Chip Hale, Dave Stewart Fired by Diamondbacks: Latest Comments, Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2016

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 06:  General manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale #3 of the Arizona Diamondbacks talk on the field before the Opening Day MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on April 6, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Diamondbacks fired manager Chip Hale and general manager Dave Stewart on Monday after the team failed to reach expectations following an offseason of high-profile moves. 

Fox Sports Arizona's Jody Jackson shared a statement from the Diamondbacks:

ESPN.com's Dan Szymborski thought Stewart deserved more blame for Arizona's disappointing 69-93 record:

Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra wrote more changes are needed in order for the Diamondbacks to turn things around:

Hale is a victim of circumstance more than anything else. He took over the Diamondbacks ahead of the 2015 season and led them to a 15-win improvement during his first year in charge, which gave the organization hope of contending this season.

In turn, the Arizona front office made a couple of blockbuster moves. It signed prized free-agent starting pitcher Zack Greinke to a monster long-term contract (six years, $206.5 million) and acquired fellow starter Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves as part of a trade in which it gave up 2015 first overall pick Dansby Swanson.

The Miller trade by itself was a fireable offense. In 38 games with the Braves this past season, Swanson batted .302 with three home runs and 17 RBI. The 22-year-old looks like a franchise cornerstone for Atlanta. 

Miller, meanwhile, was demoted to the minors in the middle of the year because he was badly struggling. He finished the year 3-12 in 20 starts with a 6.15 ERA.

The arrivals of Greinke and Miller, paired with some minor roster tweaking, considerably raised expectations heading into this season. As it became clear the D-Backs weren't going to compete for a playoff berth, frustration began to mount in the desert.

One could sense the letdown in comments from Hale passed along by Michael Wagaman of the Associated Press after the team traded closer Brad Ziegler to the Boston Red Sox in July.

"I don't [have] really any words to say about it, it's just something that has to happen," he said. "It's partially [because] we haven't played well enough to keep him. We should have played better and these things wouldn't be happening."

Ultimately, somebody had to take the fall for Arizona's failure to contend, and ownership identified Hale and Stewart.

It's difficult to pin most of the blame on Hale. Greinke (13-7, 4.37 ERA) didn't pitch like an ace and spent time on the disabled list after suffering an oblique injury, and Miller was downright terrible. Meanwhile, losing outfielder A.J. Pollock to a broken elbow for most of the year was a huge blow to the offense.

Stewart, on the other hand, was the engineer of his own demise, and his replacement will have a difficult time undoing the damage he did to the roster.

The Diamondbacks couldn't stand pat given the hype they entered the season with, so a complete overhaul is necessary this offseason.

                                                        

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