To many who know him well, though, Gibbons is a passionate, straight-shooting, old-school baseball man whose folksy traits sometimes shroud the cerebral foundations of his success. He is equal parts regular guy, shrewd analyst and baseball lifer — characteristics that make him a bit of a dinosaur in today’s game, but also a leader many of his players adore.
“He’s like a second dad,” Russell Martin, Toronto’s veteran catcher, said. “You don’t want to disappoint him.”
In a sport in which the manager’s role is undergoing rapid change, and charismatic, independent personalities face extinction, Gibbons is an outlier, a Texas-reared son of a Massachusetts eye doctor who doesn’t fit easily into a typical category.
He is not a new-age, data-munching, former player without previous managerial experience, a list that includes roughly half of today’s managers, including Aaron Boone of the Yankees, whom the Blue Jays play this week. He is not a veteran running his third or fourth team, like Buck Showalter of the Orioles or Clint Hurdle of the Pirates. And unlike the Angels’ Mike Scioscia, who has also managed only one major league team for at least 10…