Derrick Hall: D-backs ‘couldn’t put the blame’ on manager Torey Lovullo

Sep 30, 2021, 12:52 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall interviews with Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports...
Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall interviews with Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Feb. 13, 2020. (Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)
(Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)

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.”

Arizona Diamondbacks

A general view of Chase Field during a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondback...
Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks sign highly ranked international shortstop prospect

The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to sign one of the top international shortstop prospects, Abdidas De La Cruz, for $1.2 million. 
7 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte (4) throws to home plate in the bottom of the fifth...
Arizona Sports

D-backs scheduled to face Rockies in Las Vegas spring series

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies have scheduled a spring training series on March 18-19 in Las Vegas.
8 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals and head coach Kliff Kingsbury wait along the sidelines du...
Kevin Zimmerman

New Year’s resolutions for the Arizona sports teams in 2022

Here are what the local teams that air on 98.7 FM can look forward to achieving in the new year. Let's lend them some resolutions.
24 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns dunks the ball over Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers  durin...
Arizona Sports

The best Arizona sports plays of 2021

Being in high-leverage games tends to produce big moments, and multiple local teams competed for a championship this year.
22 days ago
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

The most-read stories of 2021

It's been a newsy year in the sports world. For, we looked at the two most-read articles for every month of 2021.
23 days ago
Suns’ Devin Booker doesn’t play 4th quarter of NBA Finals’ Game 3 loss (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)...
Kellan Olson

The best Arizona sports performances of 2021

The Arizona sports scene provided some great individual performances in the year 2021. Here are some of the best.
25 days ago
Derrick Hall: D-backs ‘couldn’t put the blame’ on manager Torey Lovullo