Best Reason to Believe the D-Backs Can Pull Themselves Up to at Least Mediocre Next Season - 2010
The firing of general manager Josh Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch
The Tweedle-Dumb and a Tweedle-Dumber in major-league baseball have been put out of our misery, in favor of interims Jerry Dipoto and Kirk Gibson as GM and manager (In late September, Kevin Towers was named general manager). The dual firing is the second-best thing that's happened to the Arizona Diamondbacks since they improbably won the World Series against the New York Yankees in 2001. The first being, again improbably, going to the National League Championship Series in 2007. Even though the D-Backs were swept by the Rockies then, that was the highlight of general manager Josh Byrnes' 41/2-season career in the desert. It was his first year with the team, and it was downhill all the way to this year's cellar-dwelling debacle. A guy with an omnipresent smirk,
Byrnes made a series of stupid moves that left the team in a world of hurt. One of the dumbest was giving outfielder Eric Byrnes a three-year, $30 million contract after his only (somewhat) stellar season in the big leagues. Critics crowed that this was a bad move for the predominantly mediocre player, but Josh Byrnes wouldn't listen (almost made us wonder whether the Byrnses were related, somehow). Turned out the detractors were right. Eric Byrnes got so bad that he was sent to the minors, traded, let go, and now he's collecting millions from the D-Backs playing amateur softball. In subsequent years after that contract was inked, when real stars like Manny Ramirez became available, the team was hamstrung financially. In the midst of all the losing last season, Byrnes raised more eyebrows when he replaced longtime manager Bob Melvin with the 30-something Hinch — a farm director with the team who had no dugout experience. See, the two were tight buds. Forget about whether Hinch, who didn't inspire the confidence of players, could put a winning team on the field. Then, there was this year's disastrous relief-pitching staff with the highest ERA in the majors. Games would seemingly be won, and this band of bumble-fucks would come in and give up five or six runs. How did it get this bad? We blame Tweedle-Dumber (Josh Byrnes). Hinch was just in over his pretty, buzz-cut head. Now, with them gone and vastly experienced Gibson at the helm, we predict the team can finish at least at .500 next season. Sad thing is, the Tweedles still are owed $7 million.