A.J. Hinch: What Have You Done to the Diamondbacks?

Scott McLaurinContributor IJune 18, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02:  Arizona Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch looks on during batting practice prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on June 2, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Has A.J. Hinch finally come out of his stupor?

Whatever A.J. Hinch said to the team in the pre-game meeting, perhaps he struck gold with his words. The Diamondbacks came out and pulled out a good ole' fashioned can of "12-5 whoop-ass" on the Royals.

Max Scherzer pitched an incredible game with only two earned runs against the Royals.  It was expected that Zack Greinke, one of the best in MLB, would win the pitching duel.

What really made me happy to see was that the D-backs didn't just stop when they thought they had enough; which has led to their demise in the past. They kept on, kept getting hits, and kept driving up the score.  To me, that is baseball.  There is no such thing as piling on.

I realize that the game of baseball can be a little boring at times, and perhaps players can lose focus. Bob Melvin was fired due to the team’s perceived lack of fire, passion, and their inability to even hit a beach ball.

A.J. Hinch was then hired as his replacement, however, he had no manager experience. No one knew what to expect, and judging by the D-backs performance this season, it was apparent there was some internal tension in place.

It seemes that you could see the frustration culminating in Hinch's face in each post-game interview. It must have all come to a boil last night!

Hinch held a pre-game meeting, which stretched nearly 45 minutes long.

"It was a good meeting," third baseman Mark Reynolds said. "I think it brought us closer together. A lot of guys aired some things out and that's what we needed. It made us a lot stronger as a group I think and it was a positive meeting and it may help down the line."

"Everybody got their focus back," Scherzer said of the meeting. "You play day in, day out, travel and you can lose your focus. It happens to everybody. You have a team meeting like the one we have and I think everybody got their focus back and put their focus on baseball and what comes first. I think it was evident tonight because the hitters had a tough challenge tonight and they came through and were able to score some runs off one of the best pitchers in the league."

As a manager, sometimes you have to air the dirty laundry, say things that need to be said; say things that some may not want to hear.  Give your people a chance to air their grievances, then air yours. 

For every problem, offer a solution. These guys are playing the greatest game on earth! Let's hope that whatever took place in the meeting last night will bring back that childhood passion that makes baseball so great and give all of us D-back fans something to cheer about!