Gibson stays positive amid D-backs' struggles

Gibson stays positive amid D-backs' struggles

Gibson stays positive amid D-backs' struggles
PHOENIX -- With the team playing below expectations and ownership speaking out publicly against a pair of players, some have wondered if the D-backs' clubhouse might be on the verge of breaking off into factions.

It is something that the organization will be proactive about.

"It's always a concern," D-backs GM Kevin Towers said. "My hope is it doesn't come to that, because when that happens then it's usually a lost cause. You try to address that before it becomes a problem. A lot of that is pure speculation, hearsay, whispers -- and that's something that [manager Kirk Gibson] will probably handle. It's not my spot to be down in the clubhouse. He's aware of it, and I think he's the right guy to kind of rally the troops and keep us as one."

To this point there does not appear to be any infighting, and the team has played better of late, winning two of three from the Padres and Rockies.

"That's the only way we're going to fight through these difficult times -- is to pull for one another and support one another and not start pointing fingers," Towers said. "This is the time when things get out there and people start airing out sometimes dirty laundry publicly, and that's never good. If there's issues that we have within our clubhouse, then we need to deal with it head on among us. I'm not saying it's there yet, but I think we'll catch it before it happens."

Gibson held a team meeting Wednesday, and while he declined to specify what he said to his players, it is a safe bet that the tone was a positive one.

Despite the public image he gained during his playing days as a fire-breathing, outspoken person who was quick to fly off the handle, Gibson is far more measured as a manager and is more likely to praise than criticize his players.

"My goal is to stay focused and stay on task and not to lose our composure, our cause and who we are," Gibson said when asked about what he planned on saying in the meeting. "Sometimes we just need to sit down and reaffirm that fact. We're going to affirm good things."