Well, don't place your bets here, place them in Jim's thread and enter to win an "Anybody, Anytime" tshirt.
'Skins pointed out that there really is a lot of news today. (I was wrong, he was right.) So while I round up the links 'Skins sent me, here's a place to discuss whatever you might have found already. :)
Everybody's discussing the races today. There are also a lot of "How'd they do it?" articles, since now a lot more people are looking at us and asking that question! I personally like what Bob Melvin said on Friday night: "Those who know this team and have been around this team all year know how we did it."
First let's discuss the Dbacks.
Review of Rally Monday for those of us who couldn't go; photos from the Tribune and MLB.com. Mini note: Wickman appears ready to retire.
Ken Kendrick experiences highs, lows (Repbubic) Since he took over the Diamondbacks at the end of the horrid 111-loss season, he's experienced quite a few lows, including the infamous Grimsley/Gonzalez story. And now he's able to experience the highs of an NL West championship team. Kendrick is one of the bigger baseball fans there is and we know for whom he will be rooting. And maybe, just maybe, some fans will be rooting for him a little, too, for the owner who stood up and tried to do and say the right thing and OK, might have put his foot in his mouth, but at least followed his heart and conviction.
Architects built for D-Backs future (Republic) Joe Garagiola Jr. and Joe Rizzo left the Diamondbacks, and they also left their mark on this young team heading into the playoffs. "There really is a story behind every guy," he said. "There is a guy in the background of each story that is a reason I took Mark Reynolds or Brandon Webb. There is somebody in the back of your mind or whispering in our ear. Someone who filed a report or who forced you to go to a game you didn't really want to go to in order to see this guy. And let's not forget player development in this whole thing, too.
How'd they win the West? (Arizona Star) With Master Chemists, Ringleaders, Ring-Holders, Bay-b Bears, Battery Chargers, and Unsung Heros. "Experience isn't overrated," Melvin said. "I think we're a little against the grain in that regard. What these guys have accomplished has been nothing short of spectacular."
Dbacks are playoffs' mystery team (AP) These Diamondbacks are homegrown, mostly the product of what was considered one of the best farm systems in the majors. It seems a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
Diamondbacks are head of schedule (Tribune) The Diamondbacks have become masters of the improbable in a 2007 season in which they may have even surprised themselves, at least early. "Frankly, we were looking at next year," one D-Backs official said while in Colorado for the pennant clincher. The future, of course, is now, after the D-Backs won an NL-high 90 games.
Effort outweighs experience for D-backs (MLB.com) Only a handful of Arizona's active players have ever even played in the postseason. But to hear Eric Byrnes tell it, the young D-backs club has already been forged by the fires of playoff-type intensity in a season spent defying expectations and winning the squeakers through fundamentally sound baseball and an aggressive attitude.
The Cubs-Diamondbacks series is going to be huge in the Valley, with all the transplanted Cubs fans. Several articles cover loyalties: Valley fans wrestle with loyalties (Tribune), Hometown team vs longtime favorite (Republic), and Tucson's loyalties split (Star). Loyalties divided? Not for Colangelo Paola Boivin's story of Colangelo, the Cubs, and the Diamondbacks.
Season reviews and post-season previews are out in droves today, let's see how many we can cover!
- Cubs, D-backs a meeting of contrasts (MLB.com)
- Yep, they're underdogs alright (Nick Piecoro's blog)
- You say potayto... what's more important for this series, pitching (Republic) or offense? (ESPN) Doug Haller and Tim Kurkjian discuss.
- Baseball Prospectus predicts a Cubs sweep. Pbbbbbt.
- Tom Verducci of SI.com takes the Cubs in 5
- Ten good reasons to watch the post-season (MLB.com) The Diamondbacks are in #s 4 and 7.
- The Tribune has game times for this series.
- Land of the Weird: Jayson Stark's year in review There's some really funny stuff in here, including interesting comparisons with Micah Owings. (Blame it for me not getting this up earlier.)
Finally, Jim and I are each writing for others' blogs this post-season, so be sure and check us out! Jim: Where My Team Stands and me: Playoff Previews