I woke up at 2:00 AM and barely hung on through the rain delay at Sydney Cricket Ground early this morning. I stayed up through the entire game – and although I’m exhausted this morning – damn it feels good to have baseball back.
The Dodgers are 1-0, winning the opener on foreign soil 3-1. Scott Van Slyke was the offensive hero, but the real story was probably what a horse effort Clayton Kershaw offered. On 102 pitches, Kershaw struck out seven and walked just one to get the win; the 78th of his young career.
Wade Miley wasn’t bad for the Diamondbacks. He went 5 and 2/3, striking out eight and walking two. Yasiel Puig went 0 for 5 with three bad-looking strike outs.
Game two is tonight at 10:00 PM here in the Midwest. I already can’t wait.
The 2013 Arizona DiamondBacks went 81-81, spending a lot of time clearing water out of the boat after General Manager Kevin Towers traded Justin Upton to the Atlanta Braves declaring he wasn’t a ‘winning player’.
Paul Goldschmidt went out and became one of the best all around hitters in the game by earning a 7.1 WAR with 36 home runs, 125 RBI, and a shiny .302/.401/.551 slash-line that led to a .952 OPS that led the National League. It seemed every time we turned on the television that Goldschmidt was knocking a ball off the fence.
Kevin Towers is going to need to find a lot more ‘winning players’ if the Diamondbacks are going to make some hay in 2014 and beyond. They’re not there yet.
Major Off-season Moves:
Traded for OF Mark Trumbo.
Traded for RHP Addison Reed.
Signed RHP Bronson Arroyo to a two-year, $23.5 million dollar contract.
Signed LHP Oliver Perez.
I’m not as sweet on the DBacks as many – as I think they’re in for another year mired in mediocrity. They do have some really nice pieces, and any time you can go to battle with one of the best all around players in the game day in and day out, you’ve got a reason to be at least moderately excited. Continue reading →
It wasn’t long ago that the Diamondbacks were the feel good story in all of baseball. It seemed like that 2011 team was Justin Upton and a bunch of guys, and they rolled into the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers where they came ever so close to advancing to the 2011 NLCS. The model worked as it should, a team built around a young superstar overachieved a year ahead of schedule. Bruce Springsteen was being played on the stadium organ. Good times were had by all. With some luck and decent moves, a supporting cast would be built around Justin Upton for years to come.
It would never be more than a mirage for Arizona. This offseason wasn’t about who they added, but rather the trade that sent their franchise player to Atlanta to play with his brother. The package the Dbacks received in return for Upton wasn’t all that exciting, and it’s clear that they settled for much less than they could have yielded at other points if they were so set on trading Upton.
The organization continually remarked behind closed doors that Upton wasn’t “a winning player”. Go ahead and Google it now, you won’t find any other reasons behind why Upton was dealt. That’s because there were no good reasons. It was a stupid move and even when Arizona makes it back to the postseason in another eight or so seasons, it still won’t be a good move. It didn’t have to go down this way, and the Dbacks have unofficially stuck their flag in rebuild mountain.
They traded Trevor Bauer for being a dipshit, too.
Major offseason moves:
Traded Justin Upton for Martin Prado and Randall Delgado
Signed Eric Chavez
Traded for Tony Campana
Signed Rod Barajas
Traded Trevor Bauer for Didi Gregorius
Signed Brandon McCarthy to a 2-year, $15.5 million dollar contract
After the jump we’ll take a look at the 2013 Diamondbacks projected lineup and pitching staff.