Nov. 09, 2016
Moving On from the Past
There is new blood in the desert. Torey Lovullo is the new skipper of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was introduced as manager by the new GM Mike Hazen on November 7th at Chase Field. So, after 2 years the Diamondbacks have turned things over to new decision makers, hoping that this time they've finally chosen a winning combination.
It wasn't that long ago, the Diamondbacks were the World Champs. The epic Game 7 victory over the storied Yankees brought Phoenix its first championship in any of the 4 major professional sports. That team, unfortunately, wasn't built for the long term. Jerry Colangelo and the front office went all in for the small window that players like Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Matt Williams, Mark Grace, Luis Gonzalez, Jay Bell, etc would have of being great enough to win. The window was open for about 2 years and just as quickly as the team was assembled, it was dismantled through trades, free agency and retirement. They did not transition gracefully.
There were a lot of lean years with teams known as "The Baby Backs". There was a couple of runs to the post season, but nothing substantial. The ownership was so antsy for success, that the only thing being turned over faster than the players, was the front office that put the teams together. Since 2001, there have been 6 managers (they just hired number 7) and 6 General Managers (they just hired number 7). That's a lot of turnover, even in professional sports.
Now the job belongs to Hazen and Lovullo to turn around the franchise after a miserable season. The question then comes down to who stays and who goes? Questions surrounding the coaching staff as well as players have been swirling around like those annoying houseflies at your grandma's house because she refuses to close the windows during the summer. Its hot outside!
The coaching staff is an interesting dilemma. Two members of the coaching staff are icons from that 2001 team, Mark Grace and Matt Williams. They are both fan favorites and have placed their names firmly in the history of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Those two men, are now looking for new jobs. Lovullo and Hazen have decided to move on from the ghosts of the past. Mike Hazen described the decision as "very difficult" and was "not taken lightly" with reporters. Was this wise?
We've all had the opportunity to move forward in life with a big change. Whether it was a new relationship, job, home, location or spiritual awakening, we all encounter times where moving forward doesn't match up with our past. So, how do you know if you should move on or hold on?
Purpose. What is the purpose of keeping the person around? In the Dbacks case, it was more reasonable to find other people that better fit the vision of what Torey Lovullo wants to do with the club. This doesn't mean that Grace and Williams are bad people or coaches. It means they just don't fit with the vision. Lovullo will find people that will better serve his purpose of creating an atmosphere and environment that he is more comfortable with in the clubhouse. We do the same. Are the people we are spending our time with serving their purpose to help you reach the goals and vision you have for your life? Some people fit better than others. Its not an indictment against those people you may need to move on from, it just means they are no longer helping you grow in the way you need for your life. Its okay.
Baggage. Everyone has baggage that they carry with them. When turning over a new leaf, it can be good to release some of the baggage that has caused you to stumble in the past. It can be hard for some people to see change without putting up a fight. It happens in work and social situations. "You've changed, bro!" has been the last words of friendship for ages. Surrounding yourself with new people can eliminate that past that could slow you down.
People are important. Who you spend your time with is important. Its been said that you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with (This is why I am so childish, because I spend so much time with my 5 children). You have to surround yourself with people that allow you to grow and be yourself. There isn't much time in life to waste being around people that hold you back because of their own issues. So, if you can help it, connect with people you like and ditch the people you don't. Sometimes we're stuck with people at work or in the family, so we just have to put our attention on the positive.
Will the Diamondbacks be successful with the new environment? Should they have given more time to those in the organization in the past? Just like our own lives, we just don't know right away. In fact, it could take years to know if you made the right decision, but often it doesn't take long to know if you made the wrong one. Good luck to the Diamondbacks this year and good luck to you as we all keep moving forward.