Sports Opinion & Analysis

#WTFKevinTowers?

In MLB on January 11, 2013 at 11:01 am

By Jonathan Danielson

After the last few moves made by the Arizona Diamondbacks, I’m seriously wondering if the success of the 2011 NL West Championship team was due more to the decisions made in 2010 by then-interim General Manager Jerry Dipoto, rather than anything done a year later by notorious gunslinger, Kevin Towers.

Kevin Towers headshot, as found on the Diamondbacks official website.

Kevin Towers photograph, as found on the Diamondbacks official website.

Since Towers was made General Manager in 2011 (which paved the way for Dipoto to become the GM of the Anaheim Angels), he has traded away fan-favorites for utility minor leaguers, and top prospects for less than appraised value.

His moves have been intriguing at best (that’s a nice way to say “confusing“), and hair-pullingly frustrating, as well as 100% not fan friendly at worst. Towers has left such a sour taste in the mouths of some D-back fans, that one even took it upon him/herself to hijack Tower’s Wikipedia page, and change it to this:

Kevin-Towers-Diamondbacks-trade-Wikipedia

While hilarious, to some D-back fans it also rings with absolute truth. In the opinion the fans in Arizona, Towers is doing everything he possibly can to destroy the team.

Now while I’m fully aware a professional sports organization should be less (not) concerned with fan opinion when deciding personnel decisions, and should focus more (solely) on what is necessary to  procure a winning team, this is an infamously apathetic Phoenix fan-base we’re talking about here. This a city built by people from other places, with other loyalties, and when the local teams aren’t doing well, you can expect to see more Giants, Dodgers, Cubs and Yankee hats on, than Sedona red or throwback purple.

Does no one else miss this color combo as much as me?

Does anyone else miss this color combo as much as me?

Currently, Towers has been trying to trade away the face of the franchise, Justin Upton (for nickels and peanuts it seems), like he already (allegedly) did for pitching phenom Trevor Bauer. As recently as yesterday, Towers tried to ship Upton to the Seattle Mariners for, my sources tell me (I have sources!) right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker and shortstop Nick Franklin.

While those are great prospects for an organization to obtain, the Diamondbacks roster is currently filled with prospects and young guns, and Upton himself is almost the same age (only with years of veteran play) as those same guys. Unlike those other guys though, Upton is just a year removed from MVP-like season. His ceiling for potential is sky-high, and in a market lacking superstars besides Larry Fitzgerald and Shane Doan, Upton has the potential to bring national recognition to the team. This isn’t just a fan issue either. Everyone with a say in baseball (from ESPN’s Buster Olney, to Fox Sports and MLB Network correspondent Ken Rosenthal, to the Arizona Republic’s beat writer Nick Piercoro, to unnamed GM’s and managers), are as confused as the team’s fans about why Towers would ever consider trading a guy with so much upswing and potential. It doesn’t make any sense, everyone has concluded.

So why then is Towers trying to trade away a player approaching his prime, who has been compared to a second coming of Ken Griffey Jr.? No one knows, it seems. As of yesterday though, due to the trade Upton blocked via his No-Trade clause, we do know it’s soon bound to happen. Was it a coincidence that the “Uptown” sign at Chase Field, which was agreed by both the Diamondbacks and Upton to be removed, came down yesterday before news of the trade even broke?

Although, centerfield will now be referred to as "Parra-dise Valley." See what I did just there?

Although, centerfield will now be referred to as “Parra-dise Valley.”

Probably not. It’s like Towers is going to every other team in the league, and willing to take the best offer given, even if it’s not a good one.

A while ago, I wrote how the D-backs had to trade Upton, due to the General Manager’s insistence of shopping of the guy, because the damage to the team’s relationship with the budding superstar was irreconcilable. You can only be cheated on so many times, before you finally give up. I still feel that way, but I also feel like it should have never come to this. Upton should have never been shopped around in the first place. Once he’s gone, like Towers’ Padres of a few years backs, the Diamondbacks will be a team without any names (until Paul Goldschmidt comes around, which is what Towers is probably banking on), and like Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Upton will one day be a superstar. Unfortunately for the fans though, like it was with the Gonzalez and Padres, because of Towers, Upton will be a superstar somewhere else.

And it should have never come to this.

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