John Gibbons was one of seven candidates the Pirates interviewed to replace John Russell as manager, but Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that he’s removed his name from consideration for the job and will remain the Royals’ bench coach.
Gibbons was one of six finalists for the gig because the seventh candidate Pittsburgh interviewed, Eric Wedge, opted to take the Mariners’ job, although some reports have suggested that the Pirates are also waiting to interview a coach currently involved in the playoffs, such as Tony Pena of the Yankees.
Gibbons had all kinds of good things to say about the Pirates and his interest in the job earlier this week, so pulling out of consideration seems odd. In addition to Gibbons and Wedge, the Pirates have also interviewed Jeff Banister, Ken Macha, Bo Porter, Dale Sveum, and Carlos Tosca.
John Altobelli was the coach of the Orange Coast College baseball team in Califorinia. He was well known in and around Major League Baseball having worked with and mentored several men who went on to big league careers. There was an excellent profile of him recently at The Athletic.
Altobelli was also a friend of Kobe Bryant’s, and his daughter Alyssa, like Bryant’s daughter Gianna, were members of the Mamba Sports Academy. John and Alyssa Altobelli were, unfortunately, traveling with the Bryants and others to a basketball tournament when their helicopter crashed killing all nine on board.
At Bryant’s memorial service in Los Angeles yesterday, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said that he was texting with Bryant minutes before Bryant’s death. During the flight, it seems, Bryant reached out Pelinka to see whether he knew “a certain baseball agent in Southern California,” because he wanted help Altobelli’s other daughter, sixteen-year-old Lexi, find an internship with one.
Today the Los Angeles Times reports that that “certain baseball agent” was Scott Boras and that, yes, he has stepped in to offer Lexi Altobelli an internship. Lexi Altobelli will rotate through marketing, baseball operations, sports science and office administration among other areas of Boras Corp.
Nice move, Scott.