John Gibbons wasn’t sure he had the energy to oversee a rebuild in Toronto, so he’s moving on from his job as manager of the Blue Jays at the end of the season.
“We are going to have a new voice. We are going to have a new approach,” general manager Ross Atkins said before Wednesday’s home final against Houston.
The 56-year-old Gibbons has one season left in a two-year extension he received in April 2017.
“I’ve been here a long time and I agree it’s probably time for a change,” Gibbons said. “We’re rebuilding here, and actually I think I’m the perfect guy for a rebuild. But I don’t know if I have the energy, necessarily.”
Atkins said Gibbons, who Gibbons received a standing ovation when he brought the lineup card out to home plate before the game, can decide whether to take a new role in the organization. Gibbons didn’t rule that out, but also said he’d like to manage in the big leagues again.
“These jobs are hard to come by,” he said. “But we’ll see. It’s not going to destroy me if I don’t. But time is on my side, age-wise, I think. I’d like to try it again.”
Gibbons is 791-787 in 11 seasons during two stints managing Toronto, his 1,578 games second only to Cito Gaston’s 1,764.
End of era for Harper?
Bryce Harper, who can become a free agent after the season, played what many expect to be his last game at Nationals Park as a member of the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
“It’s definitely crazy walking in today and knowing this could be my last game at Nats Park in my white jersey. It’s definitely something that you’re not sure how you’re going to react, and not sure what it’s going to be like,” said Harper, greeted by a standing ovation for his first at-bat.
“I knew I wanted to get here and put the uni on right away, and just cherish that moment, if it’s going to be the last time or not,” he said. “I can’t really stand here and say it’s going to be farewell or anything like that, because nobody knows. Nobody knows what this offseason holds.”
Washington is the only big league club Harper has played for.
“This is my home. This is my city,” said Harper, the only NL player with 100 RBIs, 100 runs and 100 walks in 2018.
Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson has a partially torn ligament in his left hand and it’s unclear if he will be available in the postseason for the NL East champions. The Braves said Swanson will be re-evaluated next week before they open the best-of-five NL Division Series on Oct. 4. ... New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius has been cleared to resume baseball activity, just five days after suffering torn cartilage in his right wrist. That puts Gregorius firmly in position to be in next Wednesday’s lineup for the AL wild-card game against Oakland. ... Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts stole his 30th base of the season in the second inning against Baltimore, making him the second player in franchise history with 30 homers and 30 steals in the same season. Jacoby Ellsbury in 2011 is the other.