Jays to interview Baylor for manager position

The Blue Jays to interview Don Baylor for the managing position (2009 Major League Baseball Photo Day)

While Cito Gaston closed a door with the Blue Jays, the team has opened another one for its new manager position.

The hiring of a new skipper before the World Series is still a priority for Toronto, and the Colorado Rockies certainly understand the rush.

Early Thursday, the Rockies gave permission to the Canadian team to interview hitting coach Don Baylor, according to Sports Illustrated’s website.

Baylor’s name came up a few days ago among a list of other seven possible candidates that have been considered by general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

Gaston, who said he is pleased that Baylor is going to be interviewed, personally recommended the former manager of Colorado and the Chicago Cubs.

“He does bring a present when he walks in a room. Not a birthday present, but a presence,” Gaston said to the Associated Press.

“I think it’d be good for him. Whether he gets it or not, I’m happy to hear they’re going to consider him and take a look at him.”

Baylor, who managed the Rockies from 1993 to 1998 and subsequently the Cubs from 2000 to 2002, would be a good hire for the Jays, Gaston said.

“I think Don deserves an interview and another chance,” Gaston commented. “Don was a good player. He’s a good coach also. He’s been a manager before.”

Other notable names include: Brian Butterfield (Toronto), Canadian Rob Thompson (New York Yankees), Bob Melvin (former Cleveland manager) and Pat Listach (Washington).

Regardless, Baylor will have the opportunity to be interviewed, and followed by a good recommendation from Gaston, will leave Anthopoulos with plenty to thing about.