Manager Kirk Gibson has pushed the right buttons a lot during this 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks season. With some young talent, solid pitching and a hodge-podge of veteran players known for effort and playing the game the right way. He has asked players to move around and do things that they might not particularly like.
In particular, you can look at Zach Duke and his move to the bullpen. He has been an established starter in the league for a while and, while he struggled last season and this season in that role, he is a proud player who believes in himself.
While he was not thrilled about being moved to the bullpen, outside of his outing in relief of Barry Enright, he has been solid. More importantly, he has not complained publicly when it is a role he would rather not have.
In Saturday's pregame press conference, when asked about Duke, manager Kirk Gibson gave his favorite quote from George Perles, "Keep your mouth shut and good things will happen."
"I'm a firm believer that when you complain and go around and talk about situations, the game will get you," said Gibson.
He praised his team for being "outstanding" in the situations he has put them in, whether it be moving Micah Owings between starting and the bullpen, taking Duke out of the rotation, being really tough on Joe Saunders during the spring and early on in the season or releasing a player like Aaron Heilman.
Perhaps this style of keeping a lot of guys on their toes has been one of the keys of the team's success. Maybe it worked because of the versatility the players on the team has, something that Gibby likes about his roster. Whatever the reason, with less than two months in the season and the Diamondbacks right in the thick of things, we shoudl expect more of the same for the rest of the year.