Diamondbacks’ Housecleaning could Produce Baseball’s First Female GM

Editor
By Editor October 5, 2016 08:14

Diamondbacks’ Housecleaning could Produce Baseball’s First Female GM

Diamondbacks Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick and President and CEO Derrick Hall address the media after the announcement that general manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale were released. (Feature Photo by Trisha Garcia/Cronkite News)

By TRISHA GARCIA and JEANNA BERG
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – The Diamondbacks cleaned house Monday, not renewing the contract of general manager Dave Stewart and firing manager Chip Hale. That opened the door for perhaps the first female general manager in baseball history.

Asked what qualifications he was looking for in a new general manager to replace Stewart, club president and CEO Derrick Hall said, “The focus is to find the right fit and to have he or she here for a very long time with a plan that we stick to and and I’m confident we’re going to find that candidate.”

Pressed if the club is considering a woman, specifically Kim Ng, senior vice president of baseball operations at Major League Baseball, Hall didn’t dismiss the idea.

“We don’t even have a list yet. I mean, obviously, we made the decision today and had those discussions today. We will move quickly and will put together a list and I mentioned before we’re not going to want to comment on any candidates but I do know Kim… she’s great, she’s terrific.”

Hall said the qualifications for the GM job include “significant experience obviously when it comes to player evaluation and analytics, a combination of all.”

The moves brought into question the status of Tony La Russa, chief baseball officer. La Russa previously questioned whether he would stay with the team if Stewart was released because he managed and hired Stewart.

“We are continuing to have discussions on both sides really, what the right role for Tony going forward,” Hall said. “He wants to have a continuing opportunity here and over the next several days that will ultimately sort itself out.”

Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick called La Russa an icon of the game and added, “We owe it to Tony to continue to talk about how we might be able to go forward together.”

Both Hall and Kendrick ruled out La Russa returning to the dugout.

“Tony doesn’t have anything left to prove as manager,” said Kendrick.

Hall said Stewart’s replacement will be hired before the search for replacing Hale begins.

Under the guidance of Stewart and Hale the last two years, the Diamondbacks were 79-83 in 2015 and 69-93 finish this season, the sixth-worst record in baseball for a team that had playoff aspirations

Expectations grew when the Diamondbacks signed starting pitcher Zack Greinke as a free agent and traded top prospect Dansby Swanson and two others for Atlanta Braves starter Shelby Miller.

Greinke missed six starts due to injuries and had one of his worst seasons ever, but the larger disappointment was Miller, who couldn’t hold a spot in the starting rotation and spent a portion of the season in Triple-A Reno.

Hall also cited the team’s 33-48 record at home, among other pitfalls.

“There are injuries, there’s bad luck, it’s a slow start, it’s the way we played at home,” Hall said. “But, at the end of the day, we think that we do have a tremendous amount of talent here, we expect different results.”

Hall said releasing the two was a tough decision, but “it’s time to turn the page and hit reset and see if we can’t get going in the right direction.

This marks the fourth time in the Kendrick-Hall regime that the Diamondbacks will hire a new GM. Both shouldered some of the blame for the Diamondbacks poor season.

“It starts with me, we’ve made some bad choices,” Kendrick said. “But, when you put it into perspective, I’m gonna make some more mistakes.”

Hall said, “We’re looking now to improve and we looked at everybody and everything under the hood and looked in the mirror as well and it’s time to make the right decisions.”

Monday’s announcement comes two weeks after the Diamondbacks began reshaping their front office with the firing of De Jon Watson, senior vice president of baseball operations.

Editor
By Editor October 5, 2016 08:14

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