Grit isn’t enough: now the Dbacks general manager wants his team to be dirty too

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Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers inspired a lot of jokes last winter when he insisted that his team be “gritty” and proceeded to trade away Justin Upton for Martin Prado (among other moves) that he claimed were about instilling a blue collar attitude. That wasn’t enough, though, apparently. Now he wants his team to be out-and-out dirty.

He went on a radio show yesterday and talked about how upset he was that his team seemed to be something less than dour in the dugout during some losses and how, when he saw them on a monitor goofing off “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.” UPDATE: I got this wrong. Apparently it was the Dodgers goofing off he didn’t like and said he’d throw baseballs at them if he could. Which, either way, seems kinda messed up.

But more offensive to him was the fact that, in his mind anyway, Dbacks pitchers didn’t hit opposing batters enough. Really, he said that:

You’d think the GM comes down and makes it a point to talk to the staff about it that at we need to start protecting our own and doing things differently,” he said. “Probably a week later Goldy gets dinged, and no retaliation. It’s like ‘wait a minute.’

“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 jacknifed.”

Towers went on to claim that part of the reason pitching coach Charles Nagy was fired was because his pitchers didn’t hit enough guys. Worth noting, as Rob Neyer noted on Twitter last night, that Arizona’s batters were hit by 43 pitches in 2013 while Arizona’s pitchers hit 60 batters. So apparently he doesn’t want an “eye for an eye.” He wants something more on the order of two eyes.

If Kevin Towers fired Nagy for not instructing pitchers to hit more batters I hope Nagy told him where to shove it when he walked out the door. If he wants Dbacks players “jack-knifing” the opposition, I hope he gets out of his friggin’ armchair when the benches clear and starts mixing it up with other players.

And, if he continues to stand by these comments — and if he really did instruct Nagy to have pitchers plunk guys — I hope Major League Baseball disciplines him, just as it would discipline any pitcher it was convinced intentionally threw at a batter. Indeed, MLB should discipline him more for ordering it from the position of authority he inexplicably continues to hold.

Video: Christian Yelich belts league-best 20th home run of 2019

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It’s been a good week for multitalented Brewers slugger Christian Yelich, who showed off his beer chugging capabilities during a Bucks game on Thursday night, then returned to dominate the baseball sphere on Friday with his 20th home run of the season.

In the third inning, Yelich worked a full count against Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickoff, finally letting loose on a 91.1-m.p.h. fastball that dipped into the right field corner to help the Brewers snap a 2-2 tie:

According to MLB Stats, the 27-year-old outfielder reached the 20-homer threshold in the fewest number of team games since Josh Hamilton did it for the Rangers in 2012. Friday’s blast also marked the third such hit he’s recorded against the Phillies in the last two weeks alone, following two home runs off of Edgar García and Zach Eflin during the club’s last road trip.

Entering Friday’s opener, Yelich held a .325/.440/.732 batting line with 19 homers, nine stolen bases, and a 1.172 OPS through 191 plate appearances. While he was held out for the majority of the week’s games due to a mild case of back spasms, he appears to have made a full recovery.

The Brewers currently lead the Phillies 4-3 in the fourth.