By John Perrotto
John Gibbons’ career winning percentage in the major leagues is exactly .500. How ironic then that he would interview Monday for the vacant manager’s job with the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that hasn’t reached .500 in 18 years, an all-time streak of futility in major North American professional team sports.
Gibbons, the Kansas City Royals’ bench coach, became the third person to interview for the job held the last three seasons by John Russell. Gibbons managed the Toronto Blue Jays for three full seasons (2005-07) and parts of 2004 and 2008, compiling a 305-305 record.
It was would be quite ironic if Gibbons landed the job. The Blue Jays fired him at PNC Park on June 20, 2008 just hours before the start of a three-game interleague series against the Pirates.
Gibbons, 48, has spent the last two seasons with the Royals.
Gibbons was the New York Mets’ first-round draft pick in 1980 from MacArthur High School in San Antonio but played just 18 major leagues as a catcher for them in 1984 and 1986, hitting .220 with one home run and two RBIs. Gibbons, though, got to stay with the Mets as a bullpen catcher during the 1986 postseason when they went on to beat the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.
The Pirates previously interviewed former Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge and recent fired Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Bo Porter.
John Perrotto is a contributor to Inside Pittsburgh Sports. He is the editor-in-chief of BaseballProspectus.com