Two days after Arizona Diamondbacks Majority Owner Ken Kendrick called out the face of the franchise Justin Upton and questioned the drive of starting shortstop Stephen Drew, things appear to be returning to normal after two straight wins and a much-needed off-day on Thursday.
Kendrick and Upton have communicated via text and reportedly there are no hard feelings.
As for Drew, the front office will get an up-close and personal look this weekend as he continues his Triple-A rehab assignment with the Reno Aces. The Aces play in Tucson starting Thursday night.
Dbacks President & CEO Derrick Hall is taking everything in stride, but appreciates the honestly and dedication of his boss towards the product.
“I’ve been around a lot of owners and I’ve seen few who have as much passion and care as he does,” Hall told ‘Big Guy on Sports’ Thursday. “He wants to win extremely bad. [His comments] were very blunt and to the point. That’s who Ken is.”
Things haven’t gone as expected for the National League West champs who entered the season not only as the frontrunners in the division, but a strong World Series candidate by many in the local and national media.
Kendrick’s pointed comments don’t come as a surprise to many who’ve followed the Diamondbacks and even he admits the “fan in him” at times comes out more often than it should.
Regardless, Hall insists Kendrick isn’t a distraction to anyone within the organization.
“He doesn’t hover over any of us,” Hall explained. “He allows us to do our jobs. We’re very fortunate to have a boss like that. He’s never interfered with anything Kevin [Towers], Gibby [Kirk Gibson], or myself have done.”
Hall said he believes the comments have motivated some players at a time when frustration was mounting both in the clubhouse and among the Diamondbacks fan base.
Upton did not play in Tuesday’s or Wednesday’s wins over Colorado.
It is uncertain if he will return to Kirk Gibson’s lineup when the Dbacks open a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics Friday at Chase Field.