After splitting the first two games of the series with the San Francisco Giants, the Diamondbacks find themselves in the same position as they did in the San Diego Padres series and the Los Angeles Dodgers series. That means that the team had to win today to take the series when they should have been playing for a sweep. Each of the games that the Diamondbacks have lost on this road trip was very winnable yet here we sit with a record of 3-5. This is just a microcosm of the way this whole season has gone for the Diamondbacks. They have had numerous opportunities to be in the thick of a play-off run but they just can’t seem to string together a series of wins over a specified time. At first I blamed global warming since that appears to be the scapegoat for all that is wrong in the world but as soon as you start talking about temperatures rising someone always brings up the melting ice caps and the whole in the ozone layer and it’s just hard to get the conversation back onto baseball after that.
Today’s game marked the final road game of the 2006 season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. It is kind of sad to think that this is the last of anything for any season so my mood was less than stellar as it was. Then I found out that the game was not going to be televised as it was an afternoon game which meant I would be listening to the game via the radio and that I would follow along using Gameday on MLB.com.
Before the game started I looked over the starting line-up for each team. Arizona manager Bob Melvin was giving Luis Gonzalez the day off so that he is rested for what will be a very emotional four game series in Arizona when he says good bye to the fans. Gonzalez is a very special player and is important both on and off the field as he has been a model citizen in every clubhouse he has been in. After checking the line-up for the Diamondbacks I moved over to see who they would be facing. Just as I suspected, Barry Bonds is again taking the day off. I had read earlier that he wants to come back and play another season so he can break Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record and he would prefer to do that in San Francisco. The Giants on the other hand were hoping to go younger and more athletic to try and compete in a division that sees many of the teams with a core of young players that they are building upon. For the Giants to bring back a player that is 43 who has not played a full season in over two years who is also under suspicion of taking steroids and is being accused of tax evasion has San Francisco management more than a little concerned.
This dilemma began to give me an idea. Since San Francisco is looking to get a lot younger and more athletic and they would like to find someone who could play a whole season in left field without having to take multiple days off; maybe they should consider signing Luis Gonzalez. He is 4 years younger than Bonds and in much better shape. If you don’t think 4 years is very much, try suggesting to your wife that maybe your 12-year-old daughter should start dating a 16-year-old boy and see what kind of reaction you get. Of course you will end up spending the rest of the night explaining you were trying to make a baseball point and that you really had not lost your mind making that suggestion but you get my point. I mean this would be the perfect situation (Gonzalez going to San Francisco not having hormonally unbalanced teenage boys come to my house asking to see my daughter). Gonzo is a team player, a mentor, and an all-around good guy. Barry Bonds is well, Barry Bonds. Gonzalez is dependable and wants to play. Barry Bonds is well, Barry Bonds. Granted, Barry does have some things that Gonzo doesn’t like a head the size of the Bay Bridge, an unlimited supply of flaxseed oil, his own Paula Abdul wig and dress, and Gary Sheffield’s chef. But Gonzo has something Barry may never have, a World Championship ring and the gratitude that it took to get it. San Francisco could do a lot worse than signing Luis Gonzalez. They would be trading one Hall of Fame player for one who should be considered Hall of Fame worthy and this would give them a way to needle the Diamondbacks just a little each time the teams play and Gonzalez hits another double climbing the ladder of immortals. There really may be something to this youth movement and San Francisco should not be left out.