"That's the hardest [conversation] so far in 30 years of sending guys to Triple-A or releasing them," La Russa said. "A man of his stature. This is one of the greatest competitors of our generation and I saw it on the other side, and he and I, even before I got here, had developed a nice, respectful relationship."
- Tony La Russa on firing Kirk Gibson
"I am extremely appreciative for this opportunity and I had a great experience with the Diamondbacks," Gibson said in a statement. "I know we had a tough year and people will look at this as a negative, but we accomplished a lot of good things here. I told the team that I have nothing but the utmost respect for this organization and the people I've met along the way. Most of all, I'd like to thank the players, coaches, staff and everyone within the organization for their unwavering support while I was here."
- Kirk Gibson
The Diamondbacks did their best to embrace the spoiler role left for them to play in the final series of the year, but couldn't nail things down, falling to the St. Louis Cardinals in 10 innings Friday at Chase Field.
When he went to bed on Thursday night, Tony La Russa thought he had reached a decision on what to do about D-backs manager Kirk Gibson. When he awoke on Friday, La Russa was sure it was time to dismiss Gibson and bench coach Alan Trammell.
For the Diamondbacks to have a chief baseball officer underneath a CEO and just above a leadership duo in baseball operations is already unique enough, but it's even more unusual considering the club's new general manager spent the past decade working as an agent.
The D-backs' way has not been tried before, at least in this exact format, with chief baseball officer Tony La Russa leading a team of executives that includes Stewart and De Jon Watson in complementary front office positions of general manager and head of baseball operations.
The Arizona Diamondbacks announced the firing of manager Kirk Gibson and bench coach Alan Trammell on Friday, leaving many to question who the next name to fill the dugout might be.: According to chief baseball officer Tony La Russa, a decision needs to be made "the quicker the better."
This is 2014. And no matter how much appreciation we might have for Gibson as a lifetime baseball guy with a lengthy list of achievements and earnest old-school intentions, the emphasis on grit, the barbaric "eye for an eye" mindset and, most of all, the pileup of losses made him undoubtedly expendable for a D-backs club in transition.