"So, this is Christmas, and what have we done - another year over, a new one just begun." Thus spake the great philosopher John Lennon, and as we sit on the final day of 2007, it seems an appropriate time to look back and see where we are. The obvious answer to that is: National League West champions, something which seemed like a possible, but perhaps unlikely outcome, twelve months ago. Or even less than that, given that a week after the All-Star break, I was asking a poll question, 'Is Arizona's season over?' Still, hindsight is 20/20, and I think we can look back and say that the year just passed was our best, probably since the World Series win. Here are my lists of ten favorite memories from the year; things we learned in the season; and what we have to look forward to in 2008. Please feel free to chip in with more.
Favorite Memories [chronological order]
- The Fanfest at Chase. Meeting Brandon Webb and getting our SnakePit shirts.
- Going down to Tucson to cheer on our boys and free Scott Hairston.
- Webb: 42.1 IP, 24 H, 7 BB, 35 K, 0 R, 0 ER
- Owings goes 4-5 with 2 HR and 6 RBI the next night - round a rain delay too. Insane.
- Taking an 8-0 lead vs. SD, then winning 8-7: St.Penelope slays the rainbow unicorn, and likely the start of our hatred for the Padres.
- Jeff Salazar with a pinch-hit three run bomb, two outs in the bottom of the ninth against the Giants.
- Crushing the Dodgers and Gonzo 12-3, from one row behind the D-backs dugout.
- We're going to the playoffs! I, meanwhile, watch Resident Evil: Extinction. Not a bad night. ;-)
- Clinching the NLCS - 2,600+ comments on a trilogy of GameDay threads, including 932 for #2.
- Getting to my first playoff game at Chase in five years - a game with everything, bar a D-backs win.
What we learned in 2007
- Pythagoras? He's vastly over-rated. :-)
- Brandon Webb is the real deal.
- Carlos Quentin isn't.
- Micah Owings could be the best-hitting pitcher since the Babe.
- Our Chris Young is better than your Chris Young. Or, at least, more durable.
- And Hispanic actresses are better than gay, dancing Spideys.
- Waiver-wire pitchers are usually there for a reason.
- Starters aged 43 are unlikely to give you thirty starts - no matter how much you pay them.
- Sedona Red. It's not so bad.
- The future is now.
What we want in 2008
- Brandon Webb to pitch well against Colorado.
- Doug Davis to pitch well.
- Randy Johnson to pitch.
- Tony Peña to make us forget about Jose Valverde.
- Eric Byrnes to maintain the same level of performance all year...
- ...and that's the first-half level, please note.
- Chris Young and Mark Reynolds not to make a run at the franchise K record.
- A team OPS of at least .750 [2007 NL average: .757; AZ: .734]
- 600 plate-appearances for Conor Jackson.
- Health, happiness and a good New Year to all the Arizona Diamondbacks' players, management and fans.
Finally, congratulations to Brandon Webb, who won the last of the 2007 Pitties, retaining his title as MVP for the Diamondbacks, which he took a year ago as well. The plurality was slightly smaller this time round, but he was still the choice of a majority of voters, and I doubt anyone could argue seriously with his choice [not that it stopped me from trying ;-)]. However, here's to some of the Arizona position players ramping up their game and challenging him for the crown next season. With that, I bid you all farewell in 2007, and here's to seeing you in 2008. Stay safe and have fun tonight, folks.