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Dave Stewart, Tony La Russa and the laughingstock that is the Diamondbacks front office

Tony La Russa's 2nd Annual Leaders & Legends Gala Benefiting His Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF)

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 22: (L-R) Former Major League Baseball manager and player Tony La Russa, former Major League Baseball League player Dave Stewart and former college basketball coach Bobby Knight arrive at Tony La Russa’s 2nd annual Leaders & Legends gala benefitting Animal Rescue Foundation at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on November 22, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Animal Rescue Foundation)

Bryan Steffy

ESPN’s Keith Law wrote a column today (Insider only) ripping the Diamondbacks’ front office under Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart, whom he says have undertaken a “Reign of Error” in Arizona.

This is not your typical “Dave Stewart shouldn’t have traded Dansby Swanson or Touki Toussaint” or “The Dbacks never should have signed Zack Greinke” kind of thing. Law accuses Stewart and La Russa of basic incompetence, arguing that they have a limited understanding of the draft, bonus pools and the international signing rules and that they seem to have a poor grasp of the players in their own system, all of which has cost the club dearly.

And then there’s stuff like this:

Stewart’s unfamiliarity with the rules hasn’t just applied to the international pools. According to multiple sources, in early 2015 he tried to make a trade with another team that would have violated MLB rules, and the GM of the other team had to explain to him that such a move was not allowed.

Law says that La Russa has been no better, pointing out comments he made about Shelby Miller which “were totally inappropriate for a club official to make, whatever he was trying to imply.” He says "[t]here are good, competent people in the Diamondbacks’ baseball ops department, but they appear to have no sway over the decisions La Russa and Stewart are making.”

It’s one thing to take issue with the decisions a front office makes. It’s a totally different deal when the matter is incompetence rather than poor judgment. Law is clearly making both arguments here and, if his sources on the matter of incompetence are correct, it’s a pretty damning indictment of the La Russa-Stewart regime.

Not that I expect this to be the end of it. Given La Russa’s recent track record when it comes to critics -- and given his past displeasure, however misguided it was, with Law himself -- I would expect a sharp retort from the Dbacks brass about all of this.

Someone get me some popcorn.

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