A Plethora of Subjects

I admit it, I am a big fan of the movie The Three Amigos starring Chevy Chase, Martin Short, and Steve Martin. For those of you who have not seen the movie it is about three Hollywood motion picture stars who are mistaken for real western heroes and are hired to help a small village in Mexico escape the tyrannical clutches of El Guapo played by Alfonso Arau.

During the movie, El Guapo has an exchange with his henchman Jefe where he asks if Jefe would say he has a “plethora of piñatas”. Jefe answers yes and is then caught when El Guapo questions whether Jefe even knows what a “plethora” means. It is a whimsical movie that somehow finds its way into my DVD player at least once during the off-season.

Today I find myself with a plethora of small subjects, which on the surface are not related. What am I saying, they are not related on any level other than the fact that I was thinking about them. Rather than have a bunch of little disjointed subjects I decided to combine them to have one disjointed entry.

The Arizona Diamondbacks finished a three game series with the San Francisco Giants this afternoon. The first two games were just a further continuation of the disappointment that Arizona Diamondbacks fans have felt all year.

threeamigosGame one of the series saw Doug Davis make a start for the Diamondbacks. Davis is inching closer to 200 innings for the season. It has been a rocky road for Davis as he has generally given his team an opportunity to win but has been the recipient of no run support. Today though it was Davis who let down the team.

Lasting only four innings Doug Davis gave up seven hits and four runs while walking five. Considering Davis is about to enter free agency that is not exactly the kind of box score you want to have on your resume.

There are a lot of questions surrounding the 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitching staff. There was a time during this season where I felt the Diamondbacks had no choice but to bring Davis back next year. As the year has progressed though I question whether he belongs here.

I love the idea that he is once again at nearly 200 innings. Having a pitcher go deep into a game will definitely help manage the number of innings your bullpen has to be on the field. The problem is you never know which Doug Davis is going to step onto the mound. Is it the crafty southpaw who had a string of quality starts or will it be the Doug Davis who walks more batters than he strikes out and constantly pitches with runners in scoring position?

When Davis is on the mound you always feel like the opposing team is one pitch away from a big inning. If the Diamondbacks bring him back they would want to do so with a one-year contract while Davis has made it clear he is only interested in a multi-year contract. I expect that we may have seen the last of Doug Davis in a Diamondbacks uniform.

Game two of the series the Diamondbacks sent Kevin Mulvey to the mound. Mulvey was the player to be named later in the Jon Rauch deal with the Minnesota Twins. At the time General Manager Josh Byrnes was very high on Mulvey and made it clear he expected him to battle for a spot in the rotation next season.

So far Mulvey has gotten four starts with the Arizona Diamondbacks and none of them have been very impressive. He has given up 18 runs on 23 hits in 23 innings of work. Not exactly a body of work that will endure him to Diamondbacks fans. The knowledge that Mulvey may be one of the Diamondbacks five starters does not leave me with comfortable thoughts when I go to bed.

In the finale the Diamondbacks sent staff ace Dan Haren to the mound to face reigning Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum. During the first half of the season when Haren stepped onto the mound you could almost guarantee a victory. Over the second half of the season Haren has been erratic. I have to wonder whether the 223.1 innings he has pitched are now starting to catch up to him.

His lack of consistency reminds me a little bit of Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. During his rookie season Verlander dominated during the first part of the season but by the time the post season arrived there was not much left in the tank. Verlander adjusted his workout regime and has now become a dominating force for the Tigers.

I’m concerned with Haren that if the Diamondbacks could somehow reach the play-offs next season would he have enough left to pitch them deep into October? I’m hoping that the Diamondbacks training staff reviews the training schedule for Haren and makes some changes that will allow him to be more consistent for the whole season.

During today’s game both pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and manager A.J. Hinch were ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Hunter Wendlestadt. Stottlemyre was tossed first when he voiced his displeasure at the ump while visiting the mound. Hinch was ejected after coming out of the dugout to understand why Stottlemyre was ejected.

I usually do not condone arguments or brawls but in the case of the Diamondbacks, I think the team needs an attitude adjustment this off-season. I remember watching the Diamondbacks in 1998 and they played rather complacent ball throughout the year. After that season the Diamondbacks retooled adding several free agents including Randy Johnson, Todd Stottlemyre, and others.

During the 1999 season the Diamondbacks played with an aggressive fire as though they had a chip on their shoulder that they dared the entire National League to knock off. There were several heated moments where both benches cleared but overall this attitude was one that they didn’t take crap from anyone. This team has somehow lost it and plays a very timid game.

As a fan I would much rather see a team who is ticked off when things go wrong and even more arrogant and feisty when things are going right. They need to seize the moment and take the game rather than wait for the game to be given to them as though they entitled to it.

That kind of attitude needs to be taught by veteran ball players. I would like to see the Diamondbacks go out this off-season and tool up their roster with mean and tough players who play the game with grit. Mark Reynolds shows glimpses of this attitude but it needs to permeate through all 40 members on the roster.

Tuesday September 29 at 11:59 PM was the deadline for fans to enter the Where in the World is Augie’s Bobble Head contest. I was hoping they would post the winner yesterday but as of today there is still no word on their web site as to who may have won that contest.

I’m really curious what kind of places the fans put Augie’s bobble head. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for an answer.

When the season started I looked at this last road trip on the schedule and really expected that this upcoming series with the Chicago Cubs would have play-off implications possibly for the NL wild card. Going into these last three games, they are meaningless. Both teams are well out of the playoff hunt and failed to meet expectations.

The Diamondbacks are now in the midst of a three game losing streak having just completed their worst month of the season. Part of me almost wants to see the team lose these last three games in hopes of having a better draft position for the 2010 draft. When your fans start rooting for the team to lose you know you’re having a very bad season.

So after a whirlwind of various topics I’ll leave you with the words of Lucky Day from The Three Amigos, “In a way, each of us has an El Guapo to face. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous man who wants to kill us. But as sure as my name is Lucky Day, the people of Santa Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be *the actual* El Guapo!” Let’s hope that the Diamondbacks can find an answer for defeating their own El Guapo.

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