Phillies rumor: John Gibbons a managerial candidate to watch
Would the Phillies look at John Gibbons should the manager job become available?
While the Phillies have not yet fired Gabe Kapler, the sense around baseball is that Kapler is unlikely to return for a third season.
Already, veteran managers such as Joe Maddon, Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter, and Mike Scioscia have had their names linked to what some consider to be the best job opening out there.
A new veteran manager now receiving hype on the manager rumor mill is former Toronto Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons, according to Philadelphia’s own Jayson Stark.
Stark notes that Gibbons played in the organization, albeit 78 games for then Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 1990.
The 57-year-old Gibbons served two stints as the Blue Jays manager from 2004-08 and again from 2013-18. He’s four games above .500 in his career with a 793-789 record, and he’s 10-10 in postseason games over Toronto’s two recent playoff runs.
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Gibbons never had great teams in Toronto, winning only one division title in 11 years. Granted, the resources in Toronto are much more scarce than they are in Philly. Toronto was led by Roy Halladay, Vernon Wells, and Alex Rios during Gibbon’s heyday, but they never reached the playoffs.
Toronto did make back-to-back championship series appearances under Gibbons with the likes of Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, and Marcus Stroman.
Gibbons would certainly be a reversal of Philadelphia’s current course of riding and dying on analytics to make in-game decisions.
There’s little obvious connection between Gibbons and the Phillies organization, and no I’m not putting much into his 78 AAA games from 30 years ago. He’s led good teams into the postseason while working with less than he’d have in Philadelphia.
Hiring Gibbons wouldn’t be the most celebrated move if the Phillies fire Kapler, but he’d be a steady leader with the experience to lead a young team forward.