Arizona Diamondbacks’ general manager Kevin Towers set the internet ablaze Wednesday with his “eye for an eye” comments that urged his players to stand up for themselves and retaliate when necessary.
While most of the reaction has been negative, ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian explained Towers’ stance and that it’s not a surprise to people within the industry.
“This is Kevin Towers. This is what everyone in baseball knows him to be,” Kurkjian told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Wednesday. “He is a tough guy who is not afraid to speak his mind. Even though he’s a young-ish guy, he’s an old-school guy in every way. And being a former pitcher, he is not about to let anybody get away with anything.”
Kurkjian said that when Towers took the job, he changed the culture of the team and brought in guys that were going to play hard and tough. If Towers saw any of those players not meet those expectations, he was going to let them know it was not acceptable and this was Towers’ way of doing that.
“This is his way of saying, ‘We’re getting back to that the minute next season starts, because we’re not going .500 again, and more important than that, we’re not going to be intimidated by anyone,'” Kurkjian said. “‘If someone hits our guy, we’re going to hit him back. That’s how baseball’s worked for 120 years, and we’re going to take it back.'”
While Kurkjian understands where Towers is coming from, he doesn’t necessarily support it.
“Even though I’m definitely not in favor of hitting anybody on purpose,” Kurkjian said, before adding, “I’m telling you, when you don’t do your job hitting and retaliating properly, you’ll at worst become a pariah on your team.”