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Reactions to the firing of Kevin Towers

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News that Towers' tenure as GM had come to an end, unsurprisingly generated a lot of reaction, not just in Arizona, but around the baseball world. Here are a selection of the comments in response to the change.

Christian Petersen
The organization

Tony La Russa. "Over the past three months, I have had the opportunity to evaluate all aspects of our baseball operations and have decided to restructure our staff in order to improve our decision-making process. I have the utmost respect for Kevin and a friendship with him that dates back many years, which has allowed me to appreciate his talents and experience. I have offered him a new role in the front office, as I believe his skills fit well within the framework of what we are building."

Kevin Towers. "I'm not a quitter and I'm going to stay on kind of running baseball operations with Tony and Derrick until they hire somebody as the general manager. I feel like I'm very vested in this organization when it comes to people, players -- a lot of people I care a great deal about. To me, it's going to be kind of business as usual. In a perfect world, I'd like to stay just because I still care a lot about the organization. If it's meant to be where I move on and go elsewhere, so be it."

Derrick Hall. "We thought it was important to make sure that we get that GM in place by the end of the season, so that we can hit the ground running. We really appreciate KT and all his contributions. With any GM, some moves work, some don't, but boy, he works hard and he cares about this organization. Not many people could handle the situation like he has."

Brad Ziegler. "There's been a lot of stuff talked about, but the timing, I don't think anybody was expecting it when it happened. And maybe it was by design. They have the reasons for that, and I don't know. But we were driving on the bus last night, and it came across Twitter, and we were all like 'Oh, gosh, KT It sounds like K.T. got fired.'"

Writers and pundits

Jerry Crasnick, ESPN. "Regardless of the initial happy spin out of Phoenix, Towers was a dead GM walking from the moment the Diamondbacks hired Tony La Russa to fill the newly created position of chief baseball officer in May... In the end, Towers' inventory of moves was enough to prompt the Diamondbacks to push him out the door while simultaneously inviting him to stay. The mixed messages from that scenario tell you all you need to know about the challenges the organization faces."

Dan Bickley, AZ Central. "No one did more damage than Kevin Towers. The facts sound harsh, especially in the face of incoming spin. Towers will be touted as a great guy and a great teammate. He leaves with a winning record. He shouldered a rash of key injuries. He will not be "fired." He will be thanked for his years of service. Those are all convenient truths. Towers also bungled the biggest trade in franchise history; overvalued gritty players; undersold his most valuable assets; made a series of trades that were highly ridiculed by the national media; and made very public comments about retaliation that painted the organization in a bad light."

Marc Normandin, SB Nation. "The farm isn't barren, but Towers hasn't done much with it during his time in town. The big-league roster is worse now than it was when he took over. Tony La Russa was now his boss, and a change in management often means those in the middle get tossed even if things are going decently. The Diamondbacks are a mess, though, have squandered the progress they made at the start of Towers' tenure, and will now have to try again with someone new. It's not a surprise, but that only emphasizes how necessary this ousting was."

Jay Jaffe, SI. "In the end, it wasn’t hard to see the handwriting on the wall for Towers. He bet heavily on a very specific vision for the franchise. That vision backfired in grand fashion, and he paid the price."

Doug Franz, Arizona Sports. "Almost every tweet or email I received seemed happy the saga of "what will happen" was over. However, only a couple attacked Towers personally. I was happy to see that because Kevin Towers gave everything he had to the Diamondbacks, even when it was clear that the end was near. It's rare in any walk of life to find someone who knows their job will end soon without letting it affect their determination to succeed at their profession. There will be quite a lot of things said over the next couple weeks about the former Arizona GM, but I think it boils down to a simple narrative: Kevin Towers is a good man who didn't get it done."

The fans

Reaction on Twitter can best be summed up as "ecstatic", though some of it topples over into largely unprintable! I had to trawl quite hard to find two that were kinda poignant, and even these probably fall into the category of "back-handed compliments," rather than genuinely questioning the decision.

Otherwise... Well, it was a litany of Tweets that can largely be summed up as "good riddance to bad rubbish". Here are some of the most pithy.