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Thank you

The 2008 season is over for the Arizona Diamondbacks: there'll be no post-season excitement for the team this year, but I still want to mark the end of things by acknowledging a number of people, who have helped make this year the biggest and best ever at the Pit.

Firstly, the editors and writers who have assisted in ways too many to mention, from monitoring Gameday Threads to covering for me in the recaps. That would be snakecharmer, DbacksSkins, Azreous, dahlian, kishi, soco and Zephon. It's been great to know that I'm no longer plowing a single furrow here, but have help as keep on making this what I believe is the best Diamondbacks site of its kind on the Internet. Thanks in particular to the soco for the Reynolds' birthday part, which certainly ranks as one of my abiding memories of the season.

Behind them are a whole host of members - just shy of 500 in total - ranging from lurkers to everyday posters. Some of you I have met, at SnakePitFest or elsewhere; some of you I know only through your online presense; all of you, I appreciate whatever time you put in to the site, whether creating fanposts and fanshots, commenting on existing stories or simply reading. Even without any post-season presence, we're on target for about 20% more visitors this month, than in September 2007. Into this category falls Mrs. SnakePit, who has put up with me devoting more hours to the site - which should have been devoted to worshiping her - than any wife should, with nary a complaint, beyond the odd sarcastic remark. I appreciate her more than I can put into words.

In the background, we have Blez and the horde of SB Nation technical minions. I think that v2.0 of the platform is an incredible piece of work: the roaring success of the Gameday Threads alone, is testament to that. The work they put into keeping everything running 24/7/365, responding to bugs and improvement requests, is undeniable, and provides the crucial foundation, upon which we can build. Also tied to this are the other bloggers, particularly our comrades on the baseball blogs, whose work I have enjoyed reading all year, even if I haven't always agreed with what they have said! Similarly, the non-SB Nation blogs, such as Dodger Thoughts: nothing grows respect for other bloggers, like trying to run one yourself. The best sites give me something to which to aspire, going forward.

Finally, thanks to the Diamondbacks themselves; everyone involved with the club, from President Derrick Hall all the way down to the people at the Gordon Biersch stand in Chase Field who make those garlic fries. But in particular, my gratitude goes to the players and coaches, for I'll miss these guys: having basically won and lost alongside with them for the last five months, I feel a strange sense of attachment to them. They're not 'friends', as such; perhaps the nearest I can get to it is, they're like the people I work with. I don't get to choose them, and they may occasionally infuriate the hell out of me, to the point of harsh words. But I've come to appreciate their idiosyncrasies as part of what makes them human, and have developed a deep respect for their skills, in whatever area they may lie.

We're not going away. There's plenty to be talked about during the off-season, which looks set to be one of considerably more transition than last winter. We'll have the 2008 review, the end-of-year awards, the Pitties, and I'm already working on a bunch of special articles and pieces, to keep you occupied, as well as monitoring all the news about the team's moves. Obviously, updates won't be as frequent. but I am hoping to have something up every 2-3 days or thereabouts, so please keep checking back often.

It might be fun to turn this, as we did last year, into a 'Favorite Memories of 2008' thread. I was asked to provide a few for a column in the D-backs Insider: I doubt they'll use them all, so I might as well share them all with you here.

  1. The biggest thrill was probably at the Fan Fest, before the season started. It has just opened and we were chatting to organist Bobby Freeman in the foyer, and I was admiring his 2001 World Series ring. "Would you like to try it on?" he said: I didn't have to be asked twice - though I must confess, the idea of making a break for it, with the ring, did run through my head! Fortunately, wiser counsel prevailed.

  2. Stephen Drew hitting for the cycle was very exciting, but I was perhaps more impressed by Conor Jackson's cycle that wasn't, back on April 18th against the Padres. He came up in the sixth, needing a double to complete the feat, and drove a ball to deep center-field. Nobody would have blamed Jackson if he had pulled up on second - the hit made the score 8-0 to Arizona - but he kept running, instead ending on third-base, from where he scored on a sacrifice fly by Reynolds. Putting your team first is what the game is all about, and I have enormous respect for Jackson for remembering that.

  3. If futile, Reynolds' suicidal dive into the photographer's pit at San Francisco after a foul-ball has to be the play of the season. When it happened, I was convinced we had just seen the first in-game fatality in Diamondbacks' history - think my comment at the time was something very close to, "Oh, my god - they killed Mark! You bastards!" However, despite falling about seven feet, head-first, onto unyielding concrete, bouncing off a hand-rail on the way, Reynolds got up, brushed himself down and stayed in the game. I haven't seen anything that hardcore outside of a WWE pay-per-view.

  4. This one's entirely random. As a result of a comment made on the side by one of the posters, we ended up having a birthday party for Mark Reynolds on August 3rd. Unfortunately, he chose the game to suck and midway through, it was changed to a party for Stephen Drew. This required some re-engineering of the cakeIn addition, during the game, the host's wife leaped from her seat to defend Eric Byrnes - who was on the TV advertising his show - from insults being hurled at him by a number of those present. Somehow [though she swears she never touched it], this knocked the mounting for the 42" screen out of the wall, bringing it all crashing to the floor. Stunned silence followed. Fortunately, no damage was done, though the rest of the game was screened at floor level.

  5. We had our first group outing to the park at the end of August, and that was a lot of fun, though the hassle involved in getting 50+ tickets out to attendees...not so much! Even though the Diamondbacks won easily, kicking Florida's butt, perhaps the most memorable moment was seeing Misty May in the ground - and in particular when she yanked her gold medal out of her shirt! It was just so entirely unexpected: I half expected to look into the Diamondbacks dugout and see Augie Ojeda and Jon Rauch respond by pulling our their Olympic medals!

Feel free to add your own memories of 2008, and what you'll remember when you think about this year down the road.