Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers Calls Out His Team For Not Throwing At Batters
Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is not happy with the fight his team showed, or didn’t show, this year and didn’t hold back the frustration on radio with Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo on Tuesday. The main area Towers was upset about this season was the Diamondbacks lack of support for a teammate getting hit by a pitch.
Towers specifically mentions a moment from a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 9 at Dodgers stadium. In the game the Dodgers hit six home runs including three by Juan Uribe. Watching his team get beat sideways was just what started his frustration.
With the game getting out of hand, the Dodgers celebration in the dugout grew with each homer. Towers watched from his seat behind home plate, where he often sits with Dennis Gilbert, as Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig fed Uribe a banana after coming in the dugout from one of his homers.
“Literally, if I would have had a carton of baseballs I would have fired them into the dugout from where I was sitting behind home plate,” said Towers. “That’s not who we are as Diamondbacks…I mean, it’s a reflection on Gibby, on myself, on our entire organization. They slapped us around and we took it.”
Following the drubbing Towers had “a few choice words” for his coaching staff and made it very clear where the organization would draw the line. It seems easy enough to get the message to a coaching staff anchored by a Manager like Kirk Gibson who wouldn’t stand for such a thing in his playing days.
However, in the coming days there would be no change to suffice Towers. Paul Goldschmidt, the team’s MVP candidate, was plunked a little over a week later on September 19 and none of his teammates came to his defense.
“Not that I don’t take any of our guys from a lesser standpoint, but if Goldy’s getting hit, it’s an eye for an eye, somebody’s going down or somebody’s going to get jackknifed.”
Towers made it a point to say players aren’t being taught early in their career to stick up for their own on a more consistent basis and went on to say, “We need to make a statement.”
The Diamondbacks made a statement on Tuesday by relieving Pitching Coach Charles Nagy of his duties with the team. It is clear the message Towers is sending and he finished his message with, “Come spring training, it will be duly noted that it’s going to be an eye for an eye and we’re going to protect one another.”
“If not, if you have options there’s ways to get you out of here and you don’t follow suit or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you probably don’t belong in a Diamondbacks uniform.”