Kirk Gibson is an old school guy. Hs gruff and no-nonsense ways might ruffle some feathers from time to time but, because his team won may more games in 2011 than most writers expected, Gibby was named the National League’s Manager of the Year.
The defending Manager of the Year, field boss of the NL West favorites, has a lot of clout with his team and with the media horde. Gibson sends forth more and more bizarre directives from his lofty petard, offering very little in the way of rationale when pressed on the issues. Why? HE’S THE MANAGER!
Trevor Bauer’s throwing program was a topic of discussion yesterday on Getting Blanked. The Diamondbacks deserve credit for not tinkering with their top draft pick’s exercise and routine. Except for one crucial detail, that is.
…the other day that Bauer said one of the only things that he’s changed in his pre-game routine is that he’s losing the headphones. For years, Bauer said he’s listened to music while doing through his stretching and throwing before games, a way for him to “synch up” his body.
But the Diamondbacks have asked him not to wear them.
Fair enough. Wearing headphones on the field sends weird signals to fans and teammates. It isn’t as though most starting pitchers aren’t already withdrawn and cocooned in their own pre-game preparations most times. Not a big deal that the Snakes asked Bauer to change this.
But when reporters asked Gibson about it, he bristled. You could even say he got prickly.
But whatever the reason, Gibson wasn’t in the mood to share.
“That’s between him and I,” Gibson said. “Because, it’s what we do.”
After a follow-up question, Gibson said, “I’m not going to go into the reasons, but we just thought that wouldn’t be part of his routine.”
Consider yourself told, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Gibby does what Gibby does, don’t you dare question the defending Manager of the Year. He learned from Sparky Anderson, dammit!
Another recent Gibson directive: the pitchers must hit better!
Gibson’s reasoning for demanding more of his pitchers is sound enough: Gibson told The Knobler “(W)e hope it will help us let the starters go longer in games, and tax the bullpen less” which makes sense except come on.
The Diamondback’s pitchers were the National League’s best hitting staff last year…with a .480 OPS (.216 wOBA). That isn’t good! It is much worse than the average pinch hitter, who managed a .603 OPS league-wide. Gibson seems determined to turn Trevor Cahill, who hasn’t hit regularly since high school, into a better hitter.
A little extra BP and some bonus Spring Training at bats should coach him up in no time, right? Gibby, your work here is done.