Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers believes the team he put together is better than it has played.
In first place for much of the season, the D-backs are now all but mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, with the GM even admitting that the schedule is “pretty much running out” on the team.
So, as the D-backs have fewer than a month’s worth of games left in a regular season that appears headed for a disappointing finish, many find themselves wondering where it all went wrong. Towers is among them, as he believes the group he’s assembled has spent the season working hard and pulling for one another.
“It’s one of the better clubhouses we’ve had in a long, long time, and I have 100 percent conviction in that,” he told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday. “It’s just the sense of urgency, you almost feel like it’s a sense, for a large part of them, just being content where we’re at.
“Well, I know I’m not content, I know my owner’s not content, I know our fan base isn’t content, and if it continues to be this, changes are going to have to take place.”
At 69-68, the D-backs are 13.5 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West and are now eight games behind the Reds for the second Wild Card spot.
Things do look bleak for a club that went into the season with some pretty high expectations, and when things don’t work out changes, like Towers said, generally take place.
“I am frustrated. I know Ken Kendrick’s frustrated…Derrick Hall, Gibby,” he said. “I wish I could put my thumb on it.
“I think we are a better ballclub, that we were going to be a better ballclub. I still think we have a chance and we should finish better than the year before, but I’m not in this, I know our fanbase isn’t looking for just a .500 ballclub every year.”
Yet, that is apparently what the Diamondbacks are, and after going 81-81 last season, they appear to have regressed since winning 94 games and the division in 2011.
But don’t look for Towers to point the finger at manager Kirk Gibson, who was the MLB Manager of the Year in 2011. Gibson has compiled a record of 278-266 in parts of four seasons at the helm.
“If for some reason we miss the playoffs I think we’re all accountable,” he said. “This isn’t Gibby’s fault for where we’re at. I certainly share in the blame, I’m the one who provides Gibby the product.
“Gibby’s job as the manager is to manage the product.”
Towers said he’s sure Gibson would say he could have done things differently, too, and added the players, too, could question their performance this year. But at the end of the day, he’s not into throwing people under the bus when things go bad.
He added that when he told Gibson, upon hiring him, that if he thinks a change needs to be made he will give the skipper forewarning as to why.
“But I said, ‘My neck’s in the noose with you buddy, my job is to put the best support staff I can around you and make you as good a manager as I can. If we can’t do that, we both go down a blazing, we go down a blazing.’
“I still support Gibby 100 percent and I think that he needs to be better. I’m sure there’s a lot of things I need to be better at, and our players as well.”