Kirk Gibson Finally Gets His Chance

Late word came out last night, while I was watching the Twins blow a late lead and lose to the Rays (yay!), that the Diamondbacks fired their general manager, Josh Byrnes, and also their manager, A.J. Hinch.

Sure this is bad news for both men, more so for Hinch I think. Byrnes is still regarded highly enough that he’ll catch on as at least an assistant GM somewhere. Hinch’s days in a major league uniform are probably over for a while. Looks like he’ll wind up either coaching in the minors or scouting somewhere.

The good news is that former Tigers hero Kirk Gibson has finally been given the chance he has long deserved. Gibson was promoted from bench coach to interim manager when Hinch was shown the door. (…)

For Gibby, a two-time World Series hero as a player, the road to the manager’s seat has been a trying one. Most assumed he had a real shot at this job when Arizona’s former manager, Bob Melvin, was let go in May of last year.  Gibson served as Melvin’s bench coach before keeping that role under Hinch.

What is it about former Tigers part-time catchers and D-backs managing gigs? Melvin caught 41 games for the Tigers in 1985, while Hinch played in 27 games for the 2003 Tigers, a team that lost 119 games.

Prior to his going to the desert, Gibson worked under Alan Trammell as the bench coach and also as the hitting coach in Detroit from 2005-2005. That entire coaching staff caught a raw deal, as the team they were given had no chance to competing with real major league teams.

But now the D-backs are embarking on what everyone assumes will be a fire sale. New GM Jerry DiPoto will be charged with overhauling a roster and Gibby will need to bring the new guys (and most of the holdovers) up to speed on what it takes to win.

Unfortunately for him, his roster won’t look the same in a month, and he may wind up with just about as much major league talent as his teams in Detroit had.

Topics: 2003 Tigers, A.J. Hinch, Arizona Diamondbacks, Detroit Tigers, Kirk Gibson

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