D-backs embrace intense Camp Gibby

BY foxsports • February 14, 2011


The Arizona Diamondbacks' cultural revolution began in earnest Monday, when pitchers and catchers worked out for the first time at pristine Salt River Fields. If the D-backs' remake is anything like their new spring facility, it will be something to see.

Manager Kirk Gibson promised to implement a new culture when he signed a two-year deal to remain as manager last October, and he made that abundantly clear when he spoke to the pitchers and catchers before they took the field.

The gist of his talk?

"It's 'balls to the wall,' " left-hander Joe Saunders said. "He's coming in with something to prove, and he wants to get our mindset like that, too. I think it's good.

"He said everyone is going to be fighting for a job. It's not what you did in the past. He said no job is set in stone, so it is going to make you compete. That's their gig. Compete, and they are going to take the best 25 out of spring training. So it should be fun."

After 92 and 97 losses and fifth-place finishes in the NL West the past two seasons, the D-backs are willing participants in the remake that includes 21 new faces on the 40-man roster after wheeler-dealer general manager Kevin Towers made four trades, signed seven free agents, added one player from the waiver wire and another in the Rule 5 draft. Slightly more than half were in camp Monday; the full squad does not have its first workout until Saturday.

"The last two years we've been losing 90 games, and it seems like nothing happened," catcher Miguel Montero said. "I don't think that is going to happen again. If we lose again, everybody is going to know that we lost a game. I think that's what it means. And I like that idea, because I hate to lose. Period.

"I mean, there was something wrong, for sure, because we lost 90-some games. I guess we gave up too early, maybe. That is what he is trying to say, that we will never give up. Even if we are losing by 10 runs, keep pushing hard until the game is over."

Part of the change is expected to come in the clubhouse itself. Towers and Gibson added veteran reserves identified as leader types who could be a positive factor

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