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Is there room for Wade Miley under that bus?

Oct 9, 2013, 12:23 PM EDT

Kevin Towers AP

Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is a dinosaur, no doubt, but he’s also in charge of a major league baseball team, so we have little choice but to take him somewhat seriously, even when he goes on to a radio show (Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo show, to be specific) says stuff like this:

“I was sitting behind home plate that game and when it showed up on the Diamondvision of stuffing bananas down their throats, I felt like we were a punching bag,”

“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.”

“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. Probably a week later Goldy gets dinged, and no retaliation. It’s like ‘wait a minute.”

“Some of [the pitchers], contractually, it’s tough to move. But I think 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.”

Well, with quotes like that, one would think the Diamondbacks must have been plunked, what, twice as often as they hit batters? At least significantly more often, right?

No, of course not. Diamondbacks pitchers hit 60 batters this year. Their hitters were plunked 43 times.

But not all hit by pitches are created equal. What about the Diamondbacks’ big star, the aforementioned Goldy. The guy opposing teams were throwing at weekly. Or monthly. Or every other month.

Paul Goldschmidt was hit three times all year, on April 22 by the Giants, on July 31 by the Rays and on Sept. 19 by the Dodgers.

Interesting enough, Wade Miley was the pitcher all three times Goldschmidt was hit. And he was the one who never retaliated. The sophomore left-hander hit just four batters all season.

So, get rid of him, obviously. He’s making practically the minimum, so he’s not one of those guys who would be “contractually tough to move.” That was kind of an odd comment, too. The Diamondbacks’ only pitchers who would be tough to move without eating cash are Brandon McCarthy and relievers J.J. Putz and Heath Bell. And McCarthy would only be tough to move because the Diamondbacks backloaded his two-year deal so that he’ll make $9 million next year. Even so, there might be interested teams. Trevor Cahill isn’t exactly a bargain at $20 million for the next two years, but there are teams that would take that on.

So, get the Padres back on the phone. Ian Kennedy was the closest thing the Diamondbacks had to an enforcer this year, setting off a brawl with the Dodgers and hitting 10 batters in all. Which didn’t stop Towers from giving him away at the trade deadline. But if Towers asks nicely enough, surely the Padres will send him back to Arizona for that softy Miley.

Anyway, a lot of this is Towers diverting attention after his remade roster did no better than his old one. Not only is it a pathetic way to do so, but it should really get him fined by the league. Baseball doesn’t need its general managers publicly advocating throwing at and hitting batters.

  1. stoutfiles - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    I think pitchers need to be charged with assault for purposely trying to hurt another player. This whole “eye-for-an-eye” stuff needs to stop. The instigator needs to be charged with a crime and there needs to be no retaliation. These are men with families that rely on baseball to make money and one bad pitch can ruin their whole life.

    • pappageorgio - Oct 9, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      Oh dear lord. just don’t watch then.

      A crime? Go watch ultimate frisbee or something…it sounds more like your style.

      • stoutfiles - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        So you’d be cool if your coworker got into a fight with another guy, and he attacked YOU because you work at the same place as your coworker?

        Hell, it’s one thing to get revenge, but the guy getting plunked usually has nothing to do with it. He’s just the best player, or the next batter up.

        It’s fine that everyone disagrees and thinks baseball needs to be manly, but one of these days someone is going to be seriously hurt with a revenge pitch to the head and everyone will pull a 180 and say they’ve never agreed with pitcher revenge. You want revenge? Man up and beat the other team, don’t try to hurt their players.

  2. nsauser - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Ian Kennedy is not an enforcer, his control is awful.

    • jm91rs - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      I thought his accuracy wasn’t far off when he was aiming for Greinke’s head.

      • nsauser - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        I’m mainly speaking about the Puig sequence that helped start the brawl. Over the years I’ve watched Kennedy, he’s proven he cannot be trusted when going up and in to right handed batters.

  3. koufaxmitzvah - Oct 9, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    This is a classy organization, after all, with a natural rivalry against LA (and not the OC) and an iconic swimming pool that those non-classy, spoiled, and far wealthier Dodgers of Los Angeles must’ve pissed in or something. And let me remind you about those Dodgers… they’ve got fans who dare to wear Blue t-shirts when sitting behind home plate. I mean, come on, Craig, give the guy a break.

  4. unclehilroy - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    TL;DR

  5. schlom - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Isn’t everyone totally overreacting to this story? I think it’s entirely possible that Towers is saying what the players want him to say? Or that those comments were just intended to fire up the Diamondback fans who (correctly or not) want to hear these types of statements? Contrary to the groupthink around here Towers is not an idiot and is one of the better GM’s in baseball – look at his history with the Padres and the Diamondbacks.

    • nsauser - Oct 9, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      You may be right that Towers is trying to re-ignite the team and fan base. I think it’s having an opposite effect.

      I’ll speak for myself who is a Braves fan first but living in Phoenix allows me to be a Dbacks fan second. My wife and family like the team and we have the games on our tv very frequently if not every night.

      With that said, in 2012 I had 2 – 10 game season tickets. This last season I went to one game, when the Braves were in town. I simply did not have the desire to go to the games and I think the “grit” talk had an effect on me. The Dbacks tried to market a less-skilled team as a division contender and it didn’t work.

  6. yahmule - Oct 9, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    A lot of teams would gladly take Wade Miley off their hands.

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