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Aeon (of) Flux

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Today's headline could be a shallow excuse for a pic of Charlize Theron in something skin-tight. But it is actually - surprisingly - genuinely relevant. Over at Purple Row, they've taken a look at the Rockies' chances of passing the D'backs in 2006, which is an interesting opportunity to see ourselves as other see us. Though at the moment, it's mostly a throwing of the hands in the air, and a somewhat bemused "I dunno." This is entirely understandable, given the off-season is likely to see an almost-complete retooling of the Diamondbacks. Yes, again...

Okay, it won't be quite as complete at the 2004-05 off-season, when 5/6 of the starting rotation + closer and 7/8 of the position players, were replaced. But it might not be far short: 4/6 of the rotation/closer and 5/8 of the position players could be different (or, at least, playing in different locations) from Opening Day to Opening Day. To give you some idea of what we're talking about Here's the starting lineups for last year, this season and a possible 2006 card. Players who've kept the same position are highlighted in bold.

2004 2005 2006
1B Sexson Tracy Clark
SS Cintron Clayton Cintron
2B Alomar Counsell Counsell
3B Hillenbrand Glaus Glaus
C Mayne Hill Snyder
LF Gonzalez Gonzalez Gonzalez
CF Finley Cruz Green
RF Bautista Green Tracy
P1 Johnson Vazquez *TBA*
P2 Webb Webb Webb
P3 Dessens Ortiz Ortiz
P4 Sparks Estes Vargas
P5 Fossum Halsey Nippert
CL Mantei Lyon Valverde

I'm leaving Vazquez' spot in the rotation open. His likely departure will leave the front office scrambling to pick up pitching because, as mentioned previously, we do not want to go into the 2006 season with Ortiz as our #2...appropriate though that might be, as a description of his performance last year. Failing this, Halsey would probably return, and he and Nippert might still fight it out for a spot in spring training anyway. But even if he does, that'd still mean changes in eight of the fourteen total slots.

Things could get even more radical, as this presumes no major trades involving Glaus or Gonzalez (which are certainly not out of the question), and no spots for Jackson or Quentin. If Gonzo were to rip his elbow apart - for example, carrying home purchases from Leslie's Pool Supplies - Tracy might shift to left, and Quentin would start in right. If Glaus goes, Tracy heads to 3B, with Quentin again coming into right. At the moment, there are just too many scenarios to contemplate.

Plus, of course, since the 2004 All-Star Break, we have new owners, a new manager, a new GM and even a new name for the ballpark. About the only thing that hasn't been replaced is freakin' Baxter. [More's the pity there!] - in terms of change, we've gone through an entire generation's worth in less than 18 months. Given the disaster which was 2004, it's no bad thing, but I probably wouldn't be inclined to buy any D'backs shirts with players' names on them at the moment.