Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers: Our pitchers need to retaliate, hit more batters
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers is not happy with his team’s 81-81 season. Most GMs are frustrated after missing the playoffs, but Towers seems a bit more irritated than others. He wants his team to be tougher. And what does he mean by that? They have to start hitting more batters and stop eating bananas in the dugout.
During an interview with Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo on Tuesday, Towers vented about how he wishes his team would show more grit.
“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, via ArizonaSports.com’s Adam Green. “Probably a week later (first baseman Paul Goldschmidt) 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 jackknifed.”
Towers did note that he is not saying his pitchers should be looking to injure opponents, though I’m not sure you can plunk someone and be confident you’re not going to hurt them. He says knowing when to retaliate should be an inherent part of the game that players adhere to. He even went so far as to say the organization will be looking to deal players who don’t show toughness.
“Some of them, contractually, it’s tough to move,” Towers said. “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. If not, if you have options there’s ways to get you out of here and you don’t follow suit or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you probably don’t belong in a Diamondbacks uniform.”
And then, there were Towers’ comments about how he felt his team looked too comfortable in the dugout toward the end of the season when they were getting dominated by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“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,” he said. “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.
“That’s not who we are as Diamondbacks, that’s not how — I mean, it’s a reflection on Gibby, on myself, on our entire organization. They slapped us around and we took it.”
We get it. Towers wants to see his guys show more balls. A lot of MLB teams could say the same. While there are certain times when retaliation is warranted, I don’t really agree that hitting opponents is a measure of toughness. For Towers, it seems incredibly important.
H/T Eye on Baseball