After losing skipper John Farrell to Boston, Toronto rehired former manager John Gibbons earlier this week, a slightly surprising move given the later’s highly publicized tifts with Shea Hillenbrand (above, left) and Ted Lilly. Hillenbrand, a onetime CSTB fixture / object of ridicule, tells the Toronto Star’s Brendan Kennedy that he’s no longer demonizing Gibbons.

“I think he handled the situation that we had very professionally and I didn’t handle it professionally at all,” said the father of three, who owns a ranch in Arizona and devotes most of his time these days to a foundation that uses baseball and animals to teach life lessons to at-risk youth.

“All I know is that during my time with him he was a really good manager and I think he did a really good job with what he had.”

Ironically, what Hillenbrand said made Gibbons such a great manager was how approachable and accessible he was. “I think John’s going to be a great addition to that ball club and he’s a great guy.”