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The Diamondbacks plan to bring back Kirk Gibson for some reason

Aug 19, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

Kirk Gibson AP

Your team — the one team in the NL West some people said could give the Dodgers a race — is 16.5 games back. You’ve come off two .500 years in a row that were, based on the year before that, disappointments. Your managerial style has been widely criticized and there is no small amount of evidence that said style has driven players away who have flourished elsewhere. Plus, you’re getting a rep for being dirty, frankly. What does that earn you?

Apparently it gets your option year picked up.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Diamondbacks are planning to bring manager Kirk Gibson back for 2015. No official word yet and no word about the status of Kevin Towers. But Nightengale thinks that Tony La Russa is leaning in the direction of giving Gibby another go.

Hey, their team. They can do what they wanna.

  1. aljobe - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Gotta reward grit.

    • gloccamorra - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      Grit is not like heroin, where it’s best to go cold turkey. It’s more like those prescription medications where you have to wean yourself off them gradually.

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      Well, per Drew’s follow-up, and the fact that this is just a Tweet, I say what I said on the follow-up. Maybe Gibby’s doing some pre-emptive leaking.

  2. renaado - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    Probably the grit.

  3. karlkolchak - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    I’ll have to admit, I was worried about the D-Bags coming to DC for a four game series this weeked–not that the Nats would lose to them but that we’d lose a couple of players to injury because ol’ meathead Giddy decided he had to defend some old school, code of honor, unwritten rule BS after Harper inadvertantly picked his nose in the on deck circle or something.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      Picking one’s nose onstage is a beanable offense, though. This is a performance, in front of a live audience, and they know we’re all staring at them. It would be like picking your nose in the car, but while driving the wrong way so that everyone coming at you has to look at what you’re doing. The consequences for nose picking ballplayers should be as severe as for those who drive into oncoming traffic. I’m serious.

      • natstowngreg - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        Sometimes, I get the feeling Bryce doesn’t realize everyone is watching him. Perhaps, he’s so used to being watched that he doesn’t notice. Perhaps, it’s just because he’s 21 and unaware. Perhaps, both.

  4. gbrim - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    The DBacks have played hard this year, despite being outgunned in terms of talent. The mess that is the DBacks is, in my opinion, the fault of Kevin Towers, whose horrible moves over the past few years destroyed the potential of a good, young team. Can’t blame Gibby for stupid free agent contracts, trades of young prospects for has-beens to ‘get over the top’, etc. Having to trade Prado and Parra at the deadline to pay the even larger salaries of Cahill and Cody Ross next year shows just how incompetent Towers has been.

    As to the criticism you mention, a large proportion of that comes from Mr. Craig Calcaterra, whose recent posts have been clear, and less than objective. Reading Mr. C. you would think the DBacks are the main reason hit by pitch retaliation still exists in MLB.

    Gibson isn’t the problem in AZ. He has gotten better at managing and communicating over the years, and his team hasn’t given up even though the season was lost in late April.

    • Jack Glasscock's Cup - Aug 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      The media reported that those moves Towers made were because the players traded weren’t “gritty” enough for Gibson; hence the overuse of the term every time an article about the D-backs is printed. I know my team, the Indians, is benefiting from one of the cast-offs: Trevor Bauer.

      • gbrim - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        Virtually all of the DBacks quotes regarding grit, retaliation, an eye for an eye, etc. came from Kevin Towers, not Gibby. Towers was also the guy that bad-mouthed Justin Upton before getting too little for him in a trade that he was forced to make by his own stupid comments to the press.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 19, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      and less than objective.

      Why does he need to be objective?

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        Because some people still haven’t figured out this is a blog, not a news site.

      • 76ersdoubletank - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        He does not, but I don’t think that was really the main point the poster was making. I think he was supporting Gibson getting an unfair wrap. I tend to agree with the poster about Gibson.

    • gloccamorra - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      Sure, blame Towers. He saddled Bruce Bochy with a lot of those contracts in San Diego, but Bochy made them work out well enough that Towers was able to dump the contracts on others. Gibson is obviously not as good as Bochy at managing.

      • gbrim - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Perhaps your conclusions are correct, perhaps not. In any event your description of Towers in San Diego says more about him as a GM than it says about any field manager.

    • azvikefan - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      Calcaterra definitely has a hard on for Gibson.

  5. stex52 - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Well, he’s not the only bad manager out there. He’s probably just a bigger jerk than most.

    I thought LaRussa would want to head in a new direction. But Tony is not a front office guy by experience. He may screw this up royally.

    • natstowngreg - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Indeed. History is littered with managers/coaches who thought they could assemble their own teams. And failed.

      Exceptions are rare. I couldn’t come up with one in baseball off the top of my head. It may be that fewer managers end up in front offices in MLB than the other major sports. Would be an interesting study for some sports historian.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      Sometimes a guy is just the wrong manager for the situation without being a necessarily being a bad manager. I’m inclined to think Gibson is both of these things, but I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt and say, gently, that he’s the wrong manager for this team.

  6. tigersfandan - Aug 19, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    I’ll believe he’s coming back when he’s still there in Spring Training.

    • ctony1216 - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      Right. With still more than a month to go in the season, it’s probably not a good idea for a team to announce that it’s not rehiring its manager, or even considering it. So, this could be just a p.r. statement.

      At this point in the season, either you replace your manager, extend him, or say you plan to extend him whether that’s true or not. So, we’ll see.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    So not quite as committed as the dreaded “vote of confidence” but something along those lines.

  8. longfootlefty - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Many players have been referred to as a “clubhouse cancer”. I wonder why that phrase isn’t used for managers as well….

    • stex52 - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      Cecil Cooper Houston Astros Manager 2007-2009

      Well regarded and well-liked bench coach. Local boy, too, with a long MLB record. Developed a talent for getting thrown out of games, alienated his veterans and intimidated the young players. He was part of the organizational death spiral that took place at the end of the last decade.

      My first nominee for a coach who was a clubhouse cancer.

      Leo Durocher would be my second.

      • natstowngreg - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        I’d add Billy Martin. Though Durocher’s and Martin’s teams won a lot of games.

      • stex52 - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        Durocher finished his career in Houston. He was awful. Poker and beer in the dugout with his favored players. The rest were abused or ignored.

  9. recoveringcubsfan - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    I actually have come to appreciate Gibby because he delivers the Three True Outcomes of villainous managers: pettiness, retaliation, and a demand for more grit. Always, always, more grit.

  10. jss1330 - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    LaRussa was brought in to legitimize the culture not change it.

  11. johnrr - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Grit is way over rated. If you are going to supervise ( manage) you have to take into account that there are different personalities. I also get tired of the dbacks running into outs like a little league team.

  12. joecb91 - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    As a Dbacks fan, why? Why damn i why?

  13. crackersnap - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Well, let’s look at this glass as half full.

    MLB owners, like pro sports owners anywhere, prefer to hire for their manager somebody who has experience being a manager elsewhere. That is job qualification #1. Actual track record is further down the list. So should the D’Backs choose to let Gibby loose he would become, for a short time at least, a leading interview candidate any place else that might decide to hire a new skipper for 2015. Thusly, the retention of Gibson in Arizona might properly be considered a public service in many other MLB towns around the country.

    And, for those few teams that do have their act together, they can look forward to another year of potential match-ups against one of the Keystone Cops of MLB stratagem. Again, public service in action.

    So I say carry on, Diamondbacks! America is counting on you.

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