September 21, 2007
Usually at this point of the year the mail man has overcome his fear of the crazed Diamondbacks fan that lives on his route. I am typically too busy calculating play-off “magic numbers” or developing a seat relocation strategy to be bothering postal workers. About the only time I get too out of hand is when my D-Backs Insider magazine is late arriving. I have this theory that my magazine is late because the guys at the post office are each reading it before they deliver it to me. Trina thinks I am turning into a conspiracy theorist. Personally I think Trina is in cahoots with the post office but that is just a theory. Anyway, my magazine had arrived on time this month so I was content leaving the mail man alone. That is until I got today’s mail.
Continue reading ‘Postcards From the Edge’ »
September 20, 2007
It seems like only a week ago that we were cheering at the thought of third baseman Chad Tracy returning from the disabled list. Tracy has been struggling for most of the season with a knee that has been giving him trouble. The thought was that a little bit of rest would help Chad to heal enough so that he could contribute. On paper that sounded great but in reality it didn’t work out quite that well. The rest did not seem to help and Tracy found himself unable to accomplish the things he wanted to do. Additional tests were run and it became clear that surgery was probably the correct treatment for him to finally get better. So with only 9 games remaining and in the middle of a play-off run Chad Tracy’s season was over.
Continue reading ‘Tracy Takes a Knee’ »
September 19, 2007
After the 2006 season the Arizona Diamondbacks decided they needed to make some changes to their roster and in particular they needed to upgrade their starting pitching staff. Although the 2006 team had the National League Cy Young Award winner as its ace, there was not a lot of consistency after Brandon Webb. The bottom of the rotation was especially troublesome with the number 4 and number 5 starters both being extremely inconsistent. Juan Cruz and Claudio Vargas both gave a lot of effort but you never knew whether you were going to get 7 innings or 1 inning of work out of them. No, if the Diamondbacks were going to compete they were going to need to get a lot better results from their starting pitchers. The plan began to materialize in August when the Diamondbacks traded for workhorse Livan Hernandez. He was an innings killer which is exactly what Arizona needed. If they could get more innings out of their starting pitchers that should equate to less wear and tear on their bullpen which in turn should mean more consistency late in the game. Front line starting pitching does not grow on trees (at least I have never seen a starting pitching tree and no one at the nursery that I called had ever heard of one) so the Diamondbacks were going to need to wheel and deal in order to find someone who could fill this desperate need.
Continue reading ‘From “Z” to “D”’ »
September 18, 2007
This is the time of year that I really have to be careful. With a one game lead in the National League West and a heart breaking defeat late in the game I have a tendency to overreact. One loss does not doom a season and a single failure on the mound by the bullpen does not mean that all hope is lost. It is not yet time to climb out on the ledge and threaten to jump if the team does not win a game. Unless of course you are Rally Sally then any day may be a good day to climb out on that ledge and take one giant step forward. Trust me, no one would stop you. Anyway after Monday’s bitter defeat to the Giants I’ll admit I had a lump in my stomach and not just because I tried the Keilbasa at Taste of the Majors (I don’t necessarily recommend that particular delicacy). Even though the Diamondbacks had won 6 of their last 10 I wasn’t exactly brimming with confidence at their chances of making the play-offs. And with rookie Micah Owings on the mound tonight that knot was getting bigger and bigger the closer it got to first pitch. Again, it is not that I don’t have confidence in the Diamondbacks; it is just that… ok I guess it is that I don’t have a lot of confidence. I’ll admit I was scared to death of the game tonight.
Continue reading ‘Micah the Magnificent’ »
September 17, 2007
One of the hidden benefits to having seats along the left field line is the fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks play the San Francisco Giants 18 times during a season with 9 of those games being held at Chase Field. This gives the fans 162 innings to give Barry Bonds grief assuming he plays every game. This assumption has for the most part been false this season. It seems like every time the Giants come to town Barry seems to have some sort of issue that keeps him out of the line-up. Everyone keeps touting that steroids help you to heal faster. I think Barry must have gotten a bum deal (pun intended) on his batch because he’s always hurt. The Giants were officially eliminated from play-off contention when they lost to the Diamondbacks last Wednesday. They were unofficially eliminated from the play-offs when they re-signed Barry Bonds at the winter meetings in Orlando last year. So with the play-offs out of reach for yet another season the question became; how committed would Barry Bonds be to playing out the rest of the season?
Continue reading ‘Barry and the Toe Truck’ »
September 16, 2007
Going into this series with the Los Angeles Dodgers I had hoped that the Diamondbacks would take two out of three games at a minimum and hopefully sweep the Dodgers and put some space between them and their divisional rivals. Instead the Arizona Diamondbacks went into today’s game in a must win situation to avoid being swept by the third place team in the division. In my mind the Diamondbacks had their best opportunity to win in the first two games. Doug Davis was in my mind our best chance of getting a win since he had dominated the Dodgers during his career. Likewise Livan Hernandez has had past success and has historically been a much stronger pitcher in the second half of the season. In both instances the Diamondbacks were turned back by timely hitting and strong pitching by the Dodgers. This left the fate of the series in the hands of Edgar Gonzalez the last remaining Gonzalez on the current active roster. I have to be honest I’ve had happier thoughts this season.
Continue reading ‘Those Pesky Trolley Dodgers’ »
September 15, 2007
This week has been a blur. With the play-off push and the constant calculation of the magic number and the endless explanation to everyone around me of what the “magic number” is and how it is calculated and what makes it so magical; I just plain missed covering an epic event in the Arizona Diamondbacks 2007 season. No it is not that the Diamondbacks have the National League’s best record since the all-star break. That is note worthy and makes a great back story but not necessarily something I want to write about. I’ll probably change my mind and dedicate two whole weeks to discussing how the Diamondbacks went from an also-ran limping into the all-star break to a force to be reckoned with by season end. Who knows, maybe that will be the basis for a piece that describes when fortunes turned and led ultimately to a world championship against the hated Boston Red Sox (this is new for me. For years it was the hated New York Yankees but now that the Red Sox have won one work series in like 78 years they have become more obnoxious than the Yankees). Still, I’m not here to take on the Red Sox nation (yet). Instead I want to talk about Flipping Friday.
Continue reading ‘So Flipping Lucky’ »
September 14, 2007
I rushed to the Internet and navigated my browser to Google. There I frantically entered the search terms “interplanetary, disaster, misalignment, impending doom”. I half expected the number one result to come back with the address www.diamondbacks.com followed by a link to NASA that told of a rogue asteroid that is streaking towards the earth that would collide with the planet making us as extinct as the dinosaurs. There really was no other explanation for tonight’s game. The gravitational pull of the earth had somehow become misaligned causing changes to the ocean tides and disrupting the magnetic poles of the planet. I appreciate that neither Bob Melvin nor Doug Davis wanted to use this as an excuse but the facts remained that there had to be some sort of outside force that had caused Davis to pitch the way he did in tonight’s game.
Continue reading ‘Planetary Disaster is Looming’ »
September 13, 2007
The schedule noted a day off for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The team desperately needs this day to help them to regroup and in many cases heal from the nagging injuries that occur over the course of 147 games. The team starts an important three game series with the surging Los Angeles Dodgers tomorrow which is all the more reason for them to kick back and relax for a day before getting back into the grind. It is a little bit different for a fan. With the exception of a few paper cuts from turning pages in the scorebook and trying to heal from when I got a piece of peanut shell in my eye I don’t have a lot of injuries to show for this season. Oh sure there is the usual writer’s cramp that occurs when there is an extended home stand with extra inning games but that is why we have Spring Training so we can get into shape for the long regular season. Since I don’t have any injuries that would require me to rest I am left trying to find something to do with myself on a day where there is no Diamondbacks baseball. I briefly thought about watching the Dodgers and Padres game but I am not sure who I would root for and I have enough stress in my life without adding any more to my blood pressure.
Continue reading ‘What Would I Ask a GM?’ »