Thursday, July 1, 2010

D'Backs Fire Hinch; Kirk Gibson Named Interim Manager

After scarcely a year, the Arizona Diamondbacks have fired manager A.J. Hinch and have replaced him on an interim basis with bench coach Kirk Gibson.

Hinch was named manager in May 2009 after the team fired Bob Melvin.

If that weren't enough, the D'Backs also fired GM Josh Byrnes and have replaced him with Jerry DiPoto also on an interim basis. The former major league reliever was the D'Backs director of scouting and player personnel.

Gibby has no previous managerial experience. He's been the D'Backs bench coach since 2007. Previously, he was the bench coach with the Detroit Tigers from 2002-2005.

But, of course, Gibson has two World Series rings - one with the '84 Tigers and one with the '88 Dodgers. In both World Series, he hit memorable homeruns off future Hall of Fame closers. There was that three run shot off Goose Gossage in the Game 5 clincher in '84 as called by Ernie Harwell. Four years later, Gibson hit a walk off homerun off Dennis Eckersley on two bad legs as called by Vin Scully. It was his only at bat of that World Series. It was enough to demoralize the heavily favored Oakland Athletics and the Dodgers won it in five games. He sure knew how to pick his spots.

I'm not sure Gibby can do much with the last place D'Backs this year but I love his intensity. When he joined the Dodgers, relief pitcher Jesse Orosco put shaving cream in Gibby's cap. Not a wise move. He exploded at Orosco and the team telling them he wasn't there for hijinks. In a 1998 interview, Gibson said, "I made a statement and basically said if we keep this attitude, we'll finish in fourth place again."

If nothing else, the D'Backs will be more interesting to watch.

1 comment:

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