Best Cool-Looking (Interim) Manager in the Majors (2010)

Arizona Diamondbacks' Kirk Gibson

If ever there were a superhero-looking (and -acting) baseball manager, it would square-jawed, stubble-faced Kirk Gibson. He's the man's man who makes going bald as an onion cool. Women find him sexy as hell, guys have a man-crush on him. When the camera pans over to the Arizona Diamondbacks dugout and Gibby, you can see it on his rugged face: He hates to freakin' lose! And the Snakes have lost lots this season (they have a firm hold on last place in the National League West) — though not as often since he took over the team when manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Josh Byrnes were canned finally. That mighty face beneath the red D-Backs cap could almost make you believe the massive losing will stop now. Almost. There's the matter of the improved-through-trades-but-still-mediocre pitching staff. But if Gibson could chew nails and make it happen, he would. He did close to that when he was a player with the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He led the Tigers to their 1984 World Series victory, but he's best known for a homer he hit for the Dodgers in the first game of the 1988 Series against the Oakland A's. With injuries to both legs and battling stomach flu, Gibson wasn't expected to play. But the Dodgers were trailing 4-3 with two outs in the ninth inning. With one guy on base, manager Tommy Lasorda needed to at least get a run home to tie the game. Gibson was sent to the plate and immediately fell behind 0-2. He laid off a couple of balls, and the count was 2-2. Then — in one of the greatest moments in sports history — he hit the ball over the right-field fence to give the Dodgers a 5-4 victory. He hobbled around the bases and pumped his fist to the crowd; it was a scene that fans who saw it will never forget. Always known as an intense player, he had become the Dodgers' team leader, literally willing one of the most mediocre teams ever to play in a World Series to an eventual 4-1 victory over the superior A's. We'd like to see what this balls-out guy could do over a whole season with the Snakes. Sometimes great players make lousy managers, but we're thinking Gibson could be the exception.


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