PHOENIX - Could the Detroit Tigers' current search for a skipper result in the Arizona Diamondbacks looking for a manager?
In other words, could former Tiger All-Star player, and one-time bench coach, Kirk Gibson wind up replacing Jim Leyland, who stepped down Monday.
"It's been a thrill," said Leyland, who managed the Tigers for eight seasons, including three division titles and a pair of pennants. "When it's time, it's time. And it's time."
That said, might it be time for Gibby-Ball to return to his native Michigan? According to MLB Insider Danny Knobler, "Gibson is on the Tigers' list of possible successors to Jim Leyland, sources say."
Here's what else Kirk Gibson happens to be right now – under contract. His deal runs through the upcoming season, although the D-backs decided against exercising Gibson's contract options for 2015 and 2016.
Would Gibson seek the security of a guaranteed multi-year deal? Would Gibson aspire to manage a roster loaded with All-Stars and Cy Young winners that fell just short of reaching the World Series? Would Gibson like to go home again, where he still spends a majority of his off-season?
Multiple reports quote the D-backs front office as stating that Gibson is "not going anywhere." Fair enough. And that stance is certainly understandable, especially if D-backs' coach Matt Williams becomes the next manager of the Washington Nationals in the near future, as media reports speculate.
However, as tweeted by national baseball writer Bob Nightengale, the D-backs "likely would let Kirk Gibson interview for Tigers vacancy if Tigers request permission knowing his roots are (in) Detroit."
Perhaps the more pertinent question really revolves around whether Gibson himself would request permission to speak with the Tigers front office? At first glance, it would only seem to make sense, right? After all, the D-backs did fire two of his coaches (Charles Nagy & Steve Sax), while his hitting coach (Don Baylor) just made a lateral move to take the same position with the Angels.
Are we sure that GibbyBall won't call his own hit and run – straight to Motown?