Despite rumors that the Toronto Blue Jays will fire John Gibbons after the season, general manager Ross Atkins didn't offer any hints that the 56-year-old will be out of a job following a dismal 2018 campaign.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Tuesday that the Jays "seem destined to move on from" Gibbons when the season ends. Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun added that Gibbons was "alerted to an unattributed and rather odd account that this would be his last week as Blue Jays manager."
But if Atkins is prepared to move on from Gibbons either this week, next week or at the end of the season, he refused to offer any hints about a big change.
"Our relationship’s great," said Atkins, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet."Every day our conversation’s about solutions and part of our conversations obviously have to incorporate the future, too, so he’s very much a part of those."
The Blue Jays are on their way to a second straight losing season, after reaching the 2015 and 2016 ALCS. Gibbons can't bear all the blame for a team that's been hard by injuries to key players. But when a team in a big market struggles this badly, someone big has to lose their job. It surely sounds like Gibbons may be on his way out.
Though many will be critical of the Blue Jays front office if Gibbons is let go, a change may be necessary. His career managerial record is barely above .500, and the Jays have only made the playoffs twice in Gibbons' 11 years on the job.
Gibbons' refusal to have his players bunt has also led to many inexcusable losses, and his bullpen management has been far from pretty. Like it or not, the Blue Jays and Gibby would probably benefit from mutually parting ways.