manager should.”
Through two separate stints with the Blue Jays totaling 11 seasons, one between 2004-08 and the other from 2013-18, Gibbons led his team to a 793-789 (.501) record. The Jays made the playoffs twice, losing the ALCS in 2015 and ’16 to the Royals and Indians, respectively.
It’s highly unlikely we will see many managerial openings going into the 2021, whether or not there is a season of some sort this year. Gibbons is currently a national amateur scouting crosschecker for the Braves. He may be in that role for a couple of years before more managing jobs open up.