As tough as it was in July 2010 for manager Kirk Gibson to start something new, basically starting all over again and as tough as it was to bring the culture of “Gibby” ball to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011 and get full buy in to lead the D-backs to a division title, it will be even tougher in 2012 to repeat the success. It’s tough to win a division at all, much less do it two seasons in a row. Back in 2001 when they won it all and then won the division in 2002, the D-backs were full of veterans who knew how to win. With this young team, the team will rely on the veteran Gibson to figure out how to not let all that success go to their heads and repeat what they did in 2012 and advnce past that point. Gibby is the right guy for the job, that’s for sure.
What allowed the D-backs to rise to the top again after hitting bottom in 2010 was the culture Gibby brought in. It was his way or the highway. The players all eventually bought in early in 2011. Now it will be up to him to keep that going in 2012 and teach his team how tough it is to repeat success and do it even better.
You have players who will be making more money in 2012 based on 2011 performances. However not everyone got all they wanted. Aaron Hill got his multi-year deal, but not the money he was originally asking. Joe Saunders didn’t get all of his money or a multi-year deal, but returned because he wanted to be here. Same can be said for Miguel Montero. He didn’t get as much as he was asking for had he gone to arbitration, but he got more than the D-backs originally wanted to give him.
Both sides have worked together to bring back basically the same team as in 2011. I have no doubts they will have the buy in again and will take Gibby’s words and actions to heart because they all wanted to be here. They will have to work harder at it though. Teams will put that target on their back. They will no longer creep up on others. Not this team being the same as 2011.
If Gibson can lead this same team to another division title and lead them further into the playoffs, the D-backs may just want to consider giving him a lifetime contract because he will proven you can win with the same team, making few changes, on a team that is mostly still considered young, with a team that was in the cellar just two seasons before. It should be fun. Succeeding due to hard work always is.