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Article:John Gibbons Fired

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John Gibbons has been fired by the Toronto Blue Jays and former manager Cito Gaston will take over as interim manager. The Blue Jays have lost 13 of their last 17 games and are mired in last place in the AL East division.

The firing of Gibbons is the third this week with the Mets letting Willie Randolph go and the Mariners sending John McLaren packing earlier this week. Houston Astros manager Cecil Cooper may be the next in the firing line. The Astros are only half a game ahead of the last place Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central and have been a Major disappointment this season. They had played better earlier in the season, but have reverted back to their losing ways.

J.P. Riccardi had a particularly hard decision to make since he had to fire his former Minor League roommate Gibbons when they both were with the New York Mets farm system in the 1980's.

The Blue Jays are 28th in the Majors in home runs with 49 in 74 games. They are 3rd in ERA behind the Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox with a 3.64 ERA. Matt Stairs (8), Vernon Wells (7), and Lyle Overbay (6) are the only three players with more than 5 homers this season. Rod Barajas leads the team in batting average with a .290 mark. Lyle and Overbay lead in RBI's with 28 each, which is not much considering that league leader, Josh Hamilton, has 74.

Tonight new manager Gaston takes the helm in Pittsburgh tonight where they will be playing the Pittsburgh Pirates with Roy Halladay (8-6) facing Zach Duke (4-4).

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