Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca was fired yesterday and replaced by first base coach John Gibbons.

Struggling through a disappointing season, the Blue Jays fired Tosca less than an hour after they were defeated by the Yankees for their fifth straight loss.

Gibbons will be the interim manager for the rest of the season.

"We have six or seven weeks left in the season, and the team showed signs of not playing hard," said GM J.P. Ricciardi, who hired Tosca on June 3, 2002. "We have an obligation to try and do as well as we can. It wasn't an easy decision. It never is when you have to tell someone who does what he loves that it's being taken away from him."

Tosca is the third major league manager to be fired this season, following the Astros' Jimy Williams and the Diamondbacks' Bob Brenly.

Coming off their sixth consecutive third-place finish in the AL East, the Blue Jays added Ted Lilly, Miguel Batista, Pat Hentgen and reliever Kerry Ligtenberg to the pitching staff last offseason and hoped to contend for a playoff spot.

But they got off to a slow start, losing five of their first six games and 18 of 26. Several injuries, including those to AL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay and 1B Carlos Delgado, also have contributed to their disappointing season.

-- From News Services