Some memorable moments from John Gibbons’ time as manager of the Blue Jays
After 11 seasons as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, John Gibbons—known to fans and players as “Gibby”—is one of the most beloved figures in Toronto sports history.
His gruff, no-nonsense personality is legendary—and, after the departures of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, he’s one of the few remaining holdovers from the team’s successful 2015 and 2016 seasons. Yesterday, though, the Jays announced that Gibbons won’t be back next spring, which means this Sunday will mark his final game as bench boss. Here are some Gibby moments we’ll never forget.
The entertaining ejections
Gibbons had a tendency to let his emotions get the better of him. On a few occasions, things got so heated that umpires ordered him off the field. This 2013 incident happened when Gibby stepped in for Brett Lawrie to continue a disagreement with the home plate umpire. It was a classic Gibbons ejection, reaction and all:
The beauty of this ejection, from 2015, is Gibbons’ dumbfounded expression. Home plate umpire Greg Gibson made the call after getting fed up with Gibby for arguing balls and strikes:
Gibbons’ run-ins with his players were well documented. In 2006, he confronted disgruntled infielder Shea Hillenbrand. J.P. Ricciardi, the team’s general manager at the time, summed up the dispute this way: “If you can’t play for John Gibbons, you can’t play for anybody.”
Gibby wouldn’t hesitate to call out his star players. Two years ago, he got in Josh Donaldson’s face after Donaldson threw a bat in the dugout:
And how about that time he called in to a radio show?
Managing a professional sports team can be a thankless job. No matter how successful the club is, there are always detractors. Gibbons made a phone call (as “John in Toronto”) to Sportsnet 590 The Fan to stick up for himself:
Quintessential Gibbons is in one of two positions: leaning 45 degrees forward with his arms draped over a railing, or arched 135 degrees back, looking like he’s on the verge of falling asleep. Delivering the Blue Jays starting lineup like this was a unique way to relay his batting order:
— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) June 27, 2016
With his animated reactions, the man was a walking GIF machine if ever there was one.
Making a pitching change after getting ejected by the home plate umpire is one of the most badass things a baseball manager could ever do. Gibbons pulls this off to perfection:
Gibby gets tossed – then makes the pitching change anyway. pic.twitter.com/xNoLPrGZBw
— Gibby GIFS (@GibbyGIFS) August 17, 2017
Reacting to an unfavourable call, all he could do was shrug his shoulders and heckle the umpires:
Gibby the best. pic.twitter.com/rdOZpTAJox
— Gibby GIFS (@GibbyGIFS) June 17, 2016
Gibbons is known for sticking up for his players. In this 2016 interview, he defended his shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki: