Diamondbacks’ GM Kevin Towers Goes from Thug to Whiner

It was only a few months ago that then tough-guy Arizona Diamondbacks’ GM Kevin Towers was excoriating his pitching staff for not hitting enough opposing batters with 95 MPH fastballs. In fact, then pitching coach Chuck Nagy was fired for just that reason. In a radio interview, he clearly stated his belief that pitchers should be hitting batters both to keep them from crowding the plate and in retaliation for Arizona hitters getting plunked.

Also last season, Towers once described how he, after a game, felt like firing a carton of baseballs into the visiting Dodgers’ dugout when he saw LA third baseman Juan Uribe, who had had a big day in an 8-1 Dodgers’ win, sitting there eating a banana.

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Well, now he has re-worked his Diamondbacks' roster after a disappointing 2013, and he has created the worst team in baseball.

In an interview with MLB.com, he recently discussed his fear of losing his job over the team's horrible start. His interview is a whine-fest of the first order, in which he laments having spent $110 million of his bosses' money, and achieved, well, less than nothing.

In a season where virtually every major league team has suffered significant injury problems, as shown by disabled lists chock-full of star names, many of whom, especially pitchers, will be missing the entire season, ole Kevin’s first order of business was to say how badly the D’Backs have been hurt by injuries, as if that had happened to them, and only them. Referring to their loss of pitchers Patrick Corbin, Daniel Hudson, David Hernandez and Matt Reynolds, he fails to mention how that LA team has been without Clayton Kershaw, had Josh Becket miss the beginning of the season, and is now without Hyun-Jin Ryu and will be without Chad Billingsley for at least a couple of more months.

The Dodgers have still done ok, as have the Oakland A's who are missing A.J. Griffin, Jarrold Parker, and Eric O'Flaherty, and, oh, yea, the first place Braves who are without Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Jonny Venters, who just got Gavin Floyd and Mike Minor back, but then lost Ervin Santana.

Kevin also take pains in the interview to lament how he has assembled a team of players who should be in their prime, but who are, alas, underperforming, leading to the team's unexpected, at least in his mind, decline.

Take second baseman Aaron Hill for instance. There is a prime example of a guy under performing. Why, he’s only batting .260 so far this season, a whole 13 points below his career average. Then there is catcher Miguel Montero, who has hit only .286 this season, a drop of …. oh, wait, an increase of 56 points ABOVE his .230 average of last season, and 18 points above his lifetime .268. Ok, how about new guys, like at shortstop? Well, last season Didi Gregorius got most of the playing time there, and he it .252. This season, the job has been taken over by rookie Chris Owings, and he’s second on the team at .319. Well, maybe it all comes down to a bad start from the team’s star slugger, Paul Goldschmidt? Maybe his numbers are waaaaay under last season? He has hit .323 with four home runs

and 18 RBI this season. Last year on May 4 his average was 29 points lower, at .294, but he had hit five home runs and driven in
21. That must be it, huh, Kevin?

His pitching staff has a league-worst 4.97 team ERA, and among the contributors to that and other unimpressive stats are some new guys Towers brought in this season, including Bronson Arroyo (2-2, 6.03) and Addison Reed, who has had nine save opportunities and has blown one save but also lost two games that had been tied when he entered.

What a shame it would be if Kevin got the ax from Arizona and baseball lost a stand-up guy like him.

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