What Does The Towers Firing Mean For Kirk Gibson?
By Joseph Jacquez
September 9, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson (23) jogs to the dugout after a visit to the mound during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Now that Kevin Towers has been dismissed of his duties as General Manager of the Diamondbacks, the next big question is not who will become the next G.M, but if Kirk Gibson be the manager next season, a role that he has held July of 2010 when he was promoted from bench coach after A.J. Hinch was fired.
Dbacks Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa wasted no time making his first major move with the team firing Towers, and he has already narrowed down a list of candidates including Dbacks scouting director Ray Montgomery, St. Louis Cardinals Farm Director Ray Gary LaRocque, Yankees assistant G.M Billy Eppler, Angels professional scouting director Hal Morris, and former player, scout, and front office executive Dave Stewart who is currently an agent representing several players.
This is what La Russa told azcentral sports about his list of candidates:
"“At this point, we tried to put together a list that has a nice cross-section of talents and then go through with the meetings and the interviews and then look at the experience that I have and see where the best fit is,” La Russa said. “There are places that I don’t have a lot of experience. There are places that I do.”"
Towers will wait until the new G.M is hired before he decides whether or not to stay in the organization. The new G.M will also decide the fate of Gibson. Here is one thing that we do know: Owner Ken Kendrick and La Russa both have the up most respect for Gibson, and since the first month of the season, he actually has done a great job this season. Granted he has made some questionable decisions with the bullpen, but the record since April speaks for it self.
While the new G.M will help decide who will be the manager in 2015, La Russa will certainly have the final say, and that has to be a good sign for Gibson at this point.
There is no doubt that the Dbacks are the second worst team in the National League this season because of devastating injuries at the wrong time. They lost ace Patrick Corbin and reliever David Hernandez before the season even started. Then they lost Mark Trumbo in mid April. At the time of his injury, he was near the top of the N.L leader-board in both HR’s and RBI’s, and who knows what kind of production he could have provided over a full season. They lost A.J Pollock when he was the teams best hitter, and they lost SS Chris Owings just as he was trying to make a case to be the N.L Rookie of the Year.
In April, the Snakes went 9-19. They put themselves out of the playoff picture by the first of May, because of injuries that completely depleted this team. Lets just say this season wasn’t meant to be. However, despite all of the injuries, a really bad first month, and a below average roster, from May-June, the Dbacks were 39-39. They have had a bad month of August, but they aren’t going to loose 100 games like many thought they would. The Dbacks will be competitive next season, and Gibson has done a solid job keeping his team together and focused every day which is ultimately his job.
The bottom line is you cant blame Gibson. He didn’t construct the roster, and he didn’t get rid of tons of young talent. Towers did that, and that is why he was fired. Simply put, Gibson has done a good enough job with what he has been given. That is why I believe that Gibson deserves one more chance next season. If the Dbacks play terrible next year, then La Russa can fire Gibson. Remember in February the Dbacks extended Gibson’s contract beyond the 2014 season.
If the new general manager wants to go with a clean slate, and Gibson is fired, dont be surprised if White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing emerges as the front runner for the job. This is what Fox Sports MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal wrote in his Tuesday column:
"“As the Diamondbacks interview a long list of GM candidates, don’t be surprised if White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing emerges as a possible replacement for manager Kirk Gibson. McEwing, whom the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, previously mentioned as a possibility for Arizona, began his playing career with the Cardinals under Tony La Russa, the D-backs’ chief baseball officer.”"
At the end of the day, I think Gibson stays for next season. No matter what happens, once the new general manager is in place, the fate of Gibson will be decided.