Cito Gaston’s Underrated Excellence | Back-To-Back Bro Did What His Legendary Predecessors Could Not

Cito Gaston’s Underrated Excellence | Back-To-Back Bro Did What His Legendary Predecessors Could Not

Before Dusty Baker, Dave Roberts, and Ron Washington led their squads to the Fall Classic, one man laid the blueprint for their postseason success.

Before GM’s Bob Watson and Kenny Williams were handed their World Series trophies, the quiet man in Toronto helped pave the way for their glory.



Cito Gaston Is An MLBbro Legend 



The name of Clarence Edwin “Cito” Gaston doesn’t get mentioned as one of the game’s best managers of his day and that’s unfortunate. They’ll say he wasn’t a fiery competitor like a Billy Martin or an Earl Weaver. Or he wasn’t a great tactician like a Bruce Bochy or a Gene Mauch.

That being said, all Mr. Gaston did was win, win, win, and did I mention, win? From 1989 through 1997, the Texas native led the Toronto Blue Jays to four AL Eastern Division crowns, two pennants as well as back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.



In the process, Gaston became the first Black manager to win a World Series. At the time of Gaston’s tenure, you’d have to go back to the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds and 1977-78 New York Yankees to see a team that repeated as World Series champions.


Since Cito’s feat 30 years ago, only one team has won back-to-back titles. The Yankees three-peated from 98-2000.


Born in San Antonio, Gaston was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1964 and played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Braves, San Diego Padres, and Pittsburgh Pirates.


Gaston would make his Major League Baseball debut in 1967 with the now-Atlanta Braves for a season. The following season, Gaston signed with the San Diego Padres in an expansion draft and started playing with the team in 1969. 


Cito Gaston Wins Padres MVP In 1970 



His finest campaign came with the Padres in 1970, when he hit .318 with 29 home runs and 93 RBIs, earning himself a trip to the All-Star Game and was tabbed as the team’s MVP. He would remain with the Padres until the 1974 season. 


Gaston’s .318 mark was the club’s highest single-season batting average for many years until an obscure player by the name of Tony Gwynn put on a Padre uniform.


Gaston signed with the Braves for a second time the following season and remained with them until the 1978 season.


Along the way, he was a roommate of Hall of Famer Hank Aaron whom Gaston credits with teaching him “how to be a man; how to stand on my own.”


He would then play with the Pirates for part of the 1978 season and retire as a Major Leaguer at the end of the season at the age of 34. By 1981, Gaston would have a third stint with the Braves’ franchise in a different capacity.


Hank Aaron, Bobby Cox Plug Cito Gaston 



On the advice of Aaron, who was serving in Atlanta’s organization in player personnel, Gaston was hired as their minor-league hitting instructor.


“I had finished playing and Hank got me back in baseball,” Gaston said. “He called me a couple times and asked me to come back as a coach. I said no. The third time he called, I said yes.”


A year later, Gaston would make a move that changed his entire baseball career forever. After Bobby Cox was fired at Atlanta as manager, he would be hired to take over the reins at Toronto.


One of Cox’s first hires was Gaston, who Cox named hitting coach.  


The franchise, heading into their sixth year of existence, was slowly starting to become a contending ball club. Future stars including George Bell, MLBbros Jesse Barfield, Lloyd Moseby, and Willie Upshaw developed under Gaston’s tutelage.



By 1985, Toronto broke through and won their first AL Eastern Division crown (99-62) under Cox. Despite having the second-best record in baseball, the Blue Jays lost in the ALCS against the eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals, blowing a 3–1 series lead and losing in seven games.

Cox Returns To Atlanta Giving Cito His Managerial Shot



A year later, Cox left the team to return to Atlanta to become the Braves’ general manager and Jimy Williams was hired as manager. While the Jays had winning records during Williams’ first three seasons, they couldn’t make the postseason.


In 1987, the Blue Jays held a lead with a week to go in the season then lost their last seven in a row to finish two games behind the Detroit Tigers, getting swept on the last weekend. The Jays finished with a 96–66 record, second-best in the major leagues, but were sent home for the summer. 


In 1989, the Jays got off to a slow start. In May with a record of 12-24, Williams was fired as manager and replaced by Gaston. At the time, Gaston was the fourth black man to manage in the majors.


Initially, Gaston was mentioned to succeed Bobby Cox when he returned to Atlanta, but he turned down the offer. However, when approached this time, Gaston had a change of heart regarding the position.


“I never thought I’d be a manager. But once it happened it’s pretty much what I expected. The worst part is the questions from the press. When the games start, I relax.” With regard to being a black manager”, Gaston said, 

“I don’t get too emotional about it. To me, it doesn’t matter what color you are. I only think about it when you guys bring it up.”

Gaston Turned Toronto Blue Jays Into Champions 



To Gaston’s credit, he would make an immediate impact on the Jays’ fortunes.


Under Gaston’s leadership, Toronto transformed from a sub-.500 team to the eventual division winners, going 89–73 (77–49 under Gaston) before falling to to eventual World Series champion Oakland Athletics, 4 games to 1.


After winning the AL East again in 1991, but falling short in the postseason, the Jays and Gaston would finally make their breakthrough in 1992. Repeating as division champs, Toronto (96-66) went the entire season without being swept in any series, becoming the first team in 49 years to accomplish the feat.


Gaston’s squad would exact revenge on the A’s as they defeated Oakland, 4 games to 2 to advance to their first World Series. Facing the defending NL champion Atlanta Braves, With the series tied 1-1, Toronto took Game 3 behind Candy Maldonado’s ninth-inning RBI hit and Game 4 due to Jimmy Key’s superb 713-inning pitching effort in which he retired 15 straight batters (five innings).


Atlanta won Game 5 to force the series back to Dixie for Game 6. Toronto was one strike away from winning in the bottom of the 9th inning, 2–1, but Otis Nixon singled in the tying run off the Blue Jays’ closer Tom Henke. It was the first run the Toronto bullpen had given up in the series. 


The game was decided in the 11th inning, when Dave Winfield doubled down the left-field line, driving in two runs. The Braves would again come within one run in the bottom of the 11th, but Jays reliever Mike Timlin fielded Nixon’s bunt, throwing to Joe Carter at first base for the final out. 



Legend Of Cito Gaston Is Epic



The Blue Jays became the first team based outside of the United States to win the World Series and Gaston became the first Black manager to win the World Series. A year later, Gaston may have done his best managerial job.


Despite the loss of Winfield, Maldonado, Kelly Gruber, and others, Toronto (95-67) won a third straight division title and defeated the Chicago White Sox in six games to win the pennant. They would face the Philadelphia Phillies in the Series.


The series featured several exciting games, including Game 4, played under a slight rain, in which the Blue Jays came back from a 14–9 deficit to win 15–14 and take 3 games to 1 lead in the series. It remains the highest-scoring game in World Series history. 


Game 6 in Toronto saw the Blue Jays lead 5–1 but give up 5 runs in the 7th inning to trail 6–5. In the bottom of the 9th inning, Joe Carter hit a one-out, three-run walk-off home run to clinch the series off of Phillies closer Mitch Williams.


Only the second World Series-winning walk-off home run in the history of Major League Baseball (following Bill Mazeroski’s in Game 7 of the 1960 Fall Classic).



The next season would mark the slow end to Toronto’s reign as roster defections and the 1994 strike proved to be detrimental to the Jays’ 55-60 finish. On October 31, 1994, Gillick, the longtime Blue Jays general manager, resigned and handed the reins of the team to assistant general manager and Toronto native Gord Ash.


Gaston continued managing Toronto until the 1997 season was almost finished. But he never had another winning record — he came under fire for not developing good relationships with some of the younger players.


Gaston was replaced by then-pitching coach Mel Queen on an interim basis for the last week of the 1997 season. Joe Carter wore Gaston’s No. 43 on his jersey for the remainder of the season in part to honor him and in part to express his displeasure at his firing.


Gaston finished his first stint as manager with a 683–636 regular season record and 18–16 post–season record.


On June 20, 2008, Gaston was rehired as the manager of the Blue Jays to replace John Gibbons. It was his first managerial job at the major-league level since being fired by the Blue Jays 11 years earlier, which was unusual for a World Series-winning manager.


The team’s record was 35–39 when Gaston and his coaching staff took over, after which the Blue Jays went 51–37 for the remainder of the season which included a late ten-game winning streak and the team finished fourth in the American League East.


On September 25, 2008, it was announced that Gaston had signed a two-year extension that would keep him as manager until 2010.He announced on October 30, 2009, that he would retire after the 2010 season.


For his successes, his name was added to the Blue Jays’ Level of Excellence at the Rogers Centre in 1999. He would also be inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. 


To really understand what Gaston meant to his players, this quote by Joe Carter says it all.


“Cito knows how to work with each individual, treating everyone like a human being. He knows exactly what to say, when to say it, what to do and how to go about doing it.”


“When you have a manager like that, it makes you want to play for the guy. We’d go to war for him. What Cito has done for the Blue Jays can’t be taken lightly.” In 2023, Gaston was announced as one of the eight managers, executives, and umpires on the 2023 National Baseball Hall of Fame’s contemporary baseball era ballot.


Josh Bell Came To Miami  With Bad Intentions For Pitchers

Josh Bell Came To Miami With Bad Intentions For Pitchers

The MLB trade deadline has come and gone and each team has made its last wave of moves before the final stretch of the season over these next two months.

The Miami Marlins made two last minute trades, one of which they obtained MLBbro Josh Bell.


The Marlins obtained Bell due to his switch-hitting prowess. While he is not putting up huge numbers this season, he is an improvement over Garrett Cooper, their previous first basemen whom they sent to the San Diego Padres. 

Josh Bell Did Just Enough In 2022 To Become The New Bro Bomber For A Cleveland Guardians 2023 Title Run


The MLBbro was signed in free agency to help propel the Celeveland Guardians past the ALDS in which they were eliminated last year. But with the Guardians struggling in a very weak American League Central Division, the team decided to go in another direction.


The Marlins however are currently tied for a third National League wild card spot. With the red hot Atlanta Braves well ahead of them in the division, the MArlins are targeting a wild card spot to reach the playoffs.

The All-Star Break Came And Went, Then Josh Bell Snapped | Guardians Slugger Extends Hit Streak To Six Games

 Marlins’ fans did not have to wait long to reap the benefits of their new MLBbro acquisition. In his debut, Bell had his fingerprints all over the game. Facing the Philadelphia Phillies, the MLBbro started at first base and immediately impacted the game.

Bell went 4-5 with a home run, a walk, and 2 RBI. This would jumpstart the Marlins’ comeback, as right after Bell, MLBbro Jazz Chisholm Jr. would go back-to-back with a home run of his own. Bell’s second game wasn’t nearly as impressive, going 0-3 with a walk.  


The Marlins still have to be thrilled about the debut and outlook for their recently acquired MLBbro. With the addition of Bell to the squad the team should be able to maintain their position as a wild card holder, and possibly aim higher.

Bell has a player-option after the season. He will surely spend the rest of the season getting familiar with the organization and evaluate how he can be an asset to Miami in the present and future.

Jay Jackson Is An MLBbro Pitcher That Could Provide Bullpen Help Down The Stretch For Toronto Blue Jays

Jay Jackson Is An MLBbro Pitcher That Could Provide Bullpen Help Down The Stretch For Toronto Blue Jays

When you get an opportunity that you can’t pass up on, you have to make the most of it. And that is what Jay Jackson is doing. For those who don’t know, Jackson was recently called up by the Toronto Blue Jays and made his 2023 debut on May 6 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. 


He threw one inning, walking one batter and did not allow a run.



The 35-year-old has spent time in the big leagues before and now he’s looking to make an impact for Toronto and become an everyday pitcher out of the bullpen. Toronto has needed some help in the bullpen and Jackson is someone who has MLB experience and can add some much-needed help.


When he found out he would be joining the Blue Jays, Jackson was excited to get back to the big leagues.


“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Jackson told reporters Friday in an article from “So it’s just an amazing feeling.”


A big reason why Jackson was called up by Toronto was because of his impressive performance during Spring Training.



Jackson is looking for a permanent home.  


“Slider execution, striking guys out — he was really good,” manager John Schneider said of Jackson’s spring performance.


Before being called up, Jackson spent time with Toronto’s triple-A affiliate team in Buffalo. He appeared in nine games and had an 0-1 record with a 5.91 ERA with 15 strikeouts. Even though Jackson did not make the Opening Day roster, he continued to have respect for the organization and knew the decision wasn’t anything personal.


“The amount of love and respect and honesty [the Blue Jays] showed me, I wanted to be here just as much as they wanted me here,” he said.


Making a major league team can be an impossible task for some. There are players who have been in the minor leagues their whole career and are still waiting for that opportunity. So, for Jackson, he understands how difficult it is to make it on an MLB team. This is the MLBbro journeyman’s fifth team and he’s going to do everything he can to help Toronto become a team to beat in the AL East.


Jackson is no stranger to the Big Leagues.


Jackson first made his MLB debut back in 2015 with the San Diego Padres. It was toward the end of the season, so a lot of players were being called up to teams across the league. He appeared in six games and pitched in 4.1 innings striking out four batters and finished with a 6.23 ERA.


Four years later, Jackson had the opportunity to pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers. His time in Milwaukee was the most action he had seen in his career.


During the 2019 season, he made 28 appearances on the mound, throwing 30.1 innings and also finished with a 1-0 record with two holds. He also had a 4.45 ERA and struck out a career high 47 batters.



In 2021 he made his first start of his career with the San Francisco Giants. That start came on September 4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a quick outing for Jackson as he only went 0.1 innings giving up three earned runs. That season he did finish with a 2-1 record with a 3.74 ERA in 23 games. He proved that he could get MLB hitters out on a consistent basis. 

Before this season, his last appearance in the league was in 2022, appearing in two games with the Atlanta Braves. So it’s safe to say that Jackson has bounced around the league a few times. And he also spent some time playing in Mexico and Japan.


But now, he’s focused on securing a permanent role with Toronto, who desperately needs to sure up the bullpen if they plan to contend with the Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and dangerous Red Sox all season. He certainly has the arm to do so. Now he has another opportunity to write another chapter in his MLB career. 


Marcus Semien Is Getting Used To The Texas Heat | The 2021 MLBbro Player of The Year Is Back On His Bully

Marcus Semien Is Getting Used To The Texas Heat | The 2021 MLBbro Player of The Year Is Back On His Bully

After signing a seven-year $175 million deal before the 2022 season, the Texas Rangers’ MLBbro Marcus Semien was expected to do big things. The team, focused on returning to the American League playoffs, signed Semien to play a vital role in these aspirations. After the Rangers finished 68-94, Semien and the club regrouped and focused their efforts towards competing in 2023. The front office continued to spend money and chase big name free agents, most notably dominant but injury-prone pitcher Jacob deGrom. 


Marcus Semien| With High Praise Comes Big Bags & Higher Expectations


Texas Rangers In First Place: Seeking First MLB Playoffs Since 2016


The club has gotten off to a 12-6 start and is first in the American League West Division. Semiens’ return to dominance has spearheaded the strong start. The MLBbro came out the gate much faster than his first season in Arlington, batting .293 with four home runs and 18 runs batted in so far in the young season. His hot start is much more impressive considering his totals last year when he only tallied 13 hits total with zero home runs and six runs batted in from March to April. 


In An Era Where Everybody Is Taking Rests, Marcus Semien Is MLBs Iron Man | His Best Ability Is Availability


Semien, who was MLBbro’s inaugural Player of the Year, needs a bounce-back season. His numbers were down a bit across the board in 2022, but he still managed to produce his first 20-20 season. The infielder has been one of the most durable players in the Major Leagues, averaging 161 games played over the last four full MLB seasons. If he can once produce numbers closer to record-breaking his 2021 output (45 home runs, 102 RBI), the Rangers could remain in contention for a playoff appearance. 


Marcus Semien Wins Inaugural Player Of The Year Award


Semien Building Legacy As All-Time Great Second Baseman 

Not many second baseman can provide the kind of power and speed combination that the electric MLBbro can. If Semien continues at his current pace, he could be returning to the All-Star game and likely chasing another Silver Slugger Award. 


These are the types of accolades the Rangers expected him to be chasing since cashing Semien out after the 2021 season. It may have taken him a year to get back to elite form, but if the Rangers get to experience post season baseball for the first time since 2016, he will be worth every penny.