The Toronto Blue Jays are members of the American League (AL) East Division in Major League Baseball (MLB). There have been 16 different managers of the Blue Jays, the only Canadian baseball franchise in Major League Baseball. In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager (or more formally, the field manager). They are the only team outside the United States to win a World Series, and the first team to win a World Series in Canada.
Cito Gaston has both managed and won the most games of any Blue Jays manager, with 1,731 games and 894 wins. He is followed by John Gibbons in both categories, with 1,258 games and 644 wins, who surpassed Bobby Cox's marks during his second stint as manager. Gaston is the only Blue Jays manager to win a World Series in 1992 and 1993, the fourth African-American manager in MLB history, and was the first African-American manager to win a World Series. Cox is the only Blue Jays manager to be awarded the AL Manager of the Year Award in 1985. Mel Queen has the best winning percentage by winning 80 percent of his 5 games coached.
The first manager of the Blue Jays was Roy Hartsfield. While his tenure was marked by conflict between players and last place finishes, Hartsfield was supported by general manager Pat Gillick as they worked on the same long term management strategy: developing young players around which to build a team. Following the 1979 season, the Blue Jays opted not to renew his contract but offered him a position within the organization, which he declined. Bobby Mattick served as manager on subsequent one-year contracts until Bobby Cox became available. As Mattick accepted an executive position in the Blue Jays organization, Cox signed a one-year contract, which was extended until to the 1985 season as he led the team out of last place for the first time, and into the playoffs in 1985. Shortly after Cox unexpectedly left the Blue Jays organization for the general manager position with the Atlanta Braves, third base coach Jimy Williams took over as manager. Following late-season collapses in 1987 and 1988, and a poor start to the 1989 season, Williams was fired and hitting coach Cito Gaston took over. Gaston managed the team for nine seasons, including two World Series wins, though batting coach Gene Tenace did substitute for him for several weeks in 1991 when Gaston was hospitalized with back pains. In 1997, with the team in last place, Gaston was fired by general manager Gord Ash with 5 games remaining; pitching coach Mel Queen finished the season as manager. Ash, seeking a more aggressive management style, hired Tim Johnson for his breadth of experience and communication skills. Following an admission to lying about aspects of his military experience, a tactic he used to motivate players, he was fired during spring training in 1999 and Jim Fregosi was signed to a two-year contract. When Rogers Communications acquired the Blue Jays organization, among other management changes, Fregosi was replaced with Buck Martinez. In June 2002, as the team was struggling, new general manager J. P. Ricciardi fired Martinez and replaced him with third base coach Carlos Tosca. Tosca, and his successor John Gibbons, each managed the team for several seasons but both were fired mid-season as the team struggled: Tosca in August 2004 replaced by first base coach Gibbons, and Gibbons in June 2008 replaced by former manager Gaston. Following Gaston's retirement at the end of the 2010 season, former Boston Red Sox pitching coach, John Farrell was introduced as the new manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.
|#||Number of coaches[a]|
|GM||Regular-season games managed|
|Win%||Regular season winning percentage|
|PGM||Playoff games managed|
Note: Statistics are correct as of the end of the 2018 Major League Baseball regular season.
|4||Bobby Cox||1982–1985||647||355||292||.549||7||3||4||AL East Division Championship (1985)|
1985 AL Manager of the Year
|6||Cito Gaston||1989–1991||417||235||182||.564||10||2||8||2 AL East Division Championships (1989, 1991)|
|—||Cito Gaston||1992–1997||902||448||454||.497||24||16||8||2 World Series Championships (1992, 1993)|
|—||John Gibbons||2013–2018||972||488||484||.502||20||10||10||AL East Division Champions (2015)|
AL Wild Card Winner (2016)
- a A running total of the number of managers of the Blue Jays. Thus, any manager who has two or more separate terms as manager is only counted once.
- b In 1978, Harry Warner managed as an interim for Roy Hartsfield for 12 games in the middle of the season, while Hartsfield spent 10 days in Atlanta with his ailing wife.
- c Gene Tenace managed until the end of the 1991 Toronto Blue Jays season; however, he did not manage in the playoffs, as he was only an interim manager for Cito Gaston.
- d Cookie Rojas managed as an interim for Buck Martinez for 3 games in the middle of the season while Martinez attended to preparations for his mother-in-law's funeral and the funeral itself.
- "Blue Jays All-time Managers". MLB.com. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
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- "MLB World Series Winners". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
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- Campbell, Neil (1978-04-17). "Hartsfield's job secure, Jay bosses say". The Globe and Mail. p. S3.
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- "Sports People; Blue Jays Name Cox". The New York Times. 1981-10-16. p. A29.
- MacCarl, Neil (1985-10-22). "Bobby Cox quits as Jays' manager takes top job with Atlanta Braves". Toronto Star. p. A1.
- Ryan, Allan (1985-10-26). "Continuity figured in choice of Williams". Toronto Star. p. C1.
- Robertson, John (1989-05-15). "Jays Fire Jimy Williams, Batting coach named interim manager". Toronto Star. p. A1.
- Slater, Tom (1991-08-22). "Cito hospitalized; Tenace takes helm". Toronto Star. p. C2.
- Maloney, Tom (1997-09-25). "Blue Jays make Gaston walk plank: Two World Series crowns can't save club's beleaguered veteran field boss". Calgary Herald. p. F1.
- Millson, Larry (1997-11-24). "Tim Johnson next Jays manager Baseball journeyman's breadth of experience, communication skills keys to landing Toronto job". The Globe and Mail. p. S1.
- "Johnson admits 'I lied' about Vietnam tour". Toronto Star. 1998-11-24. p. 1.
- Maloney, Tom (2000-11-03). "'We are family,' Jays say with Martinez hiring: New manager to patiently teach the little thingsv". National Post. p. B16.
- Griffin, Richard (2002-06-04). "Managing history for Blue Jays". Toronto Star. p. C06.
- Zwolinski, Mark (2010-10-24). "Jays to unveil Farrell as manager, Toronto Star". The Star.
- "Blue Jays Postseason Results". MLB.com. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- "Sports People; Cox Voted Best". The New York Times. 1985-11-07. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
- "Hartsfield back again to manage Blue Jays while wife recovers". The Globe and Mail. 1978-05-31. p. 34.
- "Jays can't beat the other Wells". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 2008-07-31.[permanent dead link]