D-backs GM: Arizona Diamondbacks lost 'a little bit of swagger' in 2012
The 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks could never quite recapture the magic of the 2011 squad who had a flare for the dramatic, never-say-die attitude and the mental toughness to overcome any adversity that came their way.
As the season comes to a close, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Wednesday he and manager Kirk Gibson are well aware this year's group lost some of the attitude and confidence that was instrumental in last year's winning campaign.
"[Gibson] believes in blue collar style of play, playing hard, eye for an eye," Towers said. "I think we missed a little bit of that edge and I think we lost a little of that swagger and I think that's probably most concerning for [Gibson] when he's holding himself accountable."
Towers said Gibson takes responsibility for the players not buying into the philosophy the way they did last year when the D-backs won the National League West and its imperative they re-establish that mentality in 2013.
"He feels it was his duty and his job that we were able to sustain some of that edge and that swagger and that meanness and that intensity that we played at and I don't think he thought or I thought we had that this year and we've got to get it back," Towers stated.
Towers hinted at a lack of leadership in the clubhouse but said it is the players' responsibility to own up to what went wrong this year, even though it's not always easy to admit who's at fault.
"I try to have kind of a strong presence down there in the clubhouse, always kind of have my thumb on the pulse of the club," Towers explained. "Sometimes the truth hurts and it's probably tough to put a player in that position where he talks about what went wrong, how did you lose the swagger, how did you lose the edge but sometimes the players are probably able to answer that a lot better than myself and [Gibson]."
While it's certainly the D-backs' hope next year's group will be able to implement the team's philosophy that brought such unexpected and gratifying success, Towers knows ultimately it's up to the guys in uniform to believe in it.
"It's really up to the players to buy in and you need all the players to buy in," Towers said. "It takes a band of brothers of 25 guys to come together and believe and to challenge one another and hold each other accountable."
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