Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers has not shied away from venting frustration about his team’s lack of fight.
Towers has pointed to many instances where his pitchers did not hit a member of the other team after a perceived slight or beaning of a D-back.
Toward the end of the season, the L.A. Dodgers clubbed six home runs in an 8-1 drubbing of the D-backs, which was a game that saw the eventual NL West champs look a little too comfortable in the dugout.
“I was sitting behind home plate that game and when it showed up on the Diamondvision of stuffing bananas down their throats, I felt like we were a punching bag,” Towers told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Tuesday. “Literally, if I would have had a carton of baseballs I would have fired them into the dugout from where I was sitting behind home plate.
“That’s not who we are as Diamondbacks, that’s not how — I mean, it’s a reflection on Gibby, on myself, on our entire organization. They slapped us around and we took it.”
Towers said that has to stop, and following the game he had “a few choice words for the (coaching) staff.”
“You’d think the GM comes down and makes it a point to talk to the staff about it that at we need to start protecting our own and doing things differently,” he said. “Probably a week later Goldy gets dinged, and no retaliation. It’s like ‘wait a minute.’
“Not that I don’t take any of our guys from a lesser standpoint, but if Goldy’s getting hit, it’s an eye for an eye, somebody’s going down or somebody’s going to get jackknifed.”
The general manager made it a point to say he does not mean pitchers should be looking to seriously hurt someone, but instead just needs to know there are certain parts of the game that must be adhered to.
Towers said the responsibility to protect teammates used to to be taught early in a player’s career, but things are a bit different nowadays. The players should know what needs to be done, but sometimes someone has to tell them what to do.
And when that doesn’t get done, change is in order, which is part of the reason why the team parted with pitching coach Charles Nagy Tuesday.
It won’t be as simple to get rid of any offending pitchers, though.
“Some of them, contractually, it’s tough to move,” he said. “But I think come spring training, it will be duly noted that it’s going to be an eye for an eye and we’re going to protect one another.
“If not, if you have options there’s ways to get you out of here and you don’t follow suit or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you probably don’t belong in a Diamondbacks uniform.”