Saturday, October 10, 2009

Skipper Gibby?

Kirk Gibson recently got a two year extension to remain the bench coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks. I heard someone (cannot for the life of me remember the source) say he might soon get a shot at managing. I had wondered about that.

I heard a radio interview with Gibson during last year's season. It was with some of the local sports talk guys (again, can't remember who--geez, should I be worried?), and he was very bitter about how things ended for him with the Tigers. So much so, that I was surprised he came back for the '84 anniversary celebration. I don't blame him for being upset. He Tramm and Parrish were set up for failure. They had so little talent on the team, and were brought in for their draw at the gate. I'm very glad he did come back for the fiesta, because he was my Tiger from that era. His intensity on the field always got me hyped. He thrived on clutch at bats, creating some of the most memorable moments in Tiger and Dodger history.

I would relish the opportunity to see Gibson manage. I hope he does get his shot. I'll be rooting for him. It's funny though, good players do not always the best managers make. Remember Magic Johnson's miserable attempt at coaching the Lakers? For one thing, a coach/manager can't be pining to be on the court/field himself. That can not work. He's got to be at peace with being out of the game as a player. Johnson clearly was not there yet. And I sympathize, since his retirement did not come on his own terms. However, he also had the unfortunate mentality that "these kids just aren't the same as when I was a player." A coach has to adapt the players/talent he has. Johnson couldn't or wouldn't do that. Hope Gibby fares better on that front if he ever takes the helm. Can't wait to see him at it.

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