D-backs owner blasts Stephen Drew for slow rehab time, also calls Justin Upton on carpet

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

Arizona Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick says he doesn't want to "be reactionary" when it comes to his team's disappointing 26-30 start.

But after hearing his comments on a Arizona radio station Xtra 910 AM on Tuesday afternoon, you'd almost hate to hear the thoughts Kendrick considers reactionary.

Seriously, who died and made this guy Steinbrenner? (Don't answer that.)

In an interview that was later transcribed by Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Kendrick came out with guns blazing against injured shortstop Stephen Drew, more or less questioning his desire and motives while rehabbing from this gruesome ankle injury.

On Drew, who hasn't played since being hurt late last July:

"I think Stephen should have been out there playing before now, frankly," Kendrick said. "I, for one, am disappointed. I'm going to be real candid and say Stephen and his representatives are more focused on where Stephen is going to be a year from now than on going out and supporting the team that's paying his salary."

On Justin Upton, who has posted a .704 OPS in 2012 after posting an .898 in 2011:

"He's certainly not the Justin Upton that he has been in the past and that we would expect of him. He's 24 years old, and it's time for him to be a consistent performer and right now this year he's not been that."

To Kendrick's credit, he pointed out that the season is long and that Upton — who finished fourth in the NL MVP voting in 2011 —  has more than enough time to fluff his numbers. Also, though the reigning NL West champions currently trail the first-place Dodgers by nine games, there's time for a rally in the standings.

To Kendrick's discredit, it took Drew's agent Scott Boras to point out how ridiculous Kendrick's comments about the shortstop were. Drew can be a free agent after this season if a $10 million mutual option isn't exercised, but how is he going to earn 1) the club's approval of that option or 2) multi-year money from another team if he isn't on the field proving that he's healthy? If Drew were really intentionally sitting out at this point, he'd be hurting himself a lot more than the struggling D-backs.

Kendrick prefaced his comments by saying he's disappointed about the team's performance and wants them to do better, so at least we know they were born from a good place. Still, the mere state of disappointment doesn't excuse the removal of all logic and courtesy from Kendrick's remarks.

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