Former GM Towers dies of cancer

Former GM Towers dies of cancer

Before the Diamondbacks he was the Padres' general manger from 1995-2009.

A native of Medford, Oregon, he was selected in the first round of the 1982 draft and pitched in the Minor Leagues for seven seasons before a series of arm injuries ended his playing career in 1988.

Towers was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer a little more than a year ago. Kevin spent almost thirty years in the Padres Organization as a player, scout and front office executive. They also finished last on several occasions.

As a kid, I grew up in San Diego, watching the likes of Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman, but Kevin Towers left a tremendous impact on me. He didn't often have a lot of money to sign free agents, but he did snag a couple of big names at the end of their careers, including Hall of Famers Rickey Henderson, Mike Piazza and Greg Maddux.

Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers talks to the press at the team's spring training baseball facility in Scottsdale, Ariz. Even though the Padres were blanked by the Bronx Bombers in four straight games, it was an October to remember in sunny San Diego. The Padres went to the 1998 World Series, their second in franchise history.

Swatting at mosquitoes won't be pointless in any case
The critters that didn't have dopamine receptors by genetic modification couldn't learn to avoid smells associated with swatting. A chemical message in mosquitoes' brains meant the insects were warned when they thought they might be about to be squashed.

His tenure in Arizona was likewise characterized by ups and downs.

Kevin Towers was the general manager of the Padres when I made my debut in 2005.

The D-backs won the NL West in 2011 and with a 94-68 record lost to the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS. When Jones replied "Breslow", Towers asked "Who?"

Towers was offered a job in the organization in another capacity but declined it, choosing instead to take a scouting position with the Cincinnati Reds, which he held until his cancer diagnosis. He was 56 years old.