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Another shocker out of LF from Jays: Gibbons returns as manager

John Gibbons gets his old jersey back from Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos. (Associated Press).

So the Blue Jays schedule a 9:30 a.m. press conference with GM Alex Anthopoulos to discuss the big trade with the Marlins and the Melky Cabrera signing. But there's an added guest from news that broke overnight courtesy of Toronto Sun Hall of Fame writer Bob Elliott: John Gibbons is coming back as Blue Jays manager.

One one hand, Gibbons was just a .500 manager in his stint from 2004-2008. But the Jays wanted someone with experience and Anthopoulos was the assistant back then and was close with Gibbons.

And Gibbons will be the anti-John Farrell: He will demand accountability from players on and off the field (no Yunel Escobar eye-black under eyes, no Brett Lawrie running hither and yon on the bases). And he's not looking to use Toronto as a stepping stone like Farrell obviously was.

The Jays are going to have an experienced team and didn't want a rookie manager. You can say  Gibbons didn't win enough but he won far more and is far more respected than deposed Indians skipper Manny Acta, who had a bizarre level of support on my Twitter feed the last couple days (because he was a Mets coach with Jose Reyes perhaps?).

I've dealt with Gibbons a lot. He's a straight-shooter. He's great with a bullpen. The players loved playing for him and the two noted malcontents (Shea Hillenbrand and Ted Lilly) were loathed by most people, especially Hillenbrand. I like the call.

One key note from the presser: Anthopoulos said he expects mega-prospect catcher Travis D'Arnaud to open with the Bisons on the way back from his knee injury. That's barring another trade of course. But that would be great news for the Herd; one of the top prospects to ever open a season in Buffalo.

Stay tuned later today for the unveiling of the new Bisons' logo and the re-introduction of Marty Brown (like parent, like child I guess) as the Bisons' manager. That presser starts at 2.

---Mike Harrington
Twitter: @BNHarrington 


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