Futures of Gibson, Dipoto to be decided soon
D-backs, new GM Towers to begin moving forward
PHOENIX -- Now that the D-backs have settled on a general manager, the focus turns to the status of interim manager Kirk Gibson and Jerry Dipoto, who had served as interim GM and finished a close second to Kevin Towers for the permanent post.
Towers was scheduled to meet briefly with Gibson on Wednesday afternoon, but said the pair ended up talking for almost two hours.
"Intense guy," Towers said. "Like the look in his eye. You could tell he's a winner, he's a grinder. He's a guy that has high expectations. I've watched the last three weeks to a month and watched some of the postgame interviews that he's done. He's learned from some great people: Jim Leyland, Sparky Anderson. He's played under some great managers that had high expectations of their players and held their players accountable."
Gibson, who took over for A.J. Hinch on July 1, had drawn praise for changing the culture in the clubhouse and getting maximum effort out of his players. Reading between the lines of Towers' comments, it seems like Gibson will be back next year.
"I liked what he had to say," Towers said. "I think that he probably deserves a little bit more time to be able to set a foundation with a Spring Training environment. It's very tough on an interim basis to maybe do some of the things that you'd like to do during the season. It's hard, but I think he's done a great job in the short period that he's been here."
It is also no secret that team president and CEO Derrick Hall is a big supporter of Gibson.
Towers has also heard positive things about Gibson from people he respects in the game like Alan Trammell and while he does not have a timetable for making a decision, he would like to resolve the matter sooner rather than later.
The club finishes the season with a six-game road trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles and Towers will go along with the intention of spending time with Gibson and the coaching staff.
"I told him that if he wants to stay up till 2, 3, 4 in the morning on this next road trip, talking baseball, you got a guy you're going to have to kick me out of the room," Towers said of Gibson. "No real timeline. We're not going to drag this thing out on you."
As for Dipoto, he and Hall talked for a couple of hours Tuesday night when Hall delivered the news that he was going with Towers. He said Dipoto was going to consider whether to stay in the organization.
"We talked quite a bit last night about his plans, and it's really up in the air right now," Hall said. "I know he's keeping an open mind till he meets with Kevin. But get the two together and see if there's a fit. I absolutely think the world of Jerry. I would love for him to be here if it makes sense. He has a lot of friends out there who I'm sure have already reached out to him. Jerry is going to have no problem if it's not here, being somewhere and deservedly so because he is outstanding."
Dipoto impressed Hall and the organization with his moves prior to the Trade Deadline when he was able to move salaries like Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson and Chris Snyder and help restock the organization's farm system in the process. He also was able to get right-hander Daniel Hudson, who is 6-1 with a 1.65 ERA since coming over from the White Sox in exchange for Jackson.
"Jerry stocked the pond with the moves that he made before the Trading Deadline," Hall said.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.