This afternoon the Toronto Blue Jays are playing their last game of the season on the road against the Minnesota Twins. Not only is it the end of another year for the Jays, but it is also the last game for their manager (or coach) Cito Gaston, who's retiring after today's game.
Cito is a big deal in Toronto, having led the Jays to two World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. He left the team in 1997, but was brought back in 2008.
Since I didn't grow up in Toronto and wasn't a baseball fan in the early 90s when the Jays were dominating, I don't have the hero-worship for Cito that many people have and tend to be a little more critical of him than others I know. Despite my reservations, he is leaving the Jays in a better position than he found them. As the announcers during today's game mentioned, he's also a big enough name and well-respected enough that he can bring other good baseball people to the Jays organization.
I have no idea right now who will be the Jays next manager. Our GM, Alex Anthopoulos, seems to be content to take his time with this decision and keep his cards close to his chest. Anthopoulos certainly has a lot of work to do in the off-season. As for Gaston's winter plans? The Jays gave him four first-class tickets anywhere in the world as a farewell. Not a bad parting gift, huh?