Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers sought to clarify Wednesday morning his earlier comments about wanting his pitchers to take an "eye for an eye" approach towards hit-by-pitches, saying that all he wants is for his pitchers to be more aggressive about throwing on the inner-half of the plate, according to his quote to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com:
"I'm not saying hit players on purpose. I'm saying if our hitters are being made uncomfortable at the plate, we need to be the same way; we need to make the opposing hitters uncomfortable at the plate and pitch in with purpose and take that inner third away.
"I'm talking about pitching inside effectively with purpose."
The GM's original comments came Tuesday afternoon during an interview with Arizona Sports 620 in response to questions about why pitching coach Charles Nagy was let go.
Towers said that he wanted the team taking an "eye for an eye" approach to in-game retaliation next season, and that anyone who isn't comfortable with that "probably [doesn't] belong in a Diamondbacks uniform." Au revoir, Mr. Nagy.
While Towers may view his comments as "clarifying" his earlier statements, they're really more of an attempt at a retraction. In addition to the "eye for an eye" comment on Tuesday, Towers talked about the club's ongoing feud with the Dodgers, stating that he was so frustrated during Juan Uribe's three-home-run game on Sept. 9 that "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." If that's not hitting players on purpose, I'm not sure what is.
The GM also chimed in on "protecting" first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, saying that if the all-star slugger is hit, "somebody is going to get jackknifed." Towers clarified what he meant by "jackknife" on Wednesday:
"I think when some people hear 'jackknife,' they think I'm talking about stabbing someone, or injuring someone. Jackknifing is a baseball term for moving a guy's feet.
"When you talk about jackknifing a hitter, you're talking about moving somebody's feet, not hitting somebody or hurting somebody."
I have it on pretty good authority that "jackknife" actually is a baseball term, so Towers is off the hook on that one.
It should be noted that D'Backs pitchers hit 60 batters in 2013, while their own hitters were plunked just 43 times.