Arizona Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick shook things up a little bit when, on local radio, he called out injured shortstop Stephen Drew, saying that he felt that Drew and his people were more concerned about his playing a year from now and not right now, expressing "doubts" that Drew is handling the injury situation with integrity.
When manager Kirk Gibson was asked if he had seen or heard the comments by Kendrick, he simply said , "I did not...I'm really not privy to those comments and I don't think it's appropriate for me to sit and comment on that situation."
However, he did comment on Drew, rather than on the comments that Kendrick made. "He's coming in here and he's doing what I'm asking him to do," he explained about Drew and his efforts. It has always been a case of "when he's comfortable and he's ready to play," but then added, "we can't force him to play."
When asked if he was comfortable where Drew was at in his progress, he sidestepped it, saying, "I think I've already discussed that."
Clearly, he was not going to say anything to confirm what Kendrick had said, even though Kendrick said that, while he had not personally had conversations with Drew about the concerns about his dedication to coming back and playing, there were those who had spoken to the shortstop. Gibson was also not going to put one of his players on the spot in that situation, when he has yet to play a game for the team this year.
At the same time, his completely avoiding the opportunity to strongly stand behind Drew is just as telling. Sometimes the lack of an answer is an answer itself.
However, as a manager, he has to trust his player if he says he's not ready. If Drew is telling him he needs more time, he has to give him that.
But there is no denying that, with the way that the Diamondbacks have been playing, it is hard to think that an almost there Drew wouldn't be an upgrade over Willie Bloomquist or even an overachieving John McDonald.
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