UPDATE: Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona says the decision has been made. Gibson will be back.
According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com new Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers will make an announcement “regarding manager Kirk Gibson and coaching staff” Monday, with the assumption being that Gibson will be named the full-time manager after filling the role on an interim basis for the final 83 games of the season.
Gibson’s winning percentage is actually slightly worse than the .420 mark that predecessor A.J. Hinch posted in one-plus season on the job before being fired, but the former MVP and World Series hero has generally received positive reviews from Diamondbacks players and the media.
Towers and Gibson recently spent time together on a road trip in what the GM described as “a getting-to-know-each-other session.” In addition to apparently keeping Gibson as manager, Towers also successfully kept Jerry Dipoto in the organization after the former interim GM finished runner-up to him in the full-time GM job search.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.