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John Gibbons

Kansas City Royals — No. 12
Catcher, Manager
Born: June 8, 1962 (1962-06-08) (age 47)
Great Falls, Montana
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 11, 1984 for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 1986 for the New York Mets
Career statistics
Batting average     .220
Hits     11
RBI     2

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards

John Michael Gibbons (born June 8, 1962, in Great Falls, Montana) is the current bench coach for the Kansas City Royals. He was the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays in Major League Baseball from 2004 to 2008. He is often referred to as "Gibby" by his players and other baseball cohorts.[1]


Playing career

After being selected by the New York Mets with the 24th pick of the 1980 amateur draft, Gibbons had a very brief 18-game major league playing career as a catcher with the Mets in 1984 and 1986. He was projected to be the Mets' catcher of the future but he batted only .220, with one home run and 2 RBIs (but 16 strikeouts) in 50 at-bats. Injuries also took a toll on him so he retired as a player in 1990.

Bullpen catcher and coach

Hired by the Blue Jays General Manager J. P. Ricciardi in 2002 as a bullpen catcher, Gibbons worked his way up to first base coach in June 2002. Ricciardi was his former roommate in the minor leagues.

Managerial career

After Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi fired manager Carlos Tosca in 2004, John Gibbons was hired. The Blue Jays went 20–30 with Gibbons as manager. During the remainder of the season, it was not unusual to see as many as six rookies per game on the Blue Jays' field.

At the end of the 2004 regular season, Gibbons was given a 1-year contract as the manager for the 2005 season. This contract was extended for three seasons just a week into the 2005 season. Gibbons went on to lead the Jays to an 80–82 record in his first full season as a big league manager.

Expectations were higher in 2006, after the Blue Jays acquired A.J. Burnett, Troy Glaus, Lyle Overbay, B. J. Ryan, and Bengie Molina. Toronto ended the season in second place in the American League East division with an 87–75 record, one game ahead of the Boston Red Sox. It marked the first time the Jays had finished higher than third since 1993, when they won their second of two consecutive World Series titles.

Gibbons was fired as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays on June 20, 2008. He was replaced by former Jays Manager Cito Gaston (1989–97), who helped lead the Blue Jays to their two World Series Wins (1993,1992).

Controversy with his players

On May 28, 2005, Gibbons chastised former Toronto starter Dave Bush in the dugout after the right-hander showed his displeasure on the mound about being removed from a game. The next day Bush was sent to the minor leagues[2]. After the season, Bush was traded to the Brewers, where the former 2nd round draft pick doubled the number of wins he had achieved in either season as a Blue Jay.[3]

Gibbons was again involved in controversy in July 2006, after his feud with Shea Hillenbrand came to a head. After the former Blue Jays infielder and designated hitter wrote negative comments about the team on a display board in the Blue Jays clubhouse, Gibbons confronted him in a closed team meeting and allegedly challenged him to a fight. Hillenbrand, who has a history of clashing with officials from several teams, was upset about his lack of playing time and that no one in the Blue Jays front office had made an attempt to congratulate him on recently adopting a child. Three days later the Blue Jays traded Hillenbrand, who was hitting .301 at the time, to the Giants.[4]

Gibbons was involved in more controversy on August 21, 2006, when he got into a confrontation with another of his players -- Blue Jays pitcher Ted Lilly -- after Gibbons walked to the mound to remove Lilly in the third inning of Toronto's game against Oakland. Visibly frustrated at his own performance (having given up 7 runs in that inning to erase an 8–0 lead), Lilly initially refused to surrender the ball to Gibbons. He ultimately left the mound and headed for the clubhouse.[5] When Gibbons returned to the dugout, he followed Lilly into the clubhouse tunnel where, according to eyewitnesses, Gibbons confronted the pitcher about his insubordination. The two exchanged shoves, and a number of players and Blue Jays staff rushed in from the dugout to break it up.[6] Following the confrontation, both men considered the matter resolved, and there were no apparent tensions thereafter.

The most recent controversy occurred with Frank Thomas. At the beginning of the 2008 season, Gibbons benched Thomas, who had a batting average of .167 after the first 20 games of the season. Thomas, typically a slow starter, was livid over his lack of playing time. He claimed that the Blue Jays were giving him less playing time to prevent him from getting 364 at-bats in the season, which was the required amount for his $10 million 2009 option to become guaranteed. The Blue Jays responded the next day on April 20, 2008 by releasing Thomas. Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi met with Thomas and they agreed that the best thing for the team and for Thomas would be to let him go.[7]

Post-Toronto coaching/managerial career

On October 10, 2008, Gibbons was hired as the bench coach by the Kansas City Royals, replacing Dave Owen[8] who became the third base coach.

Managerial records

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
Toronto Blue Jays 2004 50 20 30 .400 5th in American League East - - - -
2005 162 80 82 .494 3rd in American League East - - - -
2006 162 87 75 .537 2nd in American League East - - - -
2007 162 83 79 .512 3rd in American League East - - - -
2008 74 35 39 .470 - - - (fired)
Total 610 305 305 .500 - - - - -

See also


External links

Preceded by
Carlos Tosca
Toronto Blue Jays Manager
Succeeded by
Cito Gaston
Preceded by
Dave Owen
Kansas City Royals Bench Coach
Succeeded by
current coach

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