Too Many Cooks

Kirk Gibson is an accomplished baseball player and baseball legend. He won the National League manager of the year in 2011. He won the World Series with the Tigers in 1984 and the Dodgers in 1988. That isn’t nothing. He’s been around winners, he knows what it looks like.

He is an accomplished baseball man. What he isn’t, not yet anyway, is a baseball general manager. Though, it appears, he plays one on TV!

Hmm. That’s weird. Why on Earth would a team go about such an overhaul after an incredibly successful season? One can only imagine they will be much better in the future, right?

We’ve had our fun with Kirk Gibson here at Getting Blanked. For better or for worse, he isn’t shy about voicing his opinion on how his players should conduct themselves. But his reported involvement in player personnel moves can only be troubling for the D-Backs future.

It comes back to a popular topic from earlier this week: should teams value personality over talent?

When considering the 25th man on a playoff-calibre team, certainly a case can be made for heart over head. When numerous front offices — those with a demonstrated ability to make sound decisions and make good player choices — choose to fill out the final spot on their roster with a good clubhouse guy, those of us commenting on the games can take a step back and appeal to authority.

This is not the same as running talented players out of town in pursuit of some fabled clubhouse culture; a culture, we are led to believe, which will trump the increasing disparity in talent between this grinder haven and the teams who actually pursue better players. It is the pursuit of a homogeneous (ISWYDT) clubhouse which causes statty-types and rational minds to turn up their noses at the overpraising of so-called intangibles.

Mark DeRosa doesn’t make the Blue Jays much better nor does he make them worse. If he makes the Toronto Blue Jays clubhouse and team plane a better place to work and hang out, so be it. That is his job and his mission statement, he is not alone in pursuit of this noble endeavour. Trading away perceived malcontents like Trevor Bauer and Justin Upton to give playing time (and plenty of money) to limited players like Cody Ross or fresh-off-a-career-year surprises like Martin Prado is reckless. It stands to make the team worse, not better.

If Kirk Gibson truly believes the 1984 Tigers won all those games because everybody tried hard and came to the ballpark with their hard hats on or whatever, fine. Sure, his Dodgers were overmatched against the A’s in that famed World Series, but a short series is not the same as a 162 game grind.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have more balls in the air than just keeping the manager’s office clear of grumpy ballplayers. Just as a key trait of role players is the willingness to accept their role, the field manager must also acknowledge his place in the pecking order. If the manager pushes his general manager to make moves which weaken the club in the long term, both guys are going to be looking for work in the short term.

Comments (15)

  1. wow there is not a lot of racial diversity on that roster…

    • Yeah I’ve seen alot of tweets/comments that seem to mention a perseved racial profile used by the d-backs…my question is how good can a lineup be when everyone should be hitting 2 or 6-7 in a normal lineup…we’ll see how long grit and hustle provide Gibson with employment…

  2. You should do a podcast to discuss this topic.

  3. There is just way too much written and analyed based on nothing but hearsay. On the baseball front am I a fan of these moves? No. However, we have no real proof or evidence except for a tweet here or there referencing “sources” to provide any real info in the attitudes or coachability or work ethic of any of these players nor is there any real info on the influence of Gibson in any decision. It really is all just filler in the all consuming need for content.

    • Gibson and others were quoted extensively this afternoon. It’s not nothing

      • “He did not frustrate me,” Gibson said. “I liked the way [Upton] played. I thought he busted his ass all the time.”

        “It’s hard to trade a guy like Justin Upton,” Gibson said. “Loved the guy, enjoyed my time with him, a great player.”

        These quotes? Am I missing something?

        • ““Different clubs like to look for different intangibles in players. We kind of like that grinding, gritty player – hard-nosed. I’m not saying that Justin isn’t that type of guy … ”

          • Didn’t see that one, fair enough. However, part of my things is that it is Towers that should eat the shit in this. As Klaw was saying on podcast, it’s not the fact they traded him or why, it is the return that is the true problem. As Stoeten pointed out, Towers spent the last year talking Uptons value down. go sons a shot manager with the possibly BS character narrative behind him but this debacle is not on him.

        • Im not even saying that they didn’t trade Upton for the wrong reasons, but it’s been completely blamed on Gibson, like he absolutely demanded that Upton had to go and worked tirelessly to get him moved. Possibly. possibly not. Maybe it was all Towers. Maybe teammates hated him? We don’t know.

          • I don’t think that’s entirely accurate, and you seem to assume this entire opinion piece is based on one tweet. It is not. Go through the Kirk Gibson posts, his track record speaks loudly.

    • Do not report anything without ample amounts of evidence and named sources.

      Got it.

  4. Proud to see the Diamondbacks continue their states intolerance and stereotyping.

    Sad we’ll call it progress when redneck patriots relate more to an American Justin Upton then to a white Venezuelan third basemen.

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