Note the following two similarities between Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson:
1.) Each is terrible at his job.
2.) Each is an insufferable dick.
Separately, these two blowhards serve as the general manager and team manager, respectively, of the Arizona Diamondbacks. When they come together, however, they morph into a single guy screaming into his cell phone while waiting in line at the grocery store. The Diamondbacks are an awfully inept organization, mostly because they’re run – to some degree – by two awfully inept dickweeds.
At the core, or at least somewhere near it, of their incompetence is the fundamental belief that quantifiable value is trumped handily by hard-nosed grit. This is why Justin Upton will have played out the final three years of his extremely team-friendly contract in Atlanta. It’s why the team who controls Trevor Bauer through 2019 is Cleveland instead of Arizona. Nearly every other front office in baseball is fighting desperately to push ahead of the others in pursuit of the game’s next big analytical breakthrough. Towers, meanwhile, is walking idly about in the opposite direction.
Now, the part about being insufferable dicks.
The above posted video shows Randall Delgado (one of the shitty players received in the shitty Justin Upton trade) intentionally hitting Andrew McCutchen in the spine with a hard fastball. It shows a Diamondbacks player succeeding in doing the exact thing Kevin Towers wants his team to do, which is to say: Kevin Towers wants his players to injure other players. Kevin Towers wants his players to endanger the lives of other players. Kevin Towers wants, for all I know, to visit the grave of Ray Chapman and shower it with glorious Kevin Towers piss.
Big League Stew’s Mark Townsend provides some context for the killshot here, but the essential piece of context is that the Diamondbacks perceived the accidental pitch that ended Paul Goldschmidt’s season to be intentional, and they retaliated.
Consider, now, this controversial (read: brain-dead, incomprehensibly moronic, etc.) Towers quote from last winter:
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.
The first part of the quote is a confused arrangement of words which (a) suggests possible brain damage, and (b) explains Kevin Towers. The second part of the quote is an MLB general manager promoting behavior that could result in broken bones, paralysis, brain trauma that reduces a previously functional human to the intelligence level of, say, Kevin Towers, or as it did in the case of Chapman, death.
To summarize: Towers specifically mentioned Hammurabic retribution for hitting Paul Goldschmidt, then watched his pitcher send a fastball to the spine of the best player on the team that accidentally hit Goldy.
Now, payback pitches have always been a part of baseball. Sadly, that isn’t likely to change any time soon. Still, the occasional fit of circumstantial ignorance starkly differs from full-scale implementation of ignorant brutality into organizational culture. This is another example of baseball moving in one progressive direction, and shit-for-brains Kevin Towers drifting around in the opposite. For some inexplicable reason, he’s still getting paid to drift.
Hidden in the shadows of Towers’ unbelievably colossal mound of shit for which he should be fired is Kirk Gibson. Gibson isn’t so jaw-droppingly terrible as Towers, but baseball is a better game without him. He’s K.T.’s top henchman – a role in which he’s been very successful. A role in which he has not been very successful, however, is being the manager of a baseball team. Gibson’s gritty Diamondbacks have played the game the right way all the way to a 49-63 record. In their dirty uniforms and with utmost respect for the game (as played by Ty Cobb), Gibson’s squad of gamers has grinded out 78 fewer runs scored than runs allowed.
As with his boss, incompetence doesn’t tell the entire story of Kirk Gibson. He is terrible at his job, surely, but he’s nearly as terrible at being a reasonable human being. The incident Jonathan Bernhardt discusses here – during which Gibson refused to let Dusty Baker employ a DH in a spring training game on the insane, stubborn basis that he wanted to play a “National League game” – presents Gibson as the obvious choice to manage Towers’ club. They are perfectly kindred in their terrifying insanity.
They are the sort of men whose very existence fills a reasonable person’s ears with the dull buzz of existential dread. You know the type – the kind of person who publicly berates customer service workers, or shouts at waiters from across the restaurant to refill their drink, then puffs out their chest and smirks as they look around the room at those admiring their awesomeness.
They have the world’s largest sex organ, and they will let you know it. They will hang elastic nutsacks from the hitch of their oversized trucks because they truly believe it makes them cooler than you. Any lack of acknowledgment of their cool dominance is a perceived slight against their manhood – a force of nature-caliber manhood they will happily affirm through knuckles-based diplomacy.
They are living reminders that we really aren’t all that far removed from being cave-dwelling numbskulls, and they’re proud of it.
(“They” referring to the type of person, of course. I can only suppose Kirk Gibson actually owns a pair of truck balls.)
The recent hire of Tony La Russa as the Diamondbacks’ Chief Baseball Officer means, hopefully, Towers and Gibson are soon to be unemployed. Let’s hope, for the good of baseball, it stays that way.