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Kirk Gibson - NL Manager of the Year?

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Perhaps, but don't tell him about it:

Manager of the Year question irks Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson

LOS ANGELES -- In some corners of the baseball world, the Diamondbacks' Kirk Gibson is viewed as a virtual lock to win the National League Manager of the Year award.

But for those looking to get themselves in Gibson's good graces, it might not be a good idea to bring this up.

"Come on, are you kidding me?" Gibson said to a reporter Tuesday. "That's the last thing on my mind. I'm insulted you would ask me about that."

Gibson consistently has refused to address his players' candidacy for major awards and seemed to take the same tack when asked about his own resume. He went from annoyed to borderline angry when a reporter asked follow-up questions before Tuesday night's game.

"I can't stop you from writing that, but I'd prefer things that focus on our team," he said. "Our goals are on our team, and I could give two (expletive) about whether I'm Manager of the Year. Honestly."

The award typically goes to a manager whose team has outperformed expectations. Under those guidelines, no NL manager is more deserving considering the Diamondbacks were not expected to contend, let alone run away with the NL West.

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I predicted somewhere around here (can't find it) that Kirk Gibson would get run out of the clubhouse by a Diamondbacks team that wouldn't put up with his nonsense. Boy, was I ever wrong!

Congratulations on your division title, Kirk.

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There have been a lot of stories out here in Phoenix about how, at 55, Gibson is not that fiery guy anymore. He actually does display a calm demeanor in the dugout and he has instilled hard work and technique into his players and the entire organization. Both Tram and Gibby have heaped praise upon Sparky for teaching them how to manage a game and handle players. In Gibby's case in particular he has given Sparky praise for teaching him how to handle fiery, immature players like himself.

There was a story about earlier in the year when Justin Upton, known to lose his temper, get tossed from a game and harm his team as a result. Upton was called out on strikes. He lost it and Gibby, instead of going out and protecting his player and taking the heat off Upton even if he was wrong, let Upton grow by basically telling him "look, you can either lose it and get tossed from the game and hurt your team or you can handle it like a man, continue playing and do something about it next time up." It was a big moment in the season for the team and Upton personally.

But all year long Gibby has deferred praise from individuals like Ian Kennedy as a Cy Young canidate and Upton as an MVP candidate in favor of team goals. It has worked.

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That's tremendous emotionally intelligence on Gibby's part. Good for him and the Diamondbacks.

Now let's go beat the hell out of them in the Series.

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What's the honest chance that Gibby comes to manage the Tigers after Leyland ends up too injured to manage when the mountain of cigarette butts in his office avalanche over him at his desk?

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