D-backs GM Mike Hazen takes full responsibility for team procedures
Living under a boulder or not, you’ve most likely heard about the sign-stealing scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball.
A total of three managers and a GM ended up losing their jobs for their parts in the scandal that centered around the Houston Astros’ 2017 World Series run. The Astros lost their first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts, while firing both manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow.
The Boston Red Sox, who have been accused of cheating during their 2018 World Series run, and New York Mets fired managers Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran, respectively. Both had been a part of the Astros team in question, with Cora serving as Boston’s manager from 2017 to 2019.
Some in the baseball world have argued that it was on the players and coaches. Others believe it’s the front offices’ duty to be vigilant.
Joining the Doug & Wolf show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station, Arizona Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen set the record straight.
“Yes, yes, 100%. It’s 100% my responsibility, end of story,” Hazen said when asked if it was on him if anything like the scandal transpired in the D-backs organization.
As for the punishment handed down, the GM is more focused on revamping the roster.
“I’m not gonna weigh in on that situation necessarily, I’m not paid for my opinion on broad, league-wide issues,” Hazen said.
Another issue Hazen was willing to touch on was the potential change to the MLB playoffs in the near future.
According to a report in the New York Post, MLB officials are thinking of completely revamping the playoffs. The new-look format includes increasing the number of playoff teams from 10 to 14 and would feature three division winners and four wild cards in each league. One-game playoffs would be nonexistent, with the best team in each league receiving a first-round bye, while the 12 other teams face off in best-of-3 series. From there, the two division winners get to choose their playoff opponent.
In short, the MLB playoffs landscape could look very different as early as 2022.
But while baseball traditionalists stick up their nose to the potential change, Hazen is in the mindset of looking toward the future.
“I’m a huge fan of evolving our game and change, huge fan,” Hazen said. “I love the purity of our game, I love the traditional nature of baseball. I think it has been played, in general, in the same way for a 100 years, I love that. I love the fact that no matter how good it gets, everyone just hits .300. And everyone says people have been failing 70% of the time for a 100 years, no matter what we’ve done to the game.
“I love those things. I think as an industry, we always have to be on the forefront of evolution. We always have to be on the forefront of what is more exciting to the fans. We are an entertainment business in a lot of ways and that’s the beauty of professional sports. How do we marry those two things? I don’t think we should ever be resistant to the concept of change. I’ll be the first one to tell you that people tell me to calm down when it comes to change because it’s too crazy in my mind when we talk about some of these things because I love change.”