D'Backs Managing Partner Ken Kendrick Defends Comments Criticizing Players
D'Backs Managing Partner Ken Kendrick "knows that some of the comments he's made this season didn't win him universal approval," but yesterday suggested "there were things happening behind the scenes that prompted him to speak," according to Nick Piecoro of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Kendrick twice "made waves this season with candid interviews on local radio stations." In June, he "criticized shortstop Stephen Drew for his slow return to health and called right fielder Justin Upton an 'enigma' for his sluggish start at the plate." Last week, he "took aim at pitching prospect Trevor Bauer, painting the right-hander as obstinate and immature." Kendrick's "outspokenness is refreshing." His comments "can give voice to the frustrations of fans." Kendrick "leaves no doubt about the passion he has for his team." But Piecoro asks, "In the end, what good does it serve?" For an organization that "prides itself" on being named one of the Best Places to Work by the Phoenix Business Journal, "having the owner criticizing employees on the radio doesn't seem to foster a positive work environment." Kendrick said, "At the end of the day, I think the fans deserve honesty more than political correctness. I want the fans to know the person who is speaking really cares and is honest, as I have tried to be." He added it is "one of the things that's maybe a difficult part of being in an ownership position, does that mean that you abdicate your right to make any critical comments of your team and its performance? ... I would prefer an owner of a team that I'm a fan of to be more honest about what he feels is going on with his players" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/10).