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Are Kirk Gibson or Kevin Towers in trouble?

Apr 23, 2014, 11:36 AM EDT

Towers Gibson AP AP

There hasn’t been any noise to that effect out of Arizona despite the Diamondbacks horrific start, but Jon Morosi of Fox notes today that some Diamondbacks players are giving the sorts of quotes you tend to see from teams who make major changes at the top soon after.

Specifically, some quotes from Eric Chavez. Like this:

“I’ve never seen anything like it, to be honest with you,” Chavez said. “I’ve been on teams that weren’t very good, but at least I felt like we were competitive. So, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

It’s not yet into the territory of “Gibby Watch” or anything, but the thing that tends to inspire those sorts of moves is discouraged-sounding ballplayers. Probably worth watching.

 

  1. grizzlystrike - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Players fault because they aren’t good but Towers constructed the team so he is most to blame.

    • ditto65 - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      Who is more at fault: A talentless team or the person who assembled it?

      • jeffbbf - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        I think it’s fair to say that Towers de-constructed it. Eaton, Skaggs, Bauer, Chris Johnson, Juston Upton, Ryan Cook, Jarrod Parker. Prado, Cahill, Delgado and Trumbo to show for it.

    • kindasporty - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Players can only play up to their talent level. I mean, if guys are being lazy, you can say the manager isn’t motivating them, but it’s still the player’s fault for being lazy. If a guy is just bad at baseball but he’s giving it everything he’s got day in and day out, then that’s the GM’s fault for putting him on the team to begin with.

      • moogro - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        What came first, the under-performing chicken or the talentless egg?

      • Old Gator - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        On July 13, 1923, Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews and his team of paleontologists discovered the nest of what they believed to be Protoceratops in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Andrews thereby proved definitively that dinosaurs laid eggs. However, he was unable to determine which came first.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        The player evolved from grit and laid an egg.

    • irlfannphx - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      This team LOST 3 starting pitchers to Tommy John Surgery BEFORE the season even started. Towers assembled what was a pretty strong rotation. Only to have it disintegrate within 3 weeks of camp opening

  2. bringbackkosar - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    LOL, Towers was the “leading from the rear” tool who complained the team didn’t retaliate enough for HBPs. As the GM, why not sign yourself to a contract, make Gibson put you in the lineup, and then dig in at the plate against Kershaw or Greinke – show us how it’s done, tough guy!

  3. dowhatifeellike - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    They just need more grit and hustle.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      *hit and gristle

  4. rollinghighwayblues - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    As two mean who have spouted off such machismo in the last year, they deserve each other.

  5. clydeserra - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Meh, that is Eric being Eric. He gives good, relatively honest quotes.

  6. gbrim - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    The real problem here is the owner representative, Kendrick. He is always described as the owner, but he is in fact the managing general partner of the group that owns the DBacks. He orchestrated the coup that dropped Colangelo because the team was on an unsustainable path financially. True enough, but Kendrick has proven to be an impatient, emotional, erratic owner (representative) with no aptitude for hiring baseball executives. He repeatedly reminds everyone he hires that he is ‘in his seventh decade’ and similar such blather. Result–the GMs (Byrnes and Towers) trade away the great farm system talent in an attempt to get vets and ‘win now’ within a limited budget for veterans. The further result–collapses at the end of both Byrnes and Towers’ regimes. Nothing changes until the ownership group drops Kendrick as the managing general partner and names a new person in charge that won’t make it all about themselves, and will have the ability to develop a team that can compete effectively in a smaller market. Dump Kendrick now, let the new guy rebuilt from the rubble he left behind.

    • bobmcbigballs - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      Amen!

      Wouldn’t mind seeing the rest of the organization getting shaken up though, including Gibby and KT. This team is failing on every level, as evidenced by Skaggs finding velocity he lost in the Dbacks system within months of becoming an Angel.

      • gbrim - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Agree completely. New owner rep with a new philosophy can hire a GM to work within the financial resources available. Trading great prospects for vets with ‘predictability’ should be off the table. Grow ‘em and keep the best. Live with the attendance hit for a while and grow some players the fans can learn to really appreciate.

    • robmoore - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      I loved it when Kendrick complained (in the same interview!) about Stephen Drew not coming back early and playing even though he was hurt (broken ankle, no less), AND complained about Justin Upton hitting poorly – which was at least partly due to him playing through a thumb injury.

  7. skipperxc - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Chavez doesn’t sound like he has enough grit to win under any circumstances in that quote. Maybe he’s next to go.

  8. andreweac - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Towers didn’t put together a team that had the collective willingness to win. He needs to find players with more #grit and #want.

  9. icanspeel - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    One makes you wonder if they had Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer, Adam Eaton and Justin Upton right now how they would fair… Gm made the trades and put together the roster.

    • gbrim - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      With an owner representative poking him the ribs to win now, just like he did with the prior gm, and a very similar result. Nothing changes until Kendrick steps down, voluntarily or otherwise.

    • tedwest - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      Hard to say exactly, but it would surely be even worse.

  10. thebadguyswon - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    They both need to go. Towers is a complete idiot that traded a 30-HR bat only to trade for the same commodity 8 months later, losing a good pitcher in the process.

    Gibson and his Scrappy McGrittmeister philosophy is a joke.

  11. luz56 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    What an absolute disgrace this team has turned into by trading away first round talent proven All-Stars for what they perceive as gritty players… This is all on Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson… These two guys were the chefs in the kitchen and created this meal … Kendrick I will not set foot in Chasefield again until these two buffoons are let go

  12. sparty0n - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Towers should be fired just for the Trumo trade alone.

  13. tedwest - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Even if everyone were healthy, this is not a championship team, but what astounds me is how long it takes Diamondbacks’ management to realize that each manager is worse than the last.

    I keep saying, “better a chimp than a Gibbon,” yet this is the first column I’ve seen that even speculates about his departure.

    Gibson is a disgrace. Not only is he never prepared, but when he does finally move it’s always after the disaster is already upon them, and the sight of this senile old fool ambling to the mound would be pitiable if it weren’t for the fact that it represents the state of the franchise.

    The Diamondbacks, for all their troubles, are certainly not as bad as Gibson makes them with his insane lineup changes, though they need to get rid of every starter except Miley, and of course, Towers and Co. are responsible for Gibson, so why in the world did they extend his contract?

    • hoopmatch - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      I’m not a Kirk Gibson hater (or even disliker), but I agree with Ted West that Gibby seems slow and old when I see him on TV. One wonders if the game is just wearing him down. Maybe broadcasting would agree with him more. I imagine the Tigers and/or Dodgers would be interested, if not MLB.TV.

  14. sportsdrenched - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    If they signed Chris Getz, their problems would be solved. Chris Getz has the most fGRIT in major league history.

  15. rohlo - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    knew towers style would catch up with him in arizona..he was the same way in san diego! make a trade here and there and then dumpster diving the free agent market as well!

  16. dowhatifeellike - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    The gritty, hard-nosed players are that way because that’s the only way they can stay employed. Kinda like NFL safeties and DBs who hit helmet to helmet. They have to play that way because they can’t make it on talent alone.

    • mazblast - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      Some ballplayers play that “gritty”, “hard-nosed” style because they like to be perceived as hardcases, especially in the NFL. They can make it on talent, but they ENJOY the “bad” reputation.

      For others, it’s simply part of their playing style. They’re good AND “gritty”.

      Side question–I’m white, and I’ve noticed that black players are never, ever described as “gritty”, “hustling”, and/or “hard-nosed”, and Latino players rarely are. Is this something in the Hack Sportswriters’ Manual, that only undertalented WHITE players may be called this?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        Side question–I’m white, and I’ve noticed that black players are never, ever described as “gritty”, “hustling”, and/or “hard-nosed”, and Latino players rarely are. Is this something in the Hack Sportswriters’ Manual, that only undertalented WHITE players may be called this?

        Pretty much yes, see this report (small sample size, but lots of confirmation if you still listen/watch broadcasts)

        http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/08/how-mlb-announcers-favor-american-players-over-foreign-ones/261265/

        Btw, holy crap:

        Top 10 Most-Praised Players
        Player Position/Team
        Jim Thome DH-Orioles
        Jose Altuve 2B-Astros
        Nyjer Morgan OF-Brewers
        Prince Fielder 1B-Tigers
        Zack Greinke SP-Angels
        Chris Carpenter SP-Cardinals
        Andrew McCutchen OF-Pirates
        Darwin Barney 2B-Cubs
        Justin Sellers IF-Dodgers
        Ryan Braun OF-Brewers

  17. mazblast - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    I think the Diamondbacks’ struggles are a combination of a bad owner’s representative (Kendrick) hiring a bad GM (Towers) who over-tinkers with his roster rather than trusting his player development people and who hired a clueless manager (Gibson) who values “grit”, “hustle”, “desire”, and the attributes that made him a star far more than talent.

    Bottom line–Too much emphasis on intangibles and “win now” over patience and developing talent.

    All three of these guys need to go for the team to make progress–and we know at least one won’t go.

    • gbrim - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      I’m not so sure Kendrick is a lock to stay. The group that owns the DBacks did an unexpected palace coup on Colangelo. Perhaps they will do the same with Kendrick, or perhaps Kendrick will step aside voluntarily. Not out of the question.

  18. gloccamorra - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Aw, they’ve only played 23 games – one hundred and thirty-nine to go. A couple hitters start hitting, the starters put a couple good starts together, and the long road ahead looks better. Sometimes, all it takes is one game to turn a team around, though that usually involves a controversy or a brawl.

  19. pappageorgio - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    I dislike Towers more than Gibby. Both have a hand in this…..but the way Towers bungled both the Bauer and Upton situations was truely horrible.

    It’s not just that he came to dislike those players and wanted to move them, its the way he did it. He made a public spectical of both situations until the whole league knew were were moving on, thus decreasing what we could get in return. On top of this Towers seemed to do everything he could to minimize his leverage, taking a hard stance with early on and until other teams had moved on….then ended up taking less in trades elsewhere.

    It was amateur hour. Towers should have been bounced in the offseason. IMO they need to replace him with someone young and hungry.

  20. drewsylvania - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    God I hope so.

  21. murmane - Apr 23, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    It ought to be “Is Kirk Gibson or Kevin Towers in trouble,” given that “or” necessitates the singular “is,” rather than the plural “are.”

  22. giantsfan25 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:59 AM

    So who goes first towers or gibson ?

    answer can gibson fire towers ?

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