SAN FRANCISCO -- Kirk Gibson is rooting for the Oakland A's these days. It's not that the D-backs manager has anything against any of the other teams in the American League, it's just that Gibson likes seeing his friend and mentor Bob Melvin succeed in his role as A's manager. Melvin's Oakland team entered Monday having won nine straight games and was tied with the Yankees for the second-best record in the AL.
"He's awesome," Gibson said. "I'm really happy for him. He's really got those guys rolling. He's done a great job. We're pulling for him. He's very smart, understands how things work. He's a pretty good organizer of people and their psychology. He's just very good [at knowing how] to operate his guys. He's got a different personality that plays very well. I'm really close friends with him. He brought me here." When he managed the D-backs, Melvin hired Gibson to be his bench coach. Melvin was dismissed as manager by former GM Josh Byrnes in May 2009. Byrnes replaced him with A.J. Hinch in a move that was widely panned and did not result in improved play on the field. A little more than a year later, both Byrnes and Hinch were dismissed. "When Bob got let go from the Diamondbacks, he was not in a good frame of mind," Gibson said. "He was really not happy about it, as he shouldn't have been. We talked more about how do we get you onto the next spot. He sat out and he got his opportunity, and as I thought he would, he's made great progress with that club. That's just who he is."