The Main Stream

Jul 1, 2010 11:52 PM

Diamondbacks Fire Manager A.J. Hinch & GM Josh Byrnes

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today that they have dismissed Executive Vice President & General Manager Josh Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch from their duties and named Jerry Dipoto interim General Manager and Kirk Gibson interim manager for the remainder of the season, according to D-backs’ Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick and President & CEO Derrick Hall.

“I appreciate the commitment and dedication that Josh and A.J. demonstrated during their tenures,” Kendrick said. “Their dismissal is a significant decision, but one that we find necessary in order to achieve a direction of winning consistently on the field again. We have a number of talented players, but obviously see great room for improvement. We look forward to bringing permanence to these two baseball leadership roles.”

“These decisions come as a first and major step in our thorough evaluation of our team,” Hall said. “We have all been disappointed in the results over the last few years, and we have come to the conclusion that a change in the leadership of our baseball operations staff is necessary at this time. This franchise has enjoyed tremendous success over the years and we want to get back to our winning ways. The loyal staff of this organization, as well as all of our fans, hopes for and deserves better results on the field.”

Dipoto has been with the D-backs since 2006 and was currently overseeing all aspects of the organization’s scouting efforts as Vice President, Player Personnel for the past two seasons before accepting the interim General Manager position. The former right-handed pitcher joined the D-backs after serving as the Colorado Rockies’ Director of Player Personnel during the 2005 season following two seasons (2003-04) in the scouting department for the Boston Red Sox. Dipoto posted a 27-24 record with 49 saves and a 4.05 ERA in 390 appearances as a reliever during an eight-year Major League career with the Cleveland Indians, New York Mets and Rockies from 1993-2000.

Gibson has served as the D-backs’ bench coach since the beginning of the 2007 season after serving in the same capacity with the Detroit Tigers from 2003-05. The former outfielder played an integral role on two World Championship teams and batted .268 with 255 home runs, 870 RBI and 284 stolen bases during a distinguished 17-year playing career with the Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates. Gibson earned MVP honors in the 1984 American League Championship Series prior to the Tigers defeating the San Diego Padres in the World Series. He also earned National League MVP honors while with the Dodgers in 1988 and leading them to a World Championship title by hitting one of most memorable home runs in World Series history off of the Oakland Athletics’ Dennis Eckersley in Game 1.

Byrnes was named General Manager on Oct. 28, 2005 after serving as an Assistant General Manager with the Rockies (2000-02) and Red Sox (2003-05). The D-backs compiled a 349-378 record (.480) during Byrnes’ five seasons as General Manager, which included winning the National League West division with a league-best 90-72 mark and advancing to the League Championship Series against the Rockies in 2007.

Hinch posted an 89-123 record (.420) with the D-backs after being named the fifth manager in franchise history on May 8, 2009. Prior to being named manager, Hinch spent three-plus seasons leading the D-backs’ player development efforts from 2006-09. He joined the D-backs’ front office after playing parts of seven Major League seasons as a catcher with the Athletics, Royals, Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies from 1998-2004.

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