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Snake Bytes, 2/25: "No-one likes us... We don't care..." edition

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Figured I might as well combine video of today's workouts - including the pitcher's bunting challenge - with a late afternoon round-up of stories. [Video courtesy of Arizona Diamondbacks]

Team news

[Washington Post] How the Arizona Diamondbacks defy modern convention - To the rest of baseball, Arizona could be seen as drawing on ancient rituals and practices. Get this: The Diamondbacks believe in assembling people who have observed baseball players over years and decades and listening to their advice about which might excel and which might fail. How – what’s the right word? Quaint?

[TKB] Stewart - Diamondbacks' 78-Win Projection - "Obviously, anybody who says we can only win 78 games, they’re either not thinking or they’re not believing that what we have here is a team that’s capable of winning more games than that. So when I say that there are people out there who do not want us to win, that’s a prime example of that. To think we will only win 78 games? That’s a joke.”

[FanGraphs] Why We Hate the Diamondbacks - I figure it is probably worth going through the exercise of seeing why our forecasts don’t think the Diamondbacks are going to be significantly better than they were a year ago, despite their big offseason moves. After all, despite what some might think... ZIPS, Steamer, and PECOTA are non-emotional lines of code, not the personal beliefs of any individual human being with rooting interests.

[FOX Sports] Jean Segura happy for fresh start with Diamondbacks - Tragedy and frustration marked Segura's past two seasons and disappointing results followed. But those came in Milwaukee, and both Segura and the D-backs believe the change of scenery following a January trade will help the 25-year-old shortstop get back close to an All-Star level. "I'm really happy. To be honest with you, I'm really happy again. I can't wait until the season starts," Segura said Wednesday morning. "As a player, you play better when you're happy, when you're loose. When you have a good attitude, you play better. That's one of my goals: have a different attitude, play happy."

[Arizona Sports] D-backs hitting coach sees promise in Nick Ahmed, Jake Lamb - Magadan said Lamb, who slashed .263/.331/.386 in 2015, has “as good of power to the opposite field as guys I’ve seen.” He added that Lamb need not worry so much about pitchers trying to expose his weaknesses. Instead, Magadan said, Lamb should focus on what he’s best at. “You’re a really good hitter driving the ball to the middle of the field the other way,” Magadan said of Lamb. “You’re good enough to be able to react to the pitch at the inner-half of the plate. If he can stay healthy and continue to do the things that he showed today in spring training, I like his chances.”

[Examiner] Castillo-Greinke relationship off to a good start - After Greinke threw his first session to hitters in the batter’s box Wednesday, he positioned himself behind one batting cage and began to observe other pitchers in a similar work station. Quickly, Castillo slide to his left and the two began a rather intense dialogue. Afterward, Castillo explained the introduction part is now over, and the time has commenced to make sure he and Greinke are on the same page. “(Greinke) wants every pitch to be perfect. He is one of the best and you can see why. (On Wednesday), his fast ball command was great. He kept the ball down and away, but was not happy with the breaking ball.”

[Beyond the Box Score] Trade Retrospective: Diamondbacks move Dan Haren to Angels at Deadline - If you are inclined to use the pure surplus value metric, the Diamondbacks have a slight edge ($7.8 million) over the Angels, although Anaheim produced that value among three fewer roster spots. If you are inclined to do some kind of future win depreciation, the Angels are winning by a fairly wide margin ($22.93 million). I'm partial to the latter method, and by that measure I'd conclude that at this point in time, the Angels still got the better of this trade. However, this is still a snapshot in time - there's a lot of potential (and team control) remaining in Skaggs and Corbin to shrink the lead.

[AZ Big Media] Phoenix Art Museum exhibits famed baseball card collection - Phoenix Art Museum will feature a specially-ticketed limited-engagement exhibition of some of the rarest and most important baseball cards in the history of the sport beginning March 9 through April 24. Carefully and painstakingly amassed by Ken Kendrick, longtime collector and managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, The Ultimate Collection: Iconic Baseball Cards from the Diamondbacks Collection features 16 of the top 20 rated sports trading cards in the entire world, along with an additional 25 highly-valued and prized baseball trading cards.

Former D-backs

[FOX Sports] Touted prospect Aaron Blair on cusp of Atlanta Braves rotation - "I was playing 'Call of Duty' and then my agent calls me. Actually, I saw on Twitter that the Diamondbacks acquired (Shelby) Miller, and I kinda just thought it was either me or like (pitching prospect) Braden Shipley or something," Blair said. "It was a long night waiting to actually hear. "People are calling you, texting you like, 'Oh you got traded.' And I'm like, 'Well I don't know yet.' It's just Twitter. It could be wrong." His response when the official news hit? "I just kept playing."

[Chicago Tribune] Adam Eaton likes being in midst of White Sox 'culture change' - Eaton said he found the unusually long first full-squad workout and the tone that was set at the team meeting Tuesday to be "a refreshing start to the season." "We're in the process of changing the culture here," Eaton said Wednesday morning at Camelback Ranch. "We want to be a winning program, but we need to concentrate on the little things, be fundamentally sound throughout. We're starting to focus on that more during spring training, really hashing it out."

[AP] Bronson Arroyo hopes to revive career with Baker's Nationals - Bronson Arroyo decided to sign with the Nationals because Dusty Baker had been hired as Washington's manager. ''Given the circumstance that I'm in,'' Arroyo said. ''I needed somebody who was in a position of power to know what I can bring to the table regardless of what they see in a couple of weeks here in spring training, maybe read between the lines and say, `That's not exactly what we wanted, but it looks pretty good and I know what it can be.'''