Which Way Does This Door Revolve?

This year and the upcoming off-season will see more changes to the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise than any in the team’s nine year existence. Not since 1998 will we see this much of a difference in the team and that is not even counting the changes to player personnel on the field. It’s been well documented that Luis Gonzalez and Craig Counsell will not be back as players in 2007 and there are strong indications that Miguel Batista will also not be back. With the relatively small pool of quality free agent starting pitchers, Batista will likely be priced out of the Diamondbacks budget. So Josh Byrnes will have his work cut out for him to tweak the roster while staying within a similar budget for next season. No matter how many changes Byrnes makes, he will never be able to catch what is being done in the front office and business side.

Unless you have been living under a rock or in a cave on the outskirts of Bagdad sharing a Hershey’s Bar with Saddam, you are probably well aware that the Arizona Diamondbacks are changing their team colors and logo. This has been discussed before in this blog so I won’t rehash my feelings towards Sedona Red, Black, and Sand. It is a big change and has lots of implications. The team is planning an announcement on November 11 to unveil the color scheme followed of course by a huge marketing blitz and I’m sure extended hours for the team shop. An interesting note about the colors came from center fielder Eric Byrnes who was quoted as saying that Major League Baseball strongly suggested the Diamondbacks change. For the life of me I can’t imagine why Major League Baseball would care so I chalk this up to yet another colorful and entertaining quote by Byrnes.

The colors are not the only things changing this off-season. Rich Dozer president of the Diamondbacks stepped down meaning the Diamondbacks have a new president for the first time in their franchise history. Derrick Hall will now lead the team and if he anticipated a smooth “business as usual” kind of transition he should question the validity of his sources.

From a baseball operations standpoint the Diamondbacks are losing three coaches from the 2006 season (at least as of today). Hitting Coach Mike Aldrete is stepping down to spend more time with his family. He and his wife will be working together in real estate. It is hard to fault someone for wanting more quality time with his family. Aldrete will be missed. Shortly after Mike announced his plans, bench coach Jay Bell offered a similar tale wanting to spend more time with his family as well. He will step down and become a special assistant to manager Bob Melvin helping out during Spring Training and occasionally during home stands. Melvin alluded to making third base coach Carlos Tosca his new bench coach but before the sounds of Melvin’s voice faded with the last syllable, Tosca resigned to become the new bench coach for the Florida Marlins. So in less than a week after the season ended nearly half the coaching staff is no longer with the team.

Television and radio announcer Thom Brennaman announced he had reached an agreement to return to Cincinnati to become an announcer for the Reds working along side his father, Hall of Fame announcer Marty Brennaman. This is another situation where it is hard to fault a decision as Thom has an opportunity to work with his dad in his home town. So yet again, another familiar face that has been with the organization since its inception is gone.

When ownership changed from Jerry Colangelo to Ken Kendrick everyone anticipated that there would be a few things that were done differently. I am not sure anyone expected to see such a wholesale number of changes within a short period of time. Looking at the young players it is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the youth movement. What is yet to be seen though is whether this transition from old guard to new will have an impact either with the on-field product as a result of changes to the head of scouting and coaching changes or in-stands product with changes to the front office, colors, and marketing. It just makes you wonder how many more turns this revolving door has in it this off-season.

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