The press conference to officially announce Kirk Gibson as the manager of the Diamondbacks through 2012 is scheduled to take place at 3pm, Arizona time. It will also cover the hiring of Jerry DiPoto as the Senior VP of Scouting and Player Development. There's live coverage of the event on Fox Sports Arizona and FoxSportsArizona.com, so if you're about to watch that, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here. I'm going to be quickly transcribing interesting snippets as they arise, and will post those after the jump as the event proceeds.
- Towers opens the conference. Two year extension for Gibson, with an option for 2013 [not sure if that's Gibson's or the team]
- Says Towers, "I saw a lot of great things Jerry did around the trade deadline... Jerry will oversee all aspect of scouting and player development. He will be a huge asset to me going forward. We share similar philosophies"
- "These are two great guys I'm happy to go to battle with."
- Kirk Gibson. "You have to have great attention to detail."
- "It's a great challenge, great mentors along the way. I think I'm prepared. It's my time."
- Jerry DiPoto. "I'm really appreciate of the opportunity to stay."
- "We have a vision now. We're headed in the right direction and I want to be a part of that."
Question and answers.
- Gibson asked about how he developed in his interim phase. Players weren't very happy at the message he put over during his one team meeting, but they seem to understand it now. "Told some of my players, If I was back, things will be a little bit different... "
- "I did some things for reaction, but we're going to get it, one way or another. We may have to attack things from several different angles. I have a lot of ideas."
- To Towers, what convinced you Gibson was the right man? He "felt changes needed to take place", but it was as much "intuition" as anything else. "This man right here isn't going to take anything less than winning... He's going to demand it, and make sure it's followed through on."
- To Gibson, what changes in philosophy between now and spring training? "There's a way to compete...to give yourself an opportunity to score enough runs... When you pressure your opponent, they make more mistakes, that's how you get into big innings. We can't self-destruct... I've written down all the good and bad situations, and we'll recreate them all.. We'll practice all the plays we didn't execute... I want my pitchers to be able to slash (not just bunt)... If Todd Helton comes running it there, he'd better be prepared to hit the deck."
- What about the K's? "We will solve strikeouts. I won't be able to click my fingers, but it will be a topic of conversation, either through personnel change or approach change... A lot of that is about your own mentality."
- Changes on the coaching staff? "We're compiling a list of people, names I might like to see assist me. Kevin and Jerry have had input on it, but because of the playoffs, a lot of people are still under contract. We've been exchanging names for some times. It's obviously something I'd like to get settled as quickly as possible."
- To Jerry, what made you decide to stay. "It's home. I believe in the people in the organization, and the organization itself... At the end of the day, I know grass-roots baseball.. The job description is that I can now get better at the things I'm good at. I'm really excited at what the future holds. We've got something good at the low-levels. We feel like this is an opportunity for the organization to see some forward growth in a relatively short period of time. It's an exciting time to be in the organization. I'd be crazy if I didn't want to see it through."
- To Gibson, do you need a roster makeover? "I think there's a lot of pieces in place. A lot of our opponents have a hard time figuring out why we haven't been more successful."
- What do you want the biggest change to be? "How we're able to compete in many more situations... There's a long, long list of things we have to do better. Our baserunning for example has not been good this year."
- To Towers. What kind of player do you want to bring in? "The most important thing is creating an identity for ourselves. An image that this is who we are... I like athletes, and we certainly need to shore up our bullpen... My hope is that people know after spring training, who we are. That we're winners, they're tough... We want to be the team that's wearing the horns. When we get into the lobby, I want people to be able to say "That's the Diamondbacks.""
Kirk Gibson talking to Jody Jackson
- When did you get the feeling you would be his choice? They talked until after 3am in their first meeting, and as they went on, they felt like there was more common ground. "We have a real good vision of the future."
- What did you mean by players being more aware of the scoreboard? "The innings, who's pitching, who's on base... It lets you know what play to make... Sometimes we get into trouble by trying to make great plays on people who don't mean anything."
- What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time here. "I'm not proud of anything. This is a great challenge, and I know where I want to go... When you win a World Series...that's the best thing you could ever experience, make you feel better than any individual thing you have ever done."
- "I think [the players] understand what I'm about...we feel better about each other. They understand that I'm a competitor."
Kevin Towers talking to Jody Jackson
- Only came to the conclusion Gibson was the right guy than the middle of this road-trip.
- "When Gibson enters a room, people take notice. Great players, winning-type players have a swagger to them. You didn't have to look at their stats. We need a lot of players that are going to have similar swagger and focus."
- "In the off-season we'll talk philosophy. It's my job to make changes that are necessary from a product standpoint."
- Do we need more veterans? "I like veteran presence. They know what you need to do to get better. People lead differently. Ken Caminiti - all he had to do was stare at you. I'm sure several will emerge: if they're not here currently, we'll have to find a few."
- DiPoto "is a huge asset. He's going to be my right-hand man going forward... Without him in the fold, October would have been trying to find a Jerry DiPoto
Jerry DiPoto talking to Jody Jackson
- Obviously a feeling of disappointment when they named KT, but finishing second to him isn't the worst thing in the world.
- "I'm proud of what we were able to do in July and August. That Daniel Hudson deal is one I'll remember. Corbin and Skaggs have tremendous potential."
- Pitching depth: "I feel good about where we are now... We have a nice group of pitching... I think the next wave is closer than people think."