Fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks are having a traumatic 2014. It was just three years ago that their beloved team was in the playoffs and there was optimism about the future. Just three years later all the joy and momentum has come to a screeching halt.
Fans think that because they support their team they have to support everything their team does. They fear that if they dismiss the actions of their team they will be considered not “true fans.” This isn’t the case at all. You can root for a team and not mindlessly support indefensible actions.
This is the predicament Diamondback fans are currently in. They wear their red and cheer their beloved snakes but in the back of their heads they know the baseball culture in Arizona is morally reprehensible. This was on display Saturday night at Chase Field.
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) August 3, 2014
When Randall Delgado drilled Andrew McCutchen in the back with a fastball some fans inexplicably cheered. Some fans groaned and looked uncomfortable. All of them knew that when Paul Goldschmidt was hit the night before it was unintentional. So the mentality of “eye for an eye” shouldn’t apply in this situation. But the fans who cheered did so not because they wanted to see McCutchen get pegged, but because they feel if they don’t blindly support every action by their team, they aren’t true fans.
The baseball culture in Arizona is outdated and moronic. The problem starts with general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson. Towers has flat out said that there is an institutional policy to throw at opposing hitters. This is not acceptable.
It may have been protocol when Gibson was a player to throw at an opposing hitter if one of your guys got hit but the game has changed. Guys weren’t throwing the ball in the upper 90s back then. Guys can get seriously hurt by a 95 mph pitch.
Another problem with this policy is the Diamondbacks hit batters for reasons other than the traditional “eye for an eye.” They hit batters out of spite for losses years ago. They foolishly hit star players in spring training games.
Evan Marshall hit Ryan Braun in a game earlier this year because Gibson felt that Braun’s PED use directly caused the Brewers to beat the Diamondbacks in the 2011 playoffs. Gibson put his big boy pants on and told Marshall to drill Braun. When Marshall returned to the dugout Gibson was the first to high five Marshall and stare menacingly at the Brewers dugout. Luckily the baseball Gods were awake that day and Jonathan Lucroy hit a grand slam after and the Diamondbacks lost the game.
They even want to hit opponents for things done off the field.
The Dodgers were beating the Diamondbacks in a blowout last season in September and Towers is not a fan of losing. “I was sitting behind home plate that game and when [Dodgers players] showed up on the Diamondvision of stuffing bananas down their throats, I felt like we were a punching bag,” Towers said. “Literally, if I would have had a carton of baseballs, I would have fired them into the dugout from where I was sitting behind home plate.”
God forbid a team act happy when they beat the Diamondbacks. This reminds me of elementary school playing handball. When a kid wouldn’t get his way he would throw the ball at a kid he was angry with. That is what Towers and Gibson are. Immature children who were handed control of a major league baseball team.
You punish children who misbehave by taking away their toys and putting them on timeout. That’s what MLB needs to do to Delgado and Gibson in this case. If they are not fined and suspended then this idiotic behavior will continue. The sport can’t afford to have a rogue team throwing the ball at anyone who hurts their feelings.
The sad thing is Goldschmidt, the only player on the Diamondbacks harmed last weekend, was visibly uncomfortable when McCutchen got hit. Goldy is a honorable player who knows he wasn’t hit on purpose Friday. He and McCutchen are arguably the two best players in the National League and are friends. He didn’t want to see McCutchen get hit. It’s a shame a player like Goldschmidt has to be associated with a childish organization like the Diamondbacks.