PHOENIX -- This weekend's Interleague series between the D-backs and Athletics features two teams not exactly familiar with each other. The club's managers, however, are another story entirely. Serving as Bob Melvin's bench coach in Arizona from 2007-09, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson credits the current Oakland skipper for teaching him many of the responsibilities of managing a baseball team. "I respect him tremendously, as much as you can respect somebody," Gibson said. "He's taught me a lot, obviously, and we're very close friends. Always have been, always will be."
Teammates with the Tigers in 1985, Gibson and Melvin's relationship began in Detroit but flourished as the two led the D-backs to the National League West crown in 2007. "He's kind of like he was as a player, very smart, very heady and very consistent in his approach and determination," Gibson said. "He wears a lot on the inside, and you'd never know it. It's always hard to look at Bob Melvin and see what he's feeling." The most important lesson Melvin taught Gibson was about his emotions and how to deal with them when times are tough. "He was always very in control of his emotions," Gibson said. "You can't get frustrated and be emotional. You have to continue to steer the ship; you can't let go of the wheel."