Blue Jays part ways with John Gibbons after 11 seasons as manager
The John Gibbons era is over in Toronto.
The Blue Jays officially announced on Wednesday that Gibbons will not return as the team's manager in 2019. Toronto's home finale against the Houston Astros will be Gibbons's last with the organization.
"I will always be a Blue Jay, but I get how this business works," Gibbons said in a press conference. "When things start sliding, it's just the way it goes. Big league sports is about winning."
The Blue Jays' announcement comes as no surprise, as reports about Gibbons's future with the club have predicted the long-time skipper's departure for months. As the end of the season drew closer, Toronto's decision to move on was "99.9% done."
"Ultimately, we decided it was time for a new approach, a new voice," general manager Ross Atkins said Wednesday.
Mayor John Tory proclaimed Wednesday as "John Gibbons Day" in Toronto.
"Thank you John Gibbons for leading our Blue Jays and for all the great memories," Tory tweeted with the proclamation. "I want to wish you good luck in the future! Toronto will miss you, Gibby!"
Gibbons, 56, served as manager for 11 seasons during two separate tenures. His first stint with the organization came in the middle of the 2004 season before he was let go in 2008. Gibbons returned to the Blue Jays in 2013 and guided the team to their first playoff berth in 22 years in 2015, when they eventually lost to Kansas City in the American League Championship Series in six games.
In 2016, Gibbons led Toronto to an 89-73 record and another playoff berth. The Blue Jays run ended against Cleveland in the ALCS in five games.
Gibbons has an overall record of 791-787 as manager. He currently ranks second in franchise victories and games managed behind Cito Gaston.
The Blue Jays sit at 71-87 and in fourth place in the American League East heading into Wednesday's finale.