The Diamondbacks arrived at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, still grappling with the ramifications and excitement of selling their club’s trading deadline the day before. Their front office decided that their season was likely a lost cause. Players are still hoping to prove otherwise.
With their 14-21 record, their playoffs odds a tick below 7%, and four veteran players taken off the roster – center-back Starling Marte, closest Archie Bradley and lefties Robbie Ray and Andrew Chafin – the Diamondbacks have tried to go into the last 25 games of their season with the same attitude as before.
Our focus is always the same
Diamondback short film Nick Ahmed said. “We’re not putting in the towel. Nobody is doing that.”
Defeats to Bradley,
Ray and Chafin left the club with even less connection to their last team in the playoffs. Only five players – Ahmed, Jake Lamb, Ketel Marte, Christian Walker and David Peralta – remain from the squad that won 93 games and the 2017 wild card game. The biggest names on this list, including Paul Goldschmidt , Zack Greinke, AJ Pollock and Patrick Corbin are long gone.
“I think everyone is trying to sail today because we got rid of some guys who as you know have been in the D-Backs for a long time,” said right fielder Kole Calhoun. “It’s definitely different going out on the pitch today.”
There were few questions about the message GM Mike
Hazen and his front office sent to the team with his moves on Monday. For a while on Tuesday afternoon there was confusion over the interpretation of Hazen’s real words.
In a 40-minute post-deadline session with reporters on Monday afternoon,
Hazen made it clear that he believes the club’s poor performance so far this season has forced him to focus on the ‘to come up. He took responsibility for the unfolding of the season, appearing disappointed and upset by the situation. But he wasn’t willing to sell reporters a view of his sold-out club making its playoff debut.
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“The hope for these next 25 matches is that we are going to play as hard as possible and challenge anything we can challenge,” Hazen said. “Now my expectations of what that might mean for wins and losses should match what I just did on the roster. But there will be no expectation (of variation) in the way we play baseball. ”
However, the last sentences of an email sent Monday night to team pass holders and signed by Hazen gave a different impression, suggesting that the team had already moved on in 2020.
“We started this season with all the expectations to make it to the playoffs, so today is really disappointing,” the letter read. “But we are well positioned to continue to improve in the offseason and field a team in 2021 that compete hard every day and make you proud.”
The contents of the letter were communicated to Ahmed in a phone call with reporters on Tuesday afternoon. Ahmed’s first reaction was anger.
“It’s infuriating,” Ahmed said.
“I hope Mike stops making comments like this. Nobody puts in the towel. No one is saying that we are abandoning the season. As a player, that pisses me off, great. ”
Apparently the letter was not from Hazen but was drafted by the club’s communications department, who attempted to condense Hazen’s lengthy comments from Monday into a short email. A spokesperson for the team took responsibility for the wording, adding that the air had been cleared with Ahmed and Calhoun, who were also asked about the email.
“One thing I know for sure is that Mike never, ever, ever talked about cashing in or losing and moving on,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “It’s not in his DNA.”
Lovullo compared the wave of exchanges to the end of a romantic relationship
saying the team’s mood was gloomy on Monday after parting with a trio of longtime players, plus another from Starling Mars. who was the starting midfielder and the first batter. 3. He said he hadn’t touched another person for five or six months, but on Monday he made an exception by giving Bradley and Mars hugs.