Detroit Tigers hire Gary Jones as Triple-A Toledo manager
He replaces Tom Prince, who helped the Mud Hens to a 74-56 record — the team's best finish since 2007 — and the Triple-A East league's Midwest Division championship last year in his only season. The Tigers fired Prince in early October.
Jones, 61, spent the past four seasons as the manager for Triple-A Lehigh, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, and posted a 53-75 record in the 2021 campaign. He has nine seasons of managerial experience at the Triple-A level, with a career 653-614 record.
"I'm very excited to join the Tigers organization and to be coming to Toledo," Jones said Thursday in a statement. "The Mud Hens have a beautiful stadium and great fans that I have always enjoyed when I have come in with visiting ball clubs. I am looking forward to getting there and working with a great staff."
Jones has five seasons of MLB experience, first in 1998 as the first base coach for the Oakland Athletics and then from 2014-17 as the third base coach for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs went to the postseason in three of his four years, winning the 2016 World Series.
He began his managerial career at 29, after spending eight seasons in the minor leagues as a player for the Cubs (1982-85) and Athletics (1986-89). He has managed an impressive 2,420 games in the minors — earning a 1,243-1,177 record — with 10 winning seasons.
"Having someone with the expertise that Gary brings to the Triple-A level is exciting," Mud Hens general manager Erik Ibsen said Thursday. "He knows what it takes to be successful while at the same time, continuing to develop players that will help both the Mud Hens and the Detroit Tigers during the course of the season. We are excited to welcome Gary to Toledo."
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As a player, Jones hit .283 with 23 home runs, 291 RBIs, 783 walks and 542 strikeouts, along with 225 stolen bases in 320 attempts, over 889 games. He logged a .258 batting average, seven homers and 44 stolen bases in 260 games in three seasons for Triple-A Tacoma.
The Mud Hens' 2022 season begins April 5.