As initially reported by USA Today's Bob Nightengale and confirmed by others, A.J. Hinch has been fired as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Josh Byrnes has also been relieved of his duties as General Manager. There is no word yet on other possible coaching staff changes. A formal announcement is expected tomorrow (Friday) at 10am with Derrick Hall and Ken Kendrick. The press conference will be aired on FSAZ and foxsportsarizona.com.
A.J. Hinch was hired May 8th, 2009 after Arizona fired Bob Melvin. Hinch had been in his 4th season in the Player Development capacity for the Diamondbacks. He was given a 4-year contract without any previous (minor or major league) coaching experience. He was a major league catcher over parts of 7 seasons with the Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, and Philadelphia Phillies.
Hinch led the Diamondbacks to a 58-75 record (70-92 overall) in 2009. The Diamondbacks are currently 31-48, 15 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading San Diego Padres. Hinch's managerial record with the Diamondbacks will end at 89-123, (.420).
Josh Byrnes was hired in October of 2005, replacing interim GM Bob Gebhard. Byrnes signed an 8-year extension during the off season prior to Spring Training 2008. Word on "the street" is that Byrnes was asked to fire Hinch, refused, and was then himself fired. [edit at 8:00am, soco:] Just saw on MLB Network's Quick Pitch that Jon Heyman is reaffirming that Byrnes was canned after refusing to dump Hinch; "he was loyal to a fault, and it may have cost him this time."