The Arizona Diamondbacks’ disappointing, major league-worst start has invoked a strong reaction from observers, who are gaining volume as they call for terminations, demotions, promotions and releases.
Naturally, people get vilified in a season that starts with a 5-18 record.
With each failure, the urgency for a change seems to rise.
General manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson, in particular, seem to be the punching bags of the fan base, which is increasingly expressing an ouster of one, the other or both.
On Thursday, following the Diamondbacks sixth win of the season and preceding their seventh, team president and CEO Derrick Hall joined Doug and Wolf to discuss the state of the Diamondbacks and the job security of Towers and Gibson.
“I care deeply about both of these guys,” he began.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve talked about how great of a job they’ve done.”
Hall went on to point out that Towers and Gibson have yet to produce a losing season, despite going 81-81 in both seasons since the team’s 2011 playoff appearance. That season, Gibson won the National League’s Manager of the Year award. Towers, meanwhile, is considered one of the greatest general managers in the history of the game, according to Hall.
“That’s baseball, that’s sports — how quickly things can change,” he went on. “And it’s sad.
“It’s human nature for fans to call for heads. That happens. And in positions like ours, naturally, you think about all action plans.”
And the reality is, after just 25 games, Hall’s Diamondbacks are 11 games below .500. They’ve already relegated two of the members of their starting rotation to the bullpen while accruing an eight game deficit in the National League West. Both Gibson and Towers have individually held themselves accountable on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM for the poor performance of the team thus far.
The starting rotation has performed as the worst in baseball and there doesn’t appear to be all that much hope on the immediate horizon, save maybe Archie Bradley.
If the tides don’t turn for the Diamondbacks, the big brass — Hall and managing general partner Ken Kendrick — will need to prioritize business over their respective relationships with their subordinates. Ticket sales, respect and loyalty are at stake in the fan base. That Hall knows, and also cares about, he told the show. And thus, he’s open to changes.
“You don’t make any definitive decisions at this point, but of course you talk about any and everything.”