The number of entries on Diary of a Diehard was quite consistent for nearly two years then suddenly at the end of the 2008 season they ground to a halt. Over the off-season my email inbox was littered with equal amounts of get well cards and messages questioning what was going on. In the immortal words of Mark Twain in a letter to Frank E. Bliss in 1897, “”It has been reported that I was seriously ill–it was another man; dying–it was another man; dead–the other man again…As far as I can see, nothing remains to be reported, except that I have become a foreigner. When you hear it, don’t you believe it. And don’t take the trouble to deny it.” I would love to come up with an incredible tale where I found the secret to time travel and have spent the better part of the off-season travelling through time looking for the exact origin of baseball and if it did indeed evolve from rounders rather than been the invention of Abner Doubleday. The problem with that theory is that if I really had a time machine I would be able to go back in time to the end of the 2008 season and resume posting without interruption. I seriously hate when logic ruins a perfectly good blog entry.


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After nearly three weeks of the 2004 season, it is clear that the Arizona Diamondbacks are in desperate need of help for their pitching staff. The departure of Curt Schilling is far more profound than the team had imagined. The thought was that Brandon Webb would be an adequate replacement for Schilling and that Elmer Dessens would rebound and give the Diamondbacks a lot of innings. The team planned to have Shane Reynolds be a capable fourth starter then finalize the rotation with knuckleballer Steve Sparks. Joe Garagiola Jr. had the statistics that stated Sparks would shine in the National League. Instead, he has been roughed up in nearly every game he has pitched in. This coupled with Reynolds beginning the year on the disabled list and the implosion of the bullpen has everyone scratching their heads wondering what to do next. The thought was that Matt Mantei would begin the season as the closer then the Diamondbacks would trade him eliminating $7 million in payroll. Instead, Mantei has struggled on the mound reducing his trade value to the point where the team cannot move him. Outside of Randy Johnson and Brandon Webb, there is not a lot to be encouraged at from the pitching staff of 2004. With a slow start, look to see the Diamondbacks consider some moves even before the all-star break to shore up their pitching corps.


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It seems Father Time is a baseball fan as the Diamondbacks and their Olden Gloves hang on to win the National League Western Division by 2 games over Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants. It seems like sweet vindication to the aging stars of the Arizona Diamondbacks to show that hey maybe they weren’t so old after all.


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Mid-Season Rumors

Matt Mantei is now telling everyone that his 2001 season is officially over. He will fly to Georgia and meet with doctors to determine whether surgery will be required on his pitching elbow. If surgery is indeed required, Mantei may be out until the All-Star break of 2002.


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Off-Season Rumors

Word coming out of the Diamondbacks organization was that they would not be very involved this off-season with free agent signings. The team would like to reduce payroll while maintaining the core of their team intact. That is why the Mark Grace deal makes so little sense. With the Diamondbacks already having an abundance of first basemen on the roster, adding a 36 year old veteran seems questionable.


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More Trade Rumors

It is questionable whether the Diamondbacks will pull the trigger on any trades between now and the trading deadline on July 31. It is not that the Diamondbacks are not willing to make a trade. The issue is whether the Diamondbacks can afford to make a deal. With attendance down again this year, Arizona expects to lose more money than they did last season. This makes it extremely difficult to add more payroll when revenues are declining. Given the current financial situation, the only move the Diamondbacks may make would be to transfer equal payroll or perhaps unload some of their higher price players. Regardless of this situation, there are still a couple of trade rumors that continue to make the rounds.


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Given the multitude of injuries the Diamondbacks have endured this season, you have to give the team credit for working through their adversity. Matt Williams continues his rehabilitation on his right quadriceps muscle while Durazo is back on the disabled list with soreness of his surgically repaired wrist. Todd Stottlemyre’s elbow is in much worse shape than first noted leaving a large hole in the starting rotation. Given these injuries and the tight race in the National League West, the Diamondbacks look to pull off a deal before the July 31 trading deadline. There have been two interesting deals talked about in the press lately.


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