We're starting things off with a bang. That's right the Arizona Diamondbacks. At first glance, it's really hard to find anything remarkable about this team. One thing I've never understood (bear with me): why the Arizona Diamondbacks? Who would choose the whole state over the city of Phoenix? First of all, you already have a mascot built in and who doesn't think this...
is more badass than this...
Don't get me wrong. I'm not about to fuck with a rattlesnake, but come on. A Phoenix is MADE OF FIRE for Christ sake. And just think about the "rising from the ashes" metaphors that Joe Buck could spew forth instead of talking about baseball (this just in: Joe Buck is offended by the word "spew"). An unforgivable oversight, if you ask me. That said why don't I hear "Brandon Webb's splitter is positively venomous tonight!" more often?
Now that I've gotten that off my chest, on to this generally unremarkable team. They have a handful of solid young (to young-ish) players like Orlando Hudson, Chad Tracy, and Conor Jackson around the infield, but the real star for this team in the future has to be Eric Byrnes (see photo from fall '06 Baseball Tonight appearance) in center field. Of course every Diamondbacks fan lives in constant fear of a freak hair-gel mishap. That stuff soaks right into your brain, you know. And, frankly I'm a little put off by anyone who refuses to bend the bill of his cap. That's right, I'm talking to you, Grandpa. Give me a just a little bow in there. You'll thank me later.
Of course, I'm avoiding the Diamondbacks only real move of the off season. They pulled the 40-year old changeroo on our asses letting Luis Gonzalez go to the Dodgers of Los Angeles (where he will be making 7.5 million this year, egads) and trading for the Randy Johnson Experience: Round Two. There's two problems with this scenario. There's nobody to replace Gonzo in LF with any level of experience. There's nobody playing in right either, for that matter. Not an encouraging scenario. The other problem here is that the fans in the desert are going to look up from their cactus and sand dinners and expect the Big Unit (still possibly the best nickname ever) from 3 years ago, and it just may not happen. He's fucking old, fyi.
Other reasons to not hate the Diamondbacks: 1. Webb. His sinker is really nasty and he's from Kentucky so that's bonus points. 2. The 2001 World Series. Seeing the Yankees lose that one was the most excited I've been for a game not involving one of my favorite teams.
Prediction: I think these guys improve their record, but finish near .500 and miss the playoffs again.