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I don't know about you guys, but I am totally stoked by the news that Daron Sutton has been hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks for the next five seasons - with a club option for three more beyond that. What a coup for the organization! Who can possibly stand in our way now of utter domination in the NL West? Granted, I've not heard of him, but any minor-league player who gets signed to an eight-year contract has surely got to be a special talent, that appears once in a generat... What's that? He's not going to be the #2 in our rotation? Just the play-by-play commentator?

Oh.

I see.

Hey, what about them Suns, eh?

Yeah, it's not quite the big free-agent signing all teams hope for - though you wouldn't know it from the fulsome drooling in the official Diamondbacks press release. According to President Derrick Hall, "This is a tremendous hire for the organization and our fans. Daron was pursued by other teams...and we are fortunate to have him." Well, your mileage may vary, Derrick. Over at Brew Crew Ball, they didn't exactly seem distraught at reports of Sutton's imminent departure - the opening comment was "I would be so happy if this happened", and they're now cheerfully tossing replacement names around. My first instinct on the news was, I'm happy to have someone who is not Thom Brennaman, even if he is the offspring of parents for whom "Darren" was apparently not good enough. :-) But inquiries why people in Milwaukee were happy see him go garnered the following responses:

  • "Daron Sutton is Thom Brennaman Lite. Less sanctimonious, more unctuous, won't say "Damn" either. You'll tire of him quickly."
  • "I actually liked him for his first season -- he was fairly amusing, and his sctick was new. But you'll soon see how old it gets, and how repetitive he is."
  • "You'll find Daron's go-to word to be "certainly." Any time he's hurting for an intensifier, that's what he pulls out. And it's how he'll greet you to the telecast every night."

And we signed him to a five year contract to start with, because...? I though the Russ Ortiz fiasco would have taught us something about the perils of such deals, based on past performance elsewhere, but it appears not. Of course, I'll reserve judgement until I get to hear him in action on a regular basis. But I am not exactly throbbing with anticipation, when Hall's comment that "We're confident Daron is going to be here 10, 20, 30 years," provokes the following from a Brewers fan. And I quote: "HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!!!!!" Looks like my efforts somehow to synch the radio broadcast with the TV pictures will continue.

Time for another Arizona Fall League update, with a whole bunch of games to get through since our last report, around the All-Star game last Friday. Saturday saw the Scottsdale Scorpions win a pitching duel over the Peoria Saguaros 3-1. Only two of the four runs scored were earned, as the Scottsdale pitchers two-hit Peoria, taking a no-hitter into the seventh. Matt Elliott pitched a perfect ninth for the save. Our batters managed only six hits; one of those went to James D'Antona, but Mark Reynolds was hitless in four at-bats.

After a day off Sunday, Scottsdale were back in Peoria, this time facing the Javelinas, but their pitchers were unable to repeat the performance, as the Scorpions went down 12-3. D'Antona had two hits, getting his average back to the Mendoza line at .200, but Danny Richar went 0-for-3. Mike Schultz held the Javelinas scoreless in the seventh, but Chris Kinsey had a disastrous eighth, allowing four runs on three hits, including two homers, and a hit batter.

Halloween saw the Scorpions gain revenge for this defeat, beating the Javelinas 7-6 at Scottsdale Stadium. But they left it late, waiting until the bottom of the eleventh, the last inning before the game would have been called as a tie - Mark Reynolds drove in the winning run with a single. Peoria leapt out to a 4-0 lead in the first, but Scottsdale posted a four-spot of its own in the bottom half: the teams also traded runs in the second. The visitors took the lead for the third occasion in the sixth, and the Scorpions needed another clutch at-bat from Reynolds, this time levelling the game with two outs in the ninth, to force extra innings. Reynolds was 3-for-6 with four RBIs, while Richar went 2-for-5 and was thrown out at home plate in the bottom of the tenth. Elliott pitched a perfect fifth, striking out the side to reduce his ERA to 2.08.

Yesterday, Steven Jackson took the mound for the Scorpions, but ended up getting the loss. He did strike out five in three innings of work, but also allowed four hits, three walks and a pair of earned runs, as Scottsdale lost to the Grand Canyon River Rafters 5-3. Reynolds had another multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, while D'Antona doubled, also driving in a run. Schultz also pitched, and had a shaky seventh, giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits and a walk.

Today, it's a night game at Scottsdale Stadium, so I'll take the chance to list the overall performances by the Diamondbacks' prospects in the Fall League to date. Reynolds is doing well, as was generally expected, but Elliott is proving something of a surprise, posting good numbers, especially in what's usually been a haven for hitters.

  • Reynolds: .350/.426/.667, 4 HR, 19 RBI
    [=2nd in RBI, 3rd OPS, 4th HR, 6th BA]
  • Richar: .254/.302/.373, 0 HR, 3 RBI
  • D'Antona: .208/.231/.354, 1 HR, 7 RBI
  • Jackson: 11 IP, 16 H, 7 BB, 7 K, 10.64 ERA
  • Elliott: 8.2 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 15 K, 2.08 ERA
    [=2nd in K's]
  • Kinsey: 7 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 9.00 ERA
  • Schultz: 6.2 IP, 10 H, 5 BB, 6 K, 8.10 ERA