This is all kinds of fun. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic spoke with Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart about James Shields. Stewart talked about the budget and about how Shields is a guy the Dbacks may be interested in if the right deal could be reached. Typical stuff.
Not as typical: Stewart’s speculation as to why, maybe, Shields may be willing to take less money to go to Arizona than he might elsewhere:
“I think James is a throwback guy by the way he goes about his business and the innings he pitches,” Stewart said. “I think the fact that Tony (La Russa) is here and that we have more baseball people – he probably sees us as a true baseball team vs. some of the other teams out here that are geared more toward analytics and those type of things.
“Sometimes, there are concessions the player will make to be here. It’s the case that he likes what we’re doing with our organization from our end, all we can hope is that there will be concessions enough that he can be here.”
I realize that a lot of people like to denigrate some organizations for their perceived over-reliance on analytics and things. And I know that some players have had issues dealing with front offices who do things differently than other teams do. For example, there has been some grumbling from certain players about how, say, the Astros go about their business.
But this is the first time I’ve heard someone suggest that those differences make some baseball teams “true baseball teams” and others, well, I dunno, phony ones.
In other news, I suspected that there was a cultural change going on with the Diamondbacks, what with the firing of Kirk Gibson and Kevin Towers and all of the attendant de-grit-ifying going on down there. But I guess maybe not?