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Grit isn’t enough: now the Dbacks general manager wants his team to be dirty too

Oct 9, 2013, 6:57 AM EDT

Kevin Towers

Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers inspired a lot of jokes last winter when he insisted that his team be “gritty” and proceeded to trade away Justin Upton for Martin Prado (among other moves) that he claimed were about instilling a blue collar attitude. That wasn’t enough, though, apparently. Now he wants his team to be out-and-out dirty.

He went on a radio show yesterday and talked about how upset he was that his team seemed to be something less than dour in the dugout during some losses and how, when he saw them on a monitor goofing off “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.” UPDATE: I got this wrong. Apparently it was the Dodgers goofing off he didn’t like and said he’d throw baseballs at them if he could. Which, either way, seems kinda messed up.

But more offensive to him was the fact that, in his mind anyway, Dbacks pitchers didn’t hit opposing batters enough. Really, he said that:

You’d think the GM comes down and makes it a point to talk to the staff about it that at we need to start protecting our own and doing things differently,” he said. “Probably a week later Goldy gets dinged, and no retaliation. It’s like ‘wait a minute.’

“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 jacknifed.”

Towers went on to claim that part of the reason pitching coach Charles Nagy was fired was because his pitchers didn’t hit enough guys. Worth noting, as Rob Neyer noted on Twitter last night, that Arizona’s batters were hit by 43 pitches in 2013 while Arizona’s pitchers hit 60 batters. So apparently he doesn’t want an “eye for an eye.” He wants something more on the order of two eyes.

If Kevin Towers fired Nagy for not instructing pitchers to hit more batters I hope Nagy told him where to shove it when he walked out the door. If he wants Dbacks players “jack-knifing” the opposition, I hope he gets out of his friggin’ armchair when the benches clear and starts mixing it up with other players.

And, if he continues to stand by these comments — and if he really did instruct Nagy to have pitchers plunk guys — I hope Major League Baseball disciplines him, just as it would discipline any pitcher it was convinced intentionally threw at a batter. Indeed, MLB should discipline him more for ordering it from the position of authority he inexplicably continues to hold.

  1. akhlishbutler - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    Reblogged this on Stay tuned for Latest Updates and Events over the Globe.

    • bravojawja - Oct 9, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      Reblogged this on Circling the Bases.

      • The Dangerous Mabry - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        Now that’s actually amusing.

      • clemente2 - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        Clap clap

  2. mplsjoe - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:02 AM

    I initially read the headline as “DBags general manager wants…” Would have fit better.

  3. dondada10 - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    I’m surprised Towers didn’t get mad at Goldy [sic] for not bashing the pitcher’s brains out with his bat.

  4. philliesblow - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    ….”Arizona’s batters were hit by 43 pitches in 2013 while Arizona’s pitchers hit 60 batters. So apparently he doesn’t want an “eye for an eye.” He wants something more on the order of two eyes.”…..

    But how many of those 60 batters hit were just bad control by the pitcher, rather than being done as retaliation? Seems Towers wants a player who will enforce a “right way to play” ethic, you know, like the Braves try to teach everyone. Hmm, Brian McCann is a free agent. Who better to get pitchers to throw at batters at the right time than a catcher?

    • atlsp - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Despite all the “right way to play” talk, very rarely have I seen the Braves retaliate when one of their hitters has been HBP’d. I’ve even heard Fredi Gonzalez say in post-game comments that “it’s not something we need to do” (paraphrasing).

      FWIW, Braves pitchers hit 51 batters this year while Braves batters were hit 55 times.

  5. moogro - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    He needs to spend less time in his head being a fan and more being a general manager. Close the jackknife before you cut your finger off.

    TWTW x 120 grit sandpaper = scratchy furniture

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 9, 2013 at 9:15 AM

      On the contrary. Towers needs to spend his time exclusively as a fan and hand the reins of general manager to someone else.

  6. babyfarkmcgeezax - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    Hire the Toothpick as manager and you will get all the hit batters you want

  7. jarathen - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    The rest of the NL West must be cautiously optimistic about this approach to AZ giving up baserunners for a few bruises.

    • sportsdrenched - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      in which they will make those bruises feel much better after a party in the Diamondbacks Pool!

  8. paperlions - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Towers appears to be an idiot, and unaccountable. The players he assembled won 81 games…but it is the player’s fault (again, players he acquired) that more games weren’t won because they were not being big enough dicks? Uh huh.

    Stealing someone else’s observation (don’t remember who), the D-Backs won 81 games in 2012, remade their roster based on “grit” adn won 81 games in 2013. I think they just quantified the value of grit.

    • flamethrower101 - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      If Towers was truly “unaccountable” he’d have fired Gibson and blamed it all on him. Seems like he’s more misguided than anything, but I would hope MLB seriously looks into his comments because drilling opposing players “just because” is completely idiotic and unacceptable.

    • gbrim - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Towers acquires (and overpays) a lot of pitchers, then blames Nagy when they don’t perform better than Towers had any reason to expect. Heath Bell? $12 MM per year in 2014 or ’15 for Trevor Cahill? Big bucks for McCarthy, who is good for 6-8 weeks on the DL every year? Big $ extension for Putz, who is getting older and has never been an ironman. Must be Nagy’s fault…….

  9. historiophiliac - Oct 9, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Armchair generals. ha ha

  10. Old Gator - Oct 9, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    The Braves talk the talk. But the D-backs walk the walk. Heh. Why not try putting shoe polish in your manager’s cap, Kevin?

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 9, 2013 at 8:53 AM

      None of that sissy papered on eye black for the Diamondbacks. From now on they will have to use the real stuff that runs.

      Next thing to add is beards that are stained with tobacco juice.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      Well, they did fire Steve Sax yesterday, too.

  11. tbutler704 - Oct 9, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Kevin Towers is a thug.

  12. flamethrower101 - Oct 9, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    These comments seem like something MLB could and should look into. I cannot remember a team that I despise more whole-heartedly than I do the Dbags (not a typo) and how they run themselves. The Braves might be the “fun police” of the NL but they’re not all total douchebags, even if they did stand up a franchise icon.

  13. icanspeel - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Doesn’t make sense.. esp since he traded away Ian Kennedy who did throw at people.

    • nsauser - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Yea, but Towers wants it done on purpose!!!

  14. nsauser - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    All of Gibby’s Yes men on staff were asked back . . . all if these guys (KT included) will be looking for work.

  15. Sign Ahead - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    As a Diamondbacks fan, I am really embarrassed for my team right now.

    • flamethrower101 - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      I feel for you. They make the braves look like saints.

  16. misterj167 - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Maybe he thinks he’s GM of the Cardinals…the ARIZONA Cardinals

    Baseball ain’t football, dude

  17. whitdog23 - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    just trying to bump up his street cred and the team’s too. just trying to create a new image. nothing else

  18. bringbackkosar - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Towers must be from the Jerry Jones “look at me” GM mold…since my team under-achieves, I’ll just blow a lot of hot air so they’ll keep talking about me. Tool

  19. yahmule - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Charles Nagy always seemed like a class act to me. He belongs in a better organization. The good thing is Towers and Gibby will almost certainly poison the well for him with their like-minded troglodyte friends around the league, so he isn’t as likely to be stuck in this position again.

  20. ningenito78 - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Pretty sure the only person making fun of him for that ‘grit’ comment was Craig Calcaterra.

    • yahmule - Oct 9, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Dead certain he wasn’t

  21. lew24 - Oct 9, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    I’m just waiting for Towers to talk about how he was misquoted!

  22. sc101071 - Oct 9, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Huh… Baseball people don’t agree with your pussified take on enforcing the “unwritten rules”. People actually losing their job for failing to enforce them.

    Takes a real tough scribe to mock professional athletes. Tough guy.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      Lay off the vagina hating.

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