Reports were coming out all day on Tuesday that said the Arizona Diamondbacks were planning on bringing back current manager Kirk Gibson for the 2015 season. Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa came out later and said that the team has not come to a decision on this.
Gibson’s team is having a terrible season. Despite getting an MVP-type year from first baseman Paul Goldschmidt prior to his broken hand, the Diamondbacks are 19 games under .500. Their pitching staff is ranked between 24th and 26th in almost every major pitching stat. Players like Aaron Hill, Cody Ross and Wade Miley were expected to be much better than they have been this season. After a surprising second-place finish a year ago, the team is fighting to not come in last place.
Is this entirely Gibson’s fault? No, but that doesn’t mean he won’t get the majority of the blame. The team obviously needs a spark, and bringing in a new voice would probably help. He has been with the team for about four years, and they do not look better now than they did then.
Injuries have no doubt had an impact on the team’s record. They lost ace Patrick Corbin prior to the season ever starting. Bronson Arroyo was lost to the same injury, Tommy John surgery. Goldschmidt will miss most of the season with a broken hand. Eric Chavez could never see the field. It seemed to look more like a laundry list by the end of it.
Maybe La Russa’s comments were made to motivate the team to play for their coach. Maybe they were made to see how Gibson would respond knowing that his job isn’t safe after a disappointing season. Whatever they were doing, this will stop the rumors that he is 100 percent coming back.