Stewart: Diamondbacks are “True Baseball Team” Others Aren’t


As an Arizona Diamondbacks fan, we got enough drama, and weird publicity during the Kevin Towers, Kirk Gibson era.

Now Dbacks G.M decided to get into the act today, with some interesting comments about why free agent ace James Shields might take less money to sign with the Dbacks. Here is what he had to say speaking with Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

“I think James is a throwback guy by the way he goes about his business and the innings he pitches,” Stewart said. “I think the fact that Tony (La Russa) is here and that we have more baseball people – he probably sees us as a true baseball team vs. some of the other teams out here that are geared more toward analytics and those type of things.”

“Sometimes, there are concessions the player will make to be here. It’s the case that he likes what we’re doing with our organization from our end, all we can hope is that there will be concessions enough that he can be here.

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First, the Diamondbacks are clearly really interested in the 33 year old right-hander, and want to bring him to the desert, and why not. That is not the odd part. The quote above is what doesn’t make sense.

Sure, some teams use analytics more than others, and some use numbers (Oakland Athletics), more than you probably should, but hey it’s worked for them for the most part. I’ve never anybody say that teams that don’t use analytics aren’t “true baseball teams,” and don’t have “baseball people.”

First of all, those comments aren’t going to sit well with opposing teams G.M.’s during trade negotiations, and second of all every team in baseball uses saber-metrics in some capacity, some more than others. Teams that don’t use it as much still have baseball people, and Dave, they are still a baseball team.

Also his comments are pretty ironic. Dave in case you forgot, here is a reminder: Remember when you hired a director of analytics back in November, and a whole analytics department! It’s not like the Dbacks aren’t going to use analytics.

Now, Shields would be a nice signing for a team in desperate need of an innings eater, a consistent performer, and stability at the top of the rotation.

Shields has had eight consecutive seasons of at least 200 innings pitched. The Dbacks had only two starters with more than 120 IP last season (Josh Collmenter, Vidal Nuno), and neither of them is an ace.

Shields is getting up in age, and given how many innings he has logged, I wouldn’t give him more than a three year deal. Now that the Diamondbacks are in on him, his market is presumably not in the $100 million dollar range, because the Dbacks don’t want to spend that kind of money.

Shields would be a great addition, but Stewart’s comments are just mind boggling. I just hope he didn’t mean what he said.