Proof Positive: Part 3 of 3
Photo by Jordan Megenhardt
By Josh Greene
A pitcher during his playing days, Towers can appreciate how the team has persevered under Gibson this season, especially when you factor in the club’s 33 come-from-behind victories through mid-August, which includes overcoming a pair of six-run deficits against Houston.
“He is very positive, and your true leaders are the ones who are at their best during adverse times,” the D-backs’ GM said. “I’ve seen that with Gibby many times throughout the year. The team doesn’t press or panic. If players see you press or panic, they’ll tend to do the same. He hasn’t been that way. A couple of times with losing streaks, he’s tried to loosen things up and keep guys at ease. It’s hard to do, especially when you’re a competitor like Gibby. It worked for him as a player, and it’s certainly worked for our players. You go game to game and don’t get too caught up. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. You turn the page and get back to what we do well the next day.”
According to Trammell, it all began the second week of May. Mired in a five-game losing streak – five games decided by one run – the D-backs’ 2011 season needed a nudge and got one with a closed door meeting that coincided with a 15-3 record to close out the month and the first of a franchise-best trio of seven-game winning streaks in a single season.
“When the times get tough, my coaching staff and I get back in that room and close the door,” Gibson said. “We reaffirm. One time this season, things were going bad, and it didn’t look very good for us. I said, ‘Have our goals changed?’ No, nothing changed. We have to make sure the team knows that, so for us to be solid, committed and dedicated to persevere, we need to stay on message in terms of what we set out to do. That’s very important. My staff’s been unbelievable.
“I’m a goal-oriented person, so I know I can’t accomplish that on my own. I’m smart enough to know that. I’m not going to have my staff go down there and be dedicated, and then have me go down and trump them. I work through those guys. I give those guys all the credit in the world. This isn’t about me sitting here like some sort of professor making decisions. The way I manage is through my coaching staff.”
Regardless of how far the D-backs advance this postseason, the NL’s fourth highest run-scoring club has raised the bar for an even bigger and better effort in 2012. While the wins haven’t always looked pretty this season, to the team’s manager, they’ve looked positively fine.
“We make the same mistakes, but overcome them,” Gibson said. “That’s who we are. You have to keep competing. I talk to Tram about how many mistakes we make, but it doesn’t faze us. That’s a good sign. Would I prefer we play a clean game? Sure, but that’s not reality, and I’m alright with that. I’ll win anyway we can win. What we want to do is come and grind it out. When other teams say these guys won’t quit, I love that. When we hit a ball off the end of the bat, it trickles into the outfield and you hear the pitcher complaining, I love that. It just mentally pummels them. You want to pressure your opponent. You want to make them uneasy.”
“We make mistakes, and come right back and do it again. But we deal with it. We don’t get down. We don’t put our heads down and go, ‘Awww.’ We just keep coming. People ask me if I get frustrated with our mistakes. You could if you let yourself. That’s who we are, but that’s what makes us so good. We may lose, but we’re going to give you every shot. And you know what? If we don’t get you tonight, we’ll play you tomorrow.”
To read Part 1 of 3, CLICK HERE.
To read Part 2 of 3, CLICK HERE.