Friday the first big domino fell in the Arizona Diamondbacks overhaul and left Kevin Towers re-assessing his future within the organization. Towers will no longer serve as General Manager but will have the opportunity to remain with the organization in a senior scouting role capacity if he wishes after his replacement is hired.
“Over the past three months, I have had the opportunity to evaluate all aspects of our baseball operations and have decided to restructure our staff in order to improve our decision-making process,” said Diamondbacks Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa via a team release. “I have the utmost respect for Kevin and a friendship with him that dates back many years which has allowed me to appreciate his talents and experience.
From season-ending injuries to underperforming players to whispers of uncertainty from the top of the organization down, the local baseball team has flat-lined and again find themselves buried at or near the bottom of the National League West as the regular season winds down.
The Dbacks’ overall incompetence has not only turned off general local interest in the team but also left many inside baseball circles wondering what direction the franchise is headed.
Is it fair to say it’s viewed as one of the worst-run franchises in Major League Baseball?
“Yes, it actually is,” ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a recent phone interview . “It’s viewed that way on a national level from front-office executives, from people whose job is baseball operations. They look at this organization and they see a lot of potential but they see it not handled very well.”
Gomez said most of the national criticism starts at the top with owner Ken Kendrick and works its way down throughout the organization with a common theme of it “having flaws all over” including poor drafting and lack of patience with young prospects.
This simply adds up to the Diamondbacks essentially spinning their wheels when it comes to progress both on and off the field.
“It’s not easy to win,” Gomez explained. “It takes a lot of work and a lot of good decisions and when you look at the Diamondbacks under this current ownership, this is what baseball people tell me, there’s not a lot of good decisions that have been made.”
They also don’t see a plan or a distinctive blueprint to future success much like the past two decades for the Chicago Cubs and the Kansas City Royals who have now established a direction of where they want to take their respective franchises.
Arizona is hoping La Russa, who was brought on in May, will help point the organization back in the right direction and Friday marked his first effort in the overhaul of what many consider a rudderless ship.