I think we all know that sometime in the next two or three years Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland will probably retire, resign or be fired.
And when that happens, Tigers’ management should seriously consider hiring Kirk Gibson to lead the team. No this is not just sappy 1984 sentiment. This is based on Gibson’s ability and his passion for the game and for the Tigers.
If you recall, Gibby previously served as a coach for buddy Alan Trammell when he managed Detroit from 2003 through 2005. The Tigers were losers during that rough period but let’s remember that Tigers GM and President Dave Dombrowski and team owner Mike Ilitch didn’t provide much talent until the 2005 season. And most importantly, Gibson was not the manager.
Many believe, including Leyland, that Trammell and Gibson had finally instilled professionalism back into the clubhouse and helped prepare the club for the 2006 run to the World Series.
If there is anyone who can motivate players it is Kirk Gibson. Just ask any former teammate from Detroit, Los Angeles, Kansas City or Pittsburgh. He does not put up with crap, he is a positive motivator, and from what I’ve been told, he has a very good baseball mind and would be able to put together a strong coaching staff.
Gibson played 17 years in the Big Leagues, most of those under Hall of Fame managers Sparky Anderson and Tommy LaSorda — and he now has six years of coaching under his belt. He is now entering his fourth season as a bench coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Ironically, Gibson’s competition for the Tigers job may very well be his former teammate Tommy Brookens who has climbed the ladder as a Minor League manager in the Tigers organization.
Some team is eventually going to give Gibson a shot at managing. It might as well be the Tigers.