The act of “protecting” your teammates by intentionally hitting players on the opposing team with your fastball is either a part of the game or a bunch of bullshit, depending on who you ask and when you ask them. There’s no doubt that it’s a time-honored tradition, and it’s something Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers wants to see more often from his team.
Towers said in a radio interview on Tuesday that when Arizona pitchers refused to retaliate when their teammates were hit by pitches, it showed a lack of fight, or passion, or camaraderie, or something. Here are some of his words:
“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.”
“Not that I don’t take any of our guys from a lesser standpoint, but if [Paul Goldschmidt is] getting hit, it’s an eye for an eye. Somebody’s going down, or somebody’s going to get jackknifed.”
Towers went on to say, without his head exploding from sheer insanity, that “he does not advocate pitchers intentionally trying to injure opposing hitters.” Perhaps he wants Ian Kennedy to hit Yasiel Puig with a 30 mile an hour changeup?
If you want your players and coaches to have more of an edge, or outright want them throwing at people more often, go and tell them that. Don’t broadcast it on the radio. Every single time a batter is hit by a pitch in Arizona next year, we’re going to wonder if it was a guy trying to save his job. And that’s a dangerous game to play in a league where millions of dollars rest of every pitch. You should probably shut up, Kevin Towers.
Photo via Getty