Ah, remember the days when we were genuinely excited to discover who was the 25th man on the roster? When news of roster moves wasn't greeted with predictably sarcastic "LOL the NL West is ours!" comments? Before the 2014 season melted down in a welter of injury, ineffectiveness and recriminations? Remember the wheels of Campana? The cheerful Aussie stylings of Rowland-Smith? How long ago that all seems now...
Speaking of optimism and confidence, remember last winter when Kevin Towers was saying, "I think we have the players to get any available pitcher out there on the market. It's just a question of how much we have to give up." Somehow, "any available pitcher" became a 37-year-old with an elbow that lasted 8 games before snapping like a perished rubber-band. But not before we were teased with getting Masahiro Tanaka. Missed it by that much...
8. Hello, my name is Brandon McCarthy (4,290)
Speaking of New York, this one could be subtitled "Invasion of the Yankees fans." Of all the stories to get picked up for distribution by Yahoo!, our innocuous little end of season discussion on McCarthy proved to be the one. However, it has to be said, they were very quiet by Noo Yawk standards, doing nothing but stuffing the ballot-box on the poll, and giving McCarthy a grade his ERA above five and sub-replacement level bWAR hardly deserved.
The most-read recap of the year came from kishi, who documented the latest round in Timmeh vs. Paul - which ended in pretty much the same as the previous nine million or so. It brought Goldschmidt's lifetime numbers against Lincecum to the video-game (Easy Difficulty) level of 13-for-24 with seven home-runs. Yeah, that's the kind of recap which I think deserves to be read, re-read and then framed for posterity.
This piece dates back to October 2009, and originally concerned Jarrod Parker - but has probably never been more sadly relevant to the Diamondbacks than this year, as we endured a positive epidemic of UCL injuries. But it has always been very popular: this is actually it's fifth straight appearance in the top 10 pages by views for the year. There's always someone going under the knife, it appears.
5. Thoughts on the Wade Miley trade (5,048)
Trading away your Opening Day starter is always going to merit some discussion, and so the popularity of this piece is no surprise: the associated poll picked up 973 votes, and that without the apparent help of any Yankees fans! [For the record, 47% rate it as good/excellent, 37% as meh, and 16% as poor/terrible] It may be a new GM, but particularly this first winter of the Stewart era, we Diamondback fans continue to live in interesting times!
Well, here's something to look forward to. 2014 may have sucked, but having the worst record in the major-leagues does guarantee us the pick of anyone we want in the class of 2015. It's like being told you can have whatever toy you want... in nine months' time. Expect feverish speculation on this one to continue all the way up until the draft itself on June 8. Also expect a number of updates to this piece to appear here, over the coming five months as well.
3. Trading Miguel Montero to the Dodgers (11,905)
Speculative transaction pieces tend to be popular - in some cases, more so than the ones which discuss actual trades. This is a good example, though one which ended up being not as speculative as it might have seemed. Two weeks later, reports came out that the D-backs almost swapped Montero for Andrew Ethier, up until Ken Kendrick intervened. Or didn't, depending who you believe. Kinda glad Miggy will be in Cubbie Blue, not the Dodger shade.
Another example of a story that keeps on giving, the spike for this piece, originally published in 2011, came in late April, when basketball owner Donald Sterling was under scrutiny for his off-field activity. Schott, who went through something similar as owner of the Cincinnati Reds, was a popular topic of searches, and the article shows up on page 2 when you look on Google for "Marge Schott." [It also got mentioned by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC]
1. Trading Miguel Montero to the Cubs (36,360)
Thank heavens the team actually pulled the trigger on this (though without the Cahill/Jackson elements floated). I was otherwise not looking forward to the 29-part series apparently necessary this winter, culminating in "Trading Miguel Montero to the Rockies". This was another one which "benefited" from the Yahoo! effect, with over 23,000 of the views for the piece coming in a single day from them. But again, any suggestion of moving our longest-tenured player will always generate interest.