Gibby joins Twitter with help from sons
D-backs manager plans to 'share positive and uplifting messages'
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson surprised many Wednesday when he joined the Twitterverse.
"Unreal...so pumped!" came the tweet from @23kgibby just moments before the D-backs took the field for their first full-squad workout.
The tweet left the media scrambling to confirm it was actually Gibson behind the account.
"What did you guys visualize besides saying, 'Oh my God, Gibby just tweeted,'" Gibson said to the media. "I saw you guys scurrying around. I said, 'They're like little kids.'"
Gibson initially set up the account with the help of his sons and had been plotting his first tweet for some time now.
"They were trying to get me to tweet while I was in Hawaii over the holidays," Gibson said of his family. "But I'm not going to do it that way. You're not going to hear what I feel every day, but certain things that I feel are strong or powerful."
Gibson said he will use the account to try and share positive and uplifting messages.
"This won't be very frequently probably, but hopefully there's something behind it that people can identify with and maybe I can lift them up as well," Gibson said. "I'm not a man of a ton of words as you guys know. Sometimes you get [ticked] off at me about it."
D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said he has no plans to join Twitter.
"He's so competitive I'm sure I'm going to find out every day how many followers he has," Towers said of Gibson.
Said D-backs team president/CEO Derrick Hall, "I'm happy for him, because look, this is somebody who encourages our players to be interactive and social media is probably the best vehicle for interaction with fans. And for him to even have an interest in that it shows he values our fans."
Gibson was up to 6,500 followers by early evening Wednesday and Hall said he has no doubt that Gibson hopes to surpass the 18,500 that Hall has.
"At this point the race is on," D-backs managing general partner Ken Kendrick said. "And my money is on Gibby."
Executives address team before first full-squad workout
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Before the D-backs took the field for Wednesday's first full-squad workout, they heard from a variety of team executives as well as ownership during a morning meeting.
Managing general partner Ken Kendrick, team president/CEO Derrick Hall and general manager Kevin Towers addressed the team as did representatives from a variety of departments including media relations.
"When you see people walking around you should know who they are and what they do," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said in explaining why a variety of people speak to the team each year. "We take pride in having a connected organization and we're all teammates. It's not just the guys in the clubhouse, it's everybody within the organization and I think it's important to affirm that. And it's entertaining, it's powerful and it puts us in a strong, powerful position."
Kendrick said he told the team that they didn't need anyone in the room to be the smartest guy in the room, they needed all the guys to be smart.
"We needed to understand what being smart in baseball is all about and how you get to be a smart baseball player," Kendrick said he told them. "In my mind it's very much about listening and learning from your elders. We have, fortunately, an extraordinary group of coaches and a manager who have incredible accomplishments in the game so I encouraged these guys to pay close attention. This is the time of the year that I think they have an opportunity to learn and become better and hopefully become better baseball players."
Hall, as is his custom, talked to the players about the pride the organization takes in being the most fan-friendly team in sports, but he also had a baseball message as well.
"I reminded them on the first day of workouts 30 teams are going to have the same feeling and message that they can win," Hall said. "But the reality is there are only a handful that truly do and I believe we're one of those teams. And really praising Ken and ownership to extend payroll to its largest level, which shows we do believe in this team."
Following the meeting, Gibson sent out his first-ever tweet.
"Unreal...so pumped!" it read.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.