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Yes, the Diamondbacks really do want “gritty” players

Jan 24, 2013, 5:30 PM EDT

upton, justin (getty) Getty Images

Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers was on a media conference call a little while ago and he confirmed what Rosenthal’s sources were telling him about how the Dbacks really just want a Kirk Gibson-like, gritty player.”

Asked about grittiness, here is what Towers said:

“That’s the way Gibby played the game … That’s how we won in 2011 … Justin was a part of that team. We kind of like that gritty, hard-nosed player. I’m not saying Justin isn’t that type.”

But, in reality, he actually did, noting how Upton’s “body language” didn’t really please everyone, and stressing how the players he got back from the Braves were, in fact, “gritty.”

This is all such silliness. It makes me think that either (a) Kevin Towers is off his rocker; or (b) there is really some specific, deeper problem between Upton and the Dbacks and, in an effort to make it sound like merely a bad fit, Towers is allowing himself to traffic in the silly “gritty” stuff.  Probably worth noting that Towers has not, historically, been off his rocker, so maybe he’s just trying too hard not to say something bad about Justin Upton and is doing a poor job of it.

But as for grit, I don’t know what’s more gritty than a player getting so mad at the other team scoring a run that he literally throws a trash can, and the only player involved in this trade who I have ever seen do that is Justin Upton.

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    In other words, see my first comment here: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/24/why-did-the-dbacks-trade-justin-upton-anyway/

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Jan 25, 2013 at 4:32 AM

      Typically when people post links here they stick to Simpsons clips from Youtube, 1980s movie clips, and that ridiculous “workout” video from Yoenis Cespedes. The only person who posts HBT links to his own work on HBT is Craig, and he’s Batman.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      Guessing by the thumbs down is that you actually think I support the “grittiness” comments. Which I don’t, but whatever.

  2. Ben - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    This whole thing is starting to feel like Mel Brooks and Kafka got together to try to run a ball team for a couple years or something.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:14 PM

      I was thinking: how am I not supposed to make a snarky comment about grit v. athleticism & code words?

      • Ben - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:14 PM

        Since I brought up Kafka, we could make it about drones instead:
        Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was killed by a Predator drone.

      • Ben - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:16 PM

        Oh cool, twitter links auto-embed. I didn’t know that!

      • historiophiliac - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:59 PM

        Man, that put me too much in my head.

      • Ben - Jan 24, 2013 at 8:31 PM

        The irony is almost too biting.

  3. cur68 - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Upton not only gritty, he plays the game with great intelligence. If only he had a bit of Mike Trout’s athleticism to go along with it. Oy.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      I see what you did there…

      • cur68 - Jan 24, 2013 at 8:54 PM

        Paradigm change be a mo-fo.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 25, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        If it were a real paradigm change, it would be a fa-fo, wouldn’t it?

  4. mrfloydpink - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Perhaps they can call the Mariners and work a trade–grit for veteran leadership? Maybe they will have to involve a third team that has an excess of heart and/or determination.

  5. petey1999 - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Throwing trash cans = gritty? How about beating Gatorade coolers with a bat? How about getting into fights with your teammates in the dugout? I suppose you would consider Carlos Zambrano “gritty”.

  6. dondada10 - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    “or (b) there is really some specific, deeper problem between Upton and the Dbacks and, in an effort to make it sound like merely a bad fit, Towers is allowing himself to traffic in the silly “gritty” stuff.”

    This. I can see the problem being something between Gibby and Upton. Something along the lines of Upton not wanting to kiss Gibson’s ass.

    • gloccamorra - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      You’ll have to add Ken Kendrick to the equation. It was Kendrick who blew up on Upton and Drew, and they’re both gone now. Gibson may have had a problem seeing eye to eye with Upton, but Kendrick owns the team, and Towers works for him. KT is too good a baseball man to be making such backward trades on his own, he must be under pressure from a Steinbrenner wannabe.

  7. Brian Murphy - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    After reading those comments from Towers, which columnist is going to do some mental gymnastics to connect the dots and hint that this done partially due to racism? Some kook has got to be insane enough to say it.

    • whmiv21 - Jan 24, 2013 at 10:57 PM

      He traded Chris Young, too. Towers is a racist!

  8. schlom - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    MLBTradeRumors has Kevin Towers’ trade history with the Padres here: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/03/kevin-towers–.html

    You trade with Towers at your own peril. There’s a few bad ones – David Freese for Jim Edmonds (although Freese was blocked by younger, better Chase Headley) – but many total heists.

  9. caeser12 - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    “Gritty”

    Translation: Servile.

  10. sheriffpeyton18 - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    He got lazy last year!! As a Dbacks fan, he was a cancer on the team.

  11. schlom - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    I think it’s pretty hilarious that everyone thinks that Kevin Towers is an idiot and that he has no idea what he is doing. I guess he just lucked his way into all those awesome trades with the Padres and the Diamondbacks improvement since he took over as GM is just a fluke.

  12. yahmule - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    I don’t know if this is any reflection on Justin’s grittiness, but Gibson suggested they play Uptown Girl when he’s walking to the plate.

  13. itsacurse - Jan 24, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    “Wow! Kirk Gibson!” – Kevin Towers every time he meets with his team’s manager

  14. chacochicken - Jan 24, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    I’d like to offer KT two boxes of premium 30 grit sandpaper and a 500 lb. grouper for Paul Goldschmidt.

  15. ningenito78 - Jan 24, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    All this makes me think: a.) Craig is a die hard Braves fan and b.) that’s it.

  16. louhudson23 - Jan 25, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    Prado will be missed.Uptons are check collectors cashing in “potential” coupons…..

  17. schmedley69 - Jan 25, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    The Braves outfield is now brimming with potential. Potentially the laziest outfield in baseball.

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