The day of our country's celebration has come and gone and reality has set in for our hapless franchise. Instead of looking forward to the push for the playoffs, our team will more than likely be dumping cargo to stay afloat a little longer while prolonging the agony for fans citywide. It's like there is a giant vortex of suck emanating around Jefferson and 3rd St because the Suns can be included as well. It feels like we as fans have been circling the drain for quite awhile now. There is no end in sight, or is there?
The trade deadline is creeping closer by the day. It's time to pay tribute to an icon and put on our Billy Mayes hats on for a moment and empty the cupboards and get what you can for all the stuff you thought was nice at the time but you really don't need moving forward. I could just see it now on television during a break in the action in a national prime time game (between east coast teams of course). Billy Mayes comes on the tube trying to sell to any interested buyer players including, Felipe Lopez, Eric Byrnes(yeah right), Monterro, Doug Davis, John Garland, and Chad Tracy to name a few. "And if you act now, I will throw in a tub of bazooka joe gum and a lifetime supply of sunflower seeds. It's that easy"
Also, can we please just designate Clark for assignment or just add him as an additional coach or something. He's obviously lost his ability to catch up to a fastball. He was great off of the bench a few years ago but I don't know why he is still around. Watching him play is like watching a boxer, who just doesn't know when to retire, get continuously knocked out and get back up to get punished some more. I wish this franchise would just make a move already because the season, for all intent, is over.
I enjoyed the stories about Reynolds' rant over the weekend but, unfortunately I did not even watch the game/s. Life has been less hectic and stressful having designated our team's season over. I have not watched this team for the past three series and I could not tell you what they have done. It's nice to see some passion coming out now but it's a little late for that when you're 20 games back looking down on only the Nationals for the NL cellar. I can only be thankful that I'm not a fan, nor do I reside in Pittsburgh or D.C. The Piratesare making their annual push for the worst team in baseball by unloading their top talent and that is just a shame for those fans. Having watched an AZ team make it to the championship and win it during my lifetime is the only thing that has helped endure these types of seasons being displayed by the Dbacks.
So let's just sit back and ponder the future of the DBacks shall we? This season is all but over and expectations have dropped considerably since March and April. The rest of the season is now an audition for 2010. This season's team salary is estimated at about $73.5 million, which sits comfortably in the middle of the pack in terms of team salaries throughout MLB. However, looking ahead to next year, the team gets financially healthier and the team will rid itself of bad contracts. I don't have figures to post about deferred payments but I am aware that the team was down to, I believe, $30 million or less, which will add to the money spent on free agency---I hope. Kendrick and co. are not very vocal when it comes to spending while Byrnes and his cronies use their Ivy League degrees to manipulate any and all information regarding the team and it's future. Anyways, I am happy about a few options moving forward.
- Chad Tracy and his fragile knees will be off the books for good minus a $1 million buyout clause. I highly doubt the team will use their option and keep him next year for $7.5 million.
- If Double D is not traded, he will be a free agent and leave the team for greener pastures. This might hurt the rotation but I'm not willing to pay for him when the team needs to resign Webb. Besides, it's painful watching a game when Davis pitches. I think back to the days when Armando Reynoso pitched for the team with his 3+ hour games.
- Tony Clark will be an afterthought going into next season.
- If Pigpen and his Shaggin' Wagon are still around, which I'm positive they will be, it will be the final year of his deal finishing up the worst contract in recent history for the Diamondbacks. However, since it will be a contract year, maybe just maybe, Byrnes will produce in 2010 because his career depends on it moving forward. After all, players are motivated by $$$.
- The entire bullpen is signed only through this year. Their are no massive contracts anchorring this area of the team down, other than Rauch. The team has an option in 2010 for $2.5million on Rauch, which I'm a little scared about because it's a reasonable price for a bullpen arm. I'm confident Byrnes will do the right thing and axe him and his unibrow. Watching him pitch is like watching auditions for American Idol--the bad ones. You know, the ones that are so terrible they are amusing and you can't look away.
- All of our 'young' players will have one more year of seasoning. The age argument about a team drives me crazy. I watch Baseball Tonight on ESPN occasionally and John Kruk, who I've always been a fan of, has always bashed our team in recent times because we have too many young players and youth will never prevail over savvy vets. According to BaseballReference.com, our team's median age this season is 27.2. If you compare this to the Dodgers, who are presently leading MLB in wins and have already locked up a playoff spot, their median age is 29.5. I think comparatively speaking, both teams are very similar. The major difference in age shows in the infield. The Dodgers sport an infield age over 30 except first base whereas our team's infield is considerably under 30 and still learning their positions. This is where the errors pile up and boneheaded mistakes cost us runs and games.
The future does look bright for this franchise. Derek Hall is the master of all things business-wise and is a key cog for this franchise. The book is still out on Josh Byrnes and he has yet to impress. A.J. Hinch is still a shocker to me but we are stuck with him now because Byrnes has solidified his existence by extending him before he even managed a game. Player-wise, I like the nucleus of Reynolds, Upton, Drew with Webb, Haren and Scherzer. Webb's injury concerns me because I'm not sure if the Dbacks will extend him without some sort of insurance and Webb will probably baulk at that issue. CY is an enigma of sorts. If he could improve from his breakout campaign that got him the extension instead of floundering below the Mendoza line for much of this season then he could be worth the investment. I also like Snyder catching our pitching staff even though he's had a down year offensively.
As for the pitching, if the Dbacks unload 2/5Th's of the starting rotation, the starting five will be obviously thin after Haren. Scherzer has lights out stuff but he has to be more consistent about pitching late into games. He consistently tires the bullpen out by lasting 5 innings at best. All of the other young pitchers have not been that impressive other than Zevada out of the pen and that is disconcerting. Hopefully, if any of the players get traded above than the Dbacks will get young pitching in return.
During our current three game win streak, it has been nice to see that Reynolds' comments have been taken to heart by his teammates. Each game has been in the comeback variety. Our team is still piling up errors but at least it looks like they are trying on offense. Even though this season has become a wash now, there is a silver lining to the Dbacks collapse. It's a little over a month now before the start of the nfl season. Less people will have to watch this team suffer on a weekly basis. Let's go Cardinals!