LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers interviewed former World Series hero and former Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson for their vacant managerial job some time in the last week. The interview was first reported by Jim Bowden of ESPN, and confirmed by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
Gibson, who played for the Dodgers from 1988-1990 and hit the most famous home run in franchise history - to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series - managed the Diamondbacks for parts of five seasons from 2010-2014.
He was 353-375 (.485) during his tenure in Arizona, including a division title and 94 wins in 2011, a season that saw him win National League Manager of the Year honors. Gibson was a coach in Arizona from 2007-2010 when current Dodgers senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes was the general manager, though they never worked together as manager and GM with the Diamondbacks, as Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch were fired in July 2010, which opened the managerial position for Gibson.
Gibson, 58, began and ended his playing career with the Tigers and also coached on Detroit's staff from 2003 to 2005. He signed on to call Tigers games on television for Fox Sports Detroit in 2015, but took a leave of absence when Gibson revealed he had Parkinson's disease, releasing a statement through FSD:
I have faced many different obstacles in my life, and have always maintained a strong belief that no matter the circumstances, I could overcome those obstacles. While this diagnosis poses a new kind of challenge for me, I intend to stay true to my beliefs. With the support of my family and friends, I will meet this challenge with the same determination and unwavering intensity that I have displayed in all of my endeavors in life. I look forward to being back at the ballpark as soon as possible.
Gibson returned to the booth in July to call games, and was happy to be back, per Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press:
"It's the people," he said. "Being around the people, the fans, they're incredible and highly supportive of me. The Tigers have been great, the people, the fans, Fox, my family and I've had so many people reach out to me that it really makes me feel good. I'm eternally grateful."
But Gibson, with the support of his wife, JoAnn and their four children – Cam Gibson was recently drafted in the fourth round by the Tigers – is committed to his therapy and dealing with the symptoms and trying to stop the progression of the disease.
"I'm tired," he admitted after the game. "It's a process, it's something you gotta build up to and learn how to deal with it."
Gibson has Parkinson’s disease, but evidently has responded well enough to medication that he feels comfortable pursuing #Dodgers’ job.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 4, 2015
Gibson is the latest in a long line of candidates for Dodgers manager — some of whom have interviewed and some who have not — including Dave Roberts, Bud Black, Darin Erstad, Dave Martinez, Bob Geren, Gabe Kapler, Tim Wallach and Ron Roenicke.
The Dodgers, with the only managerial vacancy in MLB, reportedly will conduct some managerial interviews at the GM meetings, which will be held next week, Nov. 9-12 in Boca Raton, Fla., per Buster Olney of ESPN. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he planned to have a manager in place by the winter meetings, which will be held Dec. 7-10 in Nashville, Tenn.