There’s something to be said about an Arizona Diamondbacks team that hasn’t wavered in its demeanor during a disappointing season.
But where is the line in the competitive sand drawn when it comes to a team being too nice during such struggle?
D-backs CEO and president Derrick Hall said the team will be evaluating that for the rest of 2016 and the offseason.
“I think there was a period in the season where we were asking the same question you are,” Hall said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf show. “You know, are we too soft? Do we need some anger in this clubhouse? Do we need someone who’s going to stand up as a loud, demonstrative, vocal leader? We may still need that and that’s all part of the evaluation. I do know we have really good guys on this team.”
Manager Chip Hale might be considered the most demonstrative when it comes to emotion, but he’s a level-headed firecracker at his most emotional moments.
Jake Lamb’s humble self-promotion during the All-Star voting process was a fine example of the Arizona’s friendly image, and star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt made news for creating a Twitter account and promoting Lamb’s All-Star candidacy. That it’s newsworthy in these parts says a bit about the D-backs.
Not once during this tumultuous season has an Arizona player suggested radical change was needed. The D-backs have maintained they believe in themselves and each other.
This isn’t the same situation as three years ago when then-general manager Kevin Towers took issue with how his team laid down in a beating against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There’s been no throwing players under the bus by the coaching staff, or vice versa. The criticism from the front office down to the players has been about execution, nothing more.
The cynic would say Arizona’s players failing to play the blame game might be evidence of a PR-savvy clubhouse, that it’s not genuine. But it just might be how the Diamondbacks really feel.
Is that a problem?
The Diamondbacks have to evaluate such things.
“At times, we’ve been criticized from the outside of having too good of guys, and you never really hear that,” Hall said. “If you’ve got 25 really good guys that are happy and like being around each other, you would think that’s a good thing. Some would say it’s not.”