Kevin Towers rips D-backs pitchers
The Arizona Diamondbacks did not show enough fight at points during this season, according to general manager Kevin Towers.
During a radio interview Tuesday, the same day that Diamondbacks pitching coach Charles Nagy was fired, Towers ripped into the perceived lack of emotion from some of Arizona's pitchers.
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Towers told Arizona Sports 620 in Phoenix that he expects Diamondbacks pitchers to protect their teammates, especially when other teams throw at Arizona's hitters. Towers vowed that if any pitcher doesn't comply with that edict, he will look to move that pitcher off the team.
"Some of them, contractually, it's tough to move," Towers told the radio station. "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 if you don't follow suit or you don't feel comfortable doing it, you probably don't belong in a Diamondbacks uniform."
Towers, who has been Arizona's GM for the past three seasons, recounted an 8-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 9. He told the radio station that the Dodgers, who hit six home runs in the game, irked him with some of their behavior in the dugout.
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. That's not who we are as Diamondbacks.
”-- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, to Arizona Sports 620
"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," Towers 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 [manager Kirk Gibson], on myself, on our entire organization. They slapped us around, and we took it."
Towers said that he had "a few choice words" for the coaching staff after that game. But according to Towers, the Diamondbacks still did not retaliate when slugger Paul Goldschmidt was hit by a pitch in a later game last month.
"You'd think the GM comes down and makes it a point to talk to the staff about that we need to start protecting our own and doing things differently," Towers told the radio station. "Probably a week later [against the Dodgers on Sept. 19], 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 jackknifed."
Towers insisted that he does not advocate pitchers intentionally trying to injure opposing hitters. But Towers also emphasized that he wants a pitching coach who will be more fiery than the mild-mannered Nagy.
"Somebody that knows mechanics, somebody that can supply leadership, somebody who is not afraid to chew a little rear end when it needs to be done," Towers said Tuesday during a news conference to address Nagy's firing. "And somebody that will communicate well in-game."
The Diamondbacks went 81-81 this past season, their third full year under Gibson. Arizona is 256-230 since Towers was hired as GM in September 2010.