D-backs fire manager, GM; Gibson in
The Arizona Diamondbacks will replace manager A.J. Hinch with former MLB star Kirk Gibson.
The team also dismissed general manager Josh Byrnes; Diamondbacks scouting executive Jerry Dipoto will succeed him on an interim basis.
Team president Derrick Hall called the dismissals "a first and major step in the re-evaluation of our team.''
One Diamondbacks official said the team has made “no commitment to the duration” of Dipoto’s tenure as the interim GM, suggesting that he might not be the franchise’s long-term leader. Dipoto is closely tied to Byrnes. They worked together with the Red Sox, and Dipoto played for the Indians while Byrnes was an executive there.
Arizona is last in the National League West with a 31-48 record. Hinch spent barely more than one year on the job, despite receiving a contract through 2012 when he took over for Bob Melvin last May.
By the standards of non-uniform personnel, the Diamondbacks will eat an enormous amount of money in making these moves — more than $7 million, sources said. Byrnes was under contract through 2015.
The separation between Byrnes and the Diamondbacks will be especially sensitive, because of his ownership stake in the club.
If the Diamondbacks reopen interviews for the GM job after the season — or even before then — industry sources expect they will give serious consideration to former Padres GM Kevin Towers and Dodgers scouting executive Logan White.
USA Today first reported Hinch's firing Thursday night.
Gibson hit .268 with 255 home runs, 870 RBIs and 284 stolen bases in 17 seasons as a major league outfielder with Detroit, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City and Pittsburgh. He is best remembered for one of the game's most dramatic home runs.
Gibson was the Dodgers' team leader and NL MVP in the 1988 regular season, but injuries to both legs kept him on the bench when the World Series against Oakland began.
In Game 1, barely able to walk, Gibson came to the plate as a pinch hitter in the ninth and hit Dennis Eckersley's 0-2 pitch into the right field seats of Dodger Stadium to give Los Angeles a 5-4 victory. He limped around the bases, pumping his fist in triumph, as broadcaster Jack Buck uttered his famous "I don't believe what I just saw!"
The Associated Press contributed to this report.