Derrick Hall: D-backs ‘couldn’t put the blame’ on manager Torey Lovullo
Losing more than 100 games in an MLB season usually happens when there’s more than one reason for failure.
For the Arizona Diamondbacks, that realistic view played a part in the team opting not to scapegoat or blame manager Torey Lovullo for the results this season.
He was extended through 2022 before the 2021 regular season ended, a sign that the team’s executive management will allow him to lead a developmental period for the franchise.
“As we said all along, we couldn’t put the blame on him,” D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Thursday, a week after the manager was extended. “I think most people, the reaction we’ve gotten from fans, from everyone internally — and I mean everyone internally that knows him — the reaction we’ve gotten is … ‘We’re glad he’s back.’
“We have a lot of faith, a lot of confidence in Torey. He just didn’t have all the weapons this year. Also, because of the situation we were in, that roster changed dramatically throughout the season. This was a roster that started with Eduardo Escobar and Tim Locastro and Asdrubal Cabrera and Stephen Vogt. … He juggled a lot of moving parts and I think he tried to keep it together.”
Arizona sits in last place across Major League Baseball at 50-108 with four games to play.
Midseason, the D-backs shifted their priorities to get more looks at their younger players. General manager Mike Hazen told Bickley & Marotta on Tuesday that they will identify veterans to supplement the younger core they hope can be a part of the next successful era in the franchise’s history.
With that, Lovullo will be judged in a contract season once again.
From Hall’s perspective, how does he promote optimism about the immediate future after retaining a manager who lost well above 100 games?
“We are not condoning bad baseball. I think it goes back to where do you place the blame?” Hall said. “It’s on the entire organization to right the ship. I think the marketing to the plan is being transparent and honest, and say, ‘This was a horrible season.’ We’ve talked about the reset, the refresh. We’ve seen really good signs with some young players who are here.
“We have to reprioritize the importance — and reestablish the importance — of veterans and search for those veterans who can now be a balance to the roster that we create for next year that can bring impact and help teach these young players.”