TORONTO - On Aug. 9, 2004, the day after manager Carlos Tosca was fired by the Blue Jays, we ran into a former big-league manager.
This guy had 1,000 wins plus a World Series.
“Who replaces Tosca?” he asked.
John Gibbons, we replied.
“John Gibbons, the guy who used to catch in the New York Mets system? Not that John Gibbons.”
“Not the Johnny Gibbons from San Antonio? Not that John Gibbons?”
The reaction was even more surprising on Nov. 20 when news broke that there would be a John Gibbons, 2.0 version.
General manager Alex Anthopoulos chose his manager because of his relationship with Gibbons from 2004-2008. When Gibbons was fired by GM J.P. Ricciardi, Anthopoulos was the assistant GM.
What kind of manager will Gibbons be this season?
As feisty as he was battling Shea Hillenbrand in the clubhouse and lefty Ted Lilly on the mound?
Has Gibbons changed or matured?
Or will Jays fans see a new John Michael Gibb