20 Nov

back in the saddle

John Gibbons, the former Jackson Mets catcher, is getting a second chance as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, and this time the expectations will be greater. Gibbons went 305-305 in his previous stint (2004-08); his best team, the 2006 club, finished 87-75 and ran second — missing the playoffs — in the American League East. The Blue Jays have added Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Melky Cabrera to their roster for 2013, and Gibbons himself said in his press conference that he expects to contend (with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays) in the beastly AL East. Wish him luck. He’ll need it. Gibbons, now 50, was one of the Mets’ three first-round picks in 1980 — Darryl Strawberry and Billy Beane were the others — and reached Double-A Jackson in 1982. He was a star for Our Jackson Mets in 1983, batting .298 with 18 homers and 67 RBIs. Gibbons joins quite a crew of former JaxMets players or skippers in leadership positions in MLB: Beane is the GM in Oakland, and Davey Johnson, Clint Hurdle, Ron Gardenhire and Ned Yost are managing in Washington, Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Kansas City. P.S. Billy Hamilton suffered nothing more than back spasms in his crash into the outfield wall in Saturday’s Arizona Fall League title game, according to various reports. The Taylorsville High alum and Cincinnati prospect, still learning the ropes in center field, had a triple and a bunt single in the game.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

Latest posts by Mike Christensen (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: