TORONTO – John Gibbons wasn’t sure he had the energy to oversee a rebuild in Toronto, so he’s moving on from his job as manager of the Blue Jays at the end of the season.
“We are going to have a new voice. We are going to have a new approach,” general manager Ross Atkins said before Wednesday’s home final against Houston.
The 56-year-old Gibbons has one season left in a two-year extension he received in April 2017.
“I’ve been here a long time and I agree it’s probably time for a change,” Gibbons said. “We’re rebuilding here, and actually I think I’m the perfect guy for a rebuild. But I don’t know if I have the energy, necessarily.”
Outfielder Kevin Pillar, the longest-tenured Blue Jays player, stood at the back of a packed news conference to hear the announcement in person. Gibbons received a standing ovation when he brought the lineup card out to home plate before the game. He acknowledged the crowd with a wave and a tip of his cap.
Atkins said Gibbons can decide whether to take a new role in the organization. Gibbons didn’t rule that out, but also said he’d like to manage in the big leagues again.
“These jobs are hard to come by,” he said. “But we’ll see. It’s not going to destroy me if I don’t. But time is on my side, age-wise, I think. I’d like to try it again.”
Gibbons is 791-787 in 11 seasons during two stints managing Toronto, his 1,578 games second only to Cito Gaston’s 1,764. Gibbons also trails Gaston (913) in career wins with Toronto.
Gibbons replaced Carlos Tosca in August 2004, was fired in June 2008 and returned ahead of the 2013 season.