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Tony La Russa denies that Kirk Gibson’s job is safe

Aug 19, 2014, 8:41 PM EST

kirk gibson getty Getty Images

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported Tuesday morning that the Diamondbacks “currently plan to bring back” manager Kirk Gibson next season.

But the club’s new chief baseball officer — Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa — is now denying that anything has been decided on the Gibson front.

“I just think that at this point, we’re at August 18,” La Russa relayed through a spokesman to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. “I’ve been around three months, I’ve observed a lot, talked to and met with a lot of people in the organization. I have a much better idea. I just think the official comment is, we’re at August 18, the season is a month and 10 days from being over. So it won’t be long until you have to trot out your plan.”

There was speculation when La Russa was hired in mid-May that he would want to clear house, and that may still be the case. Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers is also thought to be on the hot seat.

Arizona entered play Tuesday with a 43-72 record — 16 1/2 games back in the National League West.

  1. hoopmatch - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if LaRussa talked Bob Brenly back into dugout?

  2. georgewashingtonsghost - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    La Russa is totally messing with Gibson. It’s his way of paying Gibby back for that home run in ’88.

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      More seriously, mayhaps Gibby was doing some pre-emptive leaking and TLR decided to cut him off at the pass.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:50 AM

      We need a second opinion on this. What does Eck think?

    • gbrim - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      The quote in this article is actually from an interview TLR did the day before the USA Today tweet came out. Whether USA Today had it right or not, TLR had no choice but to stand by his interview comments of just one day prior.

    • 78mu - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      Maybe the first clue Gibson’s on shaky ground is that TLR always pumps his right arm whenever he discusses the job his manager is doing.

      Then he’ll bring Eck in for the press conference to announce Gibson’s firing. It’ll be the last chance TLR and Eck have to get Gibson out.

  3. okwhitefalcon - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Don Tony just gave Carlo Gibson a plane ticket to Vegas and Fredo Towers is about to take his last fishing excursion at compound in Tahoe…

    • kardshark1 - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      Wow. You’ve really dated yourself with that post.

      • j0esixpack - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:06 AM

        In what Age is the Godfather NOT considered one of the greatest mob movies of all time?

        I think you’ve really embarrassed yourself with that post!

  4. luz56 - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    All joking aside…. Not sure how Gibson hasn’t been drug tested. Have you ever heard him speak after a game? Toughest job in baseball is being a sales rep for the Dbacks after this season.. If Gibson is still employed it’s a direct slap in the face to what fan base is left..

    • chill1184 - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:41 PM

      “Toughest job in baseball is being a sales rep for the Dbacks after this season.”

      People who work for Fred Wilpon disagree

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:43 PM

        Jeffrey Luria too…

  5. quintjs - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    If getting a vote of confidence is the first step to being fired does this work in the opposite direction – does this guarantee Gibson is safe?

  6. Section 222 - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    Anyone who gives a fist bump to a pitcher after he gets tossed for intentionally throwing at a batter doesn’t deserve to be a major league manager. Gibson plays dirty. Of course LaRussa seems to condone that kind of garbage (see his comments after the D-Backs took out McCutcheon).

  7. theebbandflow - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:46 AM

    If you omitted to mention Kirk Gibson’s name from any reports and commentary, you could be excused for thinking John Kreese was managing the D’backs.

  8. padraighansen - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    I hope that Arizona keeps both of these d-bags, and they both continue to fail.

  9. seniorboy - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Tony LaRussa, wow, you must need the money eh? I wonder how many players remember your selfish behavior during the 89 world series, when you refused to pitch Bob Welsh, and used two pitchers in four games, making sure that Oakland won. You disrespected one of the greatest pitchers in baseball you asshole, and your great record as a manager will never include empathy, respect for those who helped you get where you once were, and Mr Welsh was a gentleman who won fifteen games for you that year and so much deserved to pitch in a world series game, but you sucked big time Tony, and forever I will remember you as a first class asshole. Go on and fire Gibson. He was four times the player that you ever were and a dozen times more respectful to baseball and his team. He hit a home run for the Dodgers against the A’s, hobbled around the bases and never returned. What a way to go out – a winner unlike the loser that you are.

    • mgflolox - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      I’m pretty sure nobody on the ’89 A’s (except possibly Storm Davis) is too upset about winning the World Series. That’s pretty much the point of playing it. LaRussa realized that you’re not guaranteed another chance, so he took his best shot. In retrospect, it seems like a pretty wise decision since it’s the only championship that A’s team won during that era.

    • cohnjusack - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      Let me count all the silly things in this post:

      ” when you refused to pitch Bob Welsh”
      –It’s Welch, not “Welsh”

      “and used two pitchers in four games, making sure that Oakland won”
      –I admit, it’s pretty crappy to take advantage of a natural disaster like that. I mean, it’s not like the Giants used their best pitcher in Games 1 and 3. Oh wait…they did exactly that? It was Garrelts (who had a 2.28 ERA that year) and Stewart in games 1 and 3?? Nevermind.

      ” Mr Welsh was a gentleman who won fifteen games for you that year ”
      –Welch won 17 games that year. And again, it’s WELCH, not WELSH.

    • missingdiz - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      Welch was excellent that year, but Moore was better. Same deal in the division series. TLR took his best shot at winning the series, and succeeded. That was exactly what he was supposed to do. It’s not Little League, where everybody gets to play. Oh, one other thing. That was 25 years ago. An expression back then was “get a life.” But you still haven’t, obviously.

  10. tcostant - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    I expect Gibson will be fired before August is over and La Russa will manage the team the rest of the year to access what he has on the roster. You hear it here first.

    • gbrim - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      TLR has said repeatedly that Towers and Gibson will finish the season, then the future game plan will be announced. He ain’t managing again. You heard it here, not for the first time, honestly.

  11. atsf1953 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    LaRussa really has to dump Gibson–there are players the Dbacks might want to talk to in the off season or sign and they will not play for Gibson–He has a reputation of being a dirty ex-player and a manager that orders beaning’s and dirty baseball… Between the lines, Kennedy was traded why? he is a first rate starter and very young–he is happy in San Diego and stated it was so much nicer and productive than Az–same goes for others, Upton did not like Gibson, the guy that just went to the Yankees made it very clear he was not happy pitching under Gibson–times have changed and the players have a lot to say…Gibson doesn’t represent what is in baseball best interest.

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