Kirk Gibson has won the National League Manager of the Year. It is well deserved. In his first full season as the Arizona Diamondbacks skipper, he took a team from 65-97 to 94-68 in a one season 29-game turnaround. It was the third-best single-season turnaround since 1998. Not bad for a guy who before last season was better known as a clutch hitter in his day.
You have to love what the Dbacks decided to do back when the decision was made in the middle of 2010 to give Gibby the job, moving from bench coach to the manager position. Many thought, including myself, it was a move long overdue. He should have had the job before A.J. Hinch. However, no matter your opinion, the fact is he was eventually hired and has done a fantastic job of changing the culture and attitude in the Dbacks clubhouse.
The trick will be to see how he can continue to instill that culture and attitude going into next season and beyond. Bob Melvin was the last Dbacks manager to win the award in 2007. We all know what happened in 2008 after that. Gibby is a different guy though. He is smart and from all accounts has a great relationship with his players. Fans love him. How could you not? Even if they had missed the playoffs this year, he already succeeded in changing the environment for years to come.