The Diamondbacks have fired GM Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale, the club announced on Monday. The news comes as no surprise as the Diamondbacks had another disappointing season, finishing at 69-93 despite adding Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller, among others, going into the 2016 campaign.
Stewart in particular received criticism for the Miller trade with the Braves, which cost the club 2015 No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson as well as pitching prospect Aaron Blair and outfielder Ender Inciarte. Miller battled mechanical woes and an injury, finishing 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA and a 70/42 K/BB ratio in 101 innings. He was even demoted to Triple-A during the second half.
In two seasons as the manager of the D’Backs, Hale went 148-176 (.457).
The fate of D’Backs chief baseball officer Tony La Russa is still not yet known, though he has been on the hot seat just as much as Stewart and Hale. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the club is still trying to determine what role he will have going forward.
Per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have been discussing the idea of playing the 2020 season entirely in Arizona. The state has 10 spring training parks as well as Chase Field, home to the Diamondbacks. MLB suspended the 2020 season last month as the U.S. began to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This certainly comes as no surprise as commissioner Rob Manfred has suggested the need to potentially get “creative” if MLB is to have a season. Other ideas have included running the season deep into the fall, hosting games in mostly warm-weather states, and making use of frequent doubleheaders.
For many reasons, the U.S. has not done well to date dealing with the pandemic, so it is quite optimistic to expect sports to return at any point in the near future. That being said, agent Scott Boras, who spoke to Blum, suggested baseball’s return could provide “a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment.” He added that that product would be “inspirational to our country.”
MLB and all of its associated interests stand to lose significant amounts of money the longer the season is delayed, which is why many are champing at the bit for the schedule to resume. Presumably, any resumption of the schedule would require that games not be played in front of fans.