MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 07: (L-R) Justin Upton #10, Ian Kennedy #31, Willie Bloomquist #18 and Paul Goldschmidt #44 of the Arizona Diamondbacks stand at the top of the dugout while taking on the Milwaukee Brewers in Game Five of the National League Division Series at Miller Park on October 7, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
And that's it. 167 games are in the books, and I don't quite know what I am going to do with myself now, having lived, breathed, ate and slept with the Diamondbacks [okay, not quite the last, but you know what I mean...]. It has been a fabulous ride, and I'm sorry it had to come to an end - but even winning the World Series, that would still be true. This is the last regularly-scheduled SnakeBytes, but I'm sure kishi will brush the dust off them now and again as we go through the off-season. Many thanks to him for his sterling efforts in keeping us informed of a wonderful year.
Now, when does Spring Training start?
- [FZAZ] Brewers conjure up some D-back magic - Chris Young: "I'm not hanging my head because I think we could have done anything different. Just hanging my head because I want to keep playing. You don't want the season to be over with. I'm proud of all th guys. Everybody truly came with it."
- [MLB.com] Never-say-die D-backs finally succumb - "This team showed a lot of guts," Upton said. "That was the name of our team all year. That was our motto. We were going to fight and we fought until the end."
- [AZCentral] Diamondbacks eliminated by Brewers in Game 5 of the NLDS - Putz kicked his right foot out behind him, trying in vain to keep Morgan's ground ball from getting through to center field. "If I could have put my head in front of it," he said, "I would have."
- [Yahoo!] Diamondbacks' final rally falls short in Game 5 - "A little hit here, a break there and it could have went our way," Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said. "But you know what? It was a great series. This was the way probably it should have ended."
- [ESPN] Frantic finish: Brewers win thriller - "I hate to see the Diamondbacks go. They kept confounding the so-called experts and doubters all season. I have a feeling they'll be back for more October baseball in the future."
- [AZCentral] Chris Young impersonates Willie Mays - "His over-the-shoulder catch in the sixth inning of Game 5 was the stuff of legends. It prevented the Milwaukee Brewers from breaking open a tie game. It was reminiscent of the play Mays made in the 1954 World Series, widely considered one of the best defensive gems in history."
- [Babes Love Baseball] There's Always Next Year, Diamondbacks Fans - A very nice photo-montage obit for the D-backs.
- [dbacks.com] Despite disappointing finish, D-backs cherish dream season - "It's been a lot of fun just to enjoy this," right-hander Ian Kennedy said. "It's just a hard ending, but if you look back and figure out where we started, we started at the bottom and we were way at the top in the division. It's been a lot of fun for the most part."
- [AZCentral] The 2011 Diamondbacks have a permanent home in Arizona's heart - "Have you ever felt so blessed by a team that bowed out in the first round of the playoffs? Yep, pennants are nice. Fortunately for us, they're not always necessary."
- [ESPN] D-backs stunned to see their LDS rally fall short - "In time, the pain will subside and Arizona will begin to process what happened here in Game 5. It will be a story of missed opportunity... But it will also be a story of resiliency, of exactly what this Diamondbacks team was all about. Never give up. Don't ever give up. "
And towards 2012...
- [Daily Journal] Despite bitter finish, future bright for young Diamondbacks - "I'll tell you what, it's a great group of guys," Kevin Towers said. "We talked about there's always next year and next year will be better. I don't know how it could be better. There were so many exciting wins and come-from-behind wins. Gibby and his staff, the guys grinded all year long. Hopefully this experience will be good and we're in the same position next year, and next year we'll be able to get it done, and be where the Brewers are right now."
- [FSAZ] D-backs down now, but future looks bright - "There will be changes before spring training opens. There always are. But one offseason priority should be to make sure the talented coaching staff stays together."
- [MLB.com] Noble in defeat, D-backs make strides - "Gibson's work should be rewarded with the NL Manager of the Year Award. Beyond that, there is little question that the 2011 D-backs have built a foundation for future success. The large strides that they took this season could be just the beginning of that success."