Is Kirk Gibson’s Firing Imminent?
By Joseph Jacquez
Jul 19, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson (23) looks on in the third inning against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Clearly, the 2014 season hasn’t gone as planned for the Arizona Diamondbacks. After back to back 81-81 seasons in 2012 and 2013, the Diamondbacks experienced something this July that they hadn’t done during the Kirk Gibson-Kevin Towers era. They were sellers at the trade deadline, and were basically out of the N.L West race by the end of April, especially given who is in the division.
Many could aruge that the Diamondbacks season was over before it even got started. Before the season even started, the Dbacks lost their ace from last year Patrick Corbin and reliever David Hernandez for the whole year after they both underwent Tommy John Surgery. Then the Dbacks played two games in Australia and lost both to the Dodgers to start the season 0-2, before most teams even started.
The injuries were a clear blow to the clubhouse, and it showed in the first month of the season. The Dbacks went 9-22 and basically played themseleves out of contention. Its just been that kind of year for the Dbacks. The injury bug didn’t stop with Corbin and Hernandez.
The Snakes accquired Mark Trumbo during last December’s Winter Meetings to provide protection for Paul Goldschmidt, and unfourtunatley he has been injured for most of the season. Trumbo has only played in 51 games, and he has only had 189 at bats. He has been really swinging the bat lately. The Snakes wish he could have had him the the whole year.
Then the Dbacks lost A.J Pollack, who at the time of his injury, was the hottest Dback. That was another big blow to this team. Then the bad luck continued earlier this month when Paul Goldschmidt was hit on the hand against the Pirates, and he is done for the year.
Despite all of the injuries, the Dbacks have battled all year long and have actually played really good baseball since the first month. Since the end of April, the Dbacks are 44-50 including 5-11 in August. Their best month came in June when they went 13-12.
Despite this, Boston Globe national baseball insider Nick Cafardo wrote in his Sunday MLB Notes column about Gibson and his future:
"“Gibson is on the list of managers who could possibly be fired after the season. If he is, it would be Tony La Russa’s first big decision in Arizona. There’s be a lot of speculation about Joe McEwing, a third base coach with the White Sox, or Mike Aldrete, the bench coach for the Cardinals. GM Kevin Towers would also likely to have a say.”"
Not much was said here as to if Gibson will stay or go, but he is certianly on the list of managers that could get fired. However, La Russa has been praising Gibson for the job he has done, and he defended the team after the McCutchen incident. If the Dbacks keep playing close to .500 baseball, and this team finishes on a high note I think Gibson should be given a chance to stay. The eye for eye mentality has to change, but he has pushed the right buttons since April.
Whats more interesting is what Cafardo said at the end. If Towers has a say in what happens to Gibson, does that mean he is staying? La Russa has praised Towers as well. McEwing and Aldrete both have ties to La Russa, so its no suprise that both of them are being tied to the job if Gibson is fired.
Given all the negatives and injuries, this team has stayed together, and their is a good move in the clubhouse. That credit has to go to Manager Kirk Gibson. Despite all the criticism he recieves, he clearly has his team together, and given all the injuries to key players maybe Tony La Russa and ownership needs to give him another chance to get the Dbacks back to the playoffs.