At some point this off-season, the Arizona Diamondbacks became everybody’s least favorite baseball team. They made a series of moves which, on the surface, seem questionable. Once the “outrage” is put aside, most of the moves the Snakes made are at the very least defensible.
Arizona conceivably made their team better for 2013. They might win more games and challenge for a playoff spot with their lineup of gritty gamers and middle fielders getting paid into their 40s.
The problem seems to be the Diamondbacks motives, their desire to weed out undesirable young players with high ceilings in exchange for overacheivers. There is nothing wrong with prizing effort and rewarding players who get the most out of their tools. It certainly isn’t a bad message to send throughout your organization.
The Diamondbacks, however, do themselves no favors when they insist on burying guys right after they trade them. When GM Kevin Towers fumbles through an explanation of his reasons for trading Justin Upton then Special Assistant to the something or other Luis Gonzalez piles on to Upton after the trade to Atlanta, it leaves many scratching their heads.
Why bother throwing shade at these players after you trade them? The baseball business is not especially big, what do the Diamondbacks gain by sounding off about their former employees?
I hope the Indians win the World Series and Bauer long tosses the commissioners trophy right through Kevin Towers
— the riker liker (@andymoney69) February 12, 2013
Miguel Montero opened up to Adam Green of Arizona Sports, claiming Bauer “never wanted to listen” and refused to take Montero’s suggestions seriously.
“Since day one in Spring Training I caught him and he killed me because he threw about 100 pitches the first day,” Montero said, adding he told Bauer he should take it a bit slower and work on locating his fastball first before working on his breaking pitches.
“And he said ‘yes’, and the next time he threw I saw him doing the same thing”
There is no doubt in my mind that what Miguel Montero said is 100% true. There is no reason to believe anything otherwise. Just a few weeks ago I wrote basically the same thing, that Bauer’s dedication to missing bats and focus on the nuance of his craft is admirable. But, man, sometimes you need to be able to throw strikes. Sometimes it might be worthwhile to shelve the cut change for a little while when you’re behind 2-1 to every hitter because one of your four cutesy-poo fastballs can’t find the target.
So what Montero says isn’t the problem; it’s that he said it at all. Far be it from me to discourage baseball players from speaking their mind – cheap content is the best content. Trevor Bauer is no longer your teammate, Miguel. Trevor Bauer now plays for the Cleveland Indians. Let their catcher worry about getting through to Bauer, Miggy. Go ahead and take a “we wish him the best of luck in Cleveland” and move on with your day and life.
Why don’t you busy yourself trying to communicate with Brandon McCarthy? He’s just as far up his own ass, McCarthy is just old enough to hide it better.
And the rest
Jeff Passan on PEDs: “they’re going nowhere.” [Baseball Analytics]
Jonah Keri on the worst contracts in baseball aka “The Wellsies” [Grantland]
Remember, Phillies fans: it could easily be even worse that it already is.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) February 11, 2013
Zuber’s Blue Jays Valentines are pretty much incredible. [DJF]
Aged and overpaid as they might be, the Red Sox assembled a lot of talent and just might surprise you. [Red Sox Beacon]
Dream big this spring, baseball fans. It’s your inalienable right. [Sports on Earth]