Green: Who is steering the S.S. Diamondbacks?
A ship without a captain will run aground, and a team
without a general manager will at best run in circles.
With the trade deadline looming, the Arizona Diamondbacks
don’t seem to have the one guy who is ready and capable of
guiding them through the perilous waters that lie ahead in
the coming days.
Across the street from Chase Field sits the US Airways
Center, home of the Phoenix Suns. Like the Diamondbacks,
they entered a key time of the year without a true general
manager. Instead, the team’s owner (Robert Sarver), head
coach (Alvin Gentry) and others within the organization
navigated the team through the free agency.
How they did, ultimately, will be decided once the games
start later this year, but from the looks of it I’d say a
real, actual plan was discarded in favor of just adding
pieces now and worrying about how they will fit together
later. While a different setting in a different sport, the
Diamondbacks are on the verge of proving just how
necessary it is to have one guy, reaching for established
goals, when making decisions.
The firing of Josh “Organizational Advocacy” Byrnes meant
any semblance of a plan, even a bad one, was discarded
with him. With no true successor, the blueprint for how
the roster will be assembled is at worst what it was
before, at best a drastic change towards a more successful
approach, but more than likely just plain absent.
And that, my friends, is dangerous territory for a team on
the verge of trading its best pitcher, even if he’s having
a down year.
This not to say the Diamondbacks should not be looking to
move Haren, because if they can get a good return on him
they absolutely should. They are a terrible team, their
farm system is lacking talent and depth, and there is
really no immediate hope for the team to turn the corner
and contend in the mediocre NL West.
But from listening to interviews and reading articles, it
is really tough to tell who exactly is in charge of the
shaping of the roster. Is it Interim-General Manager Jerry
Dipoto? Does Interim-Manager Kirk Gibson have a say? Is
Team President Derrick Hall, seemingly the voice of the
franchise, calling the shots? Sure seems like it.
One guy we can assume doesn’t have a say is owner Ken
Kendrick who, for all his faults, does a good job of
letting his baseball people call the shots while he signs
the paychecks. That strategy doesn’t work when you have
the wrong people in charge, as Kendrick now knows, but is
absolutely the way to run a team.
The Diamondbacks have some big decisions to make in the
coming days. While struggling now, the team does have
talent, and with the right moves could find itself
competitive sooner rather than later.
However, the fans better hope the one calling the shots –
whoever it is – is prepared and knows what they’re doing,
otherwise the S.S. Diamondbacks will find itself
floundering at the bottom of the standings for a while.
Adam can be reached with your questions and comments by
here, and you can follow him on Twitter @theAdamGreen