Most of y’all remember the year 2008, right? Hard to believe that was a decade ago. I read somewhere once that some sociologists believe that it’s harder to distinguish between, say, 2008 and 2018 than 2008 and 1998 because the ubiquity of internet and online culture has sort of melded everything together in our heads. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s an interesting thought.
Anyway, 2008. Think back. You might be young, you get a very late start of listening to Paramore to try to impress a girl you like, but then you end up really getting into them non-ironically, which is fine because that girl has pivoted to early Katy Perry.
Smart Phones, as we know them now, weren’t as ubiquitous. The first iPhone had come out, but most hep cats (2008 term) had a Motorola RAZR, a flip phone that had slightly better graphics than a Super Nintendo. You could still update social media and refresh a baseball score every 15 minutes, but it wasn’t quite the same as today.
I bring up the year 2008 not just because it’s been 10 years and I get to pad a column with some pop culture references that may or may not have been exactly right, year wise. I bring it up in the context of this website (News, Analysis, and Opinion on the Arizona Diamondbacks) is to create unecessary dread and paranoia in you, because a recent losing skid here in 2018 can conjure memories of the 2008 team.
The 2008 Diamondbacks were coming off a playoff appearance in the previous season (Hm), had an incredibly hot April (Hmmm) and then fell off the face of the Earth, baseball-quality wise (Hmmmmmmmmm.)
Of course, these are two separate teams at two different points of Baseball history that are a decade apart and wear different uniforms. What ultimately killed the 2008 Diamondbacks (Having some extreme whiplash regression to the mean, giving Augie Ojeda 231 At-Bats for some reason) will not be what kills the 2018 Diamondbacks, should that happen (Some really bad injury luck, not re-signing J.D. Martinez because caring about 2023 when you could possibly win the World Series in 2018 is a thing, slumping hitters that may or may not be caused by a new humidor or possibly ghosts, who knows)
Let’s take this aside to see if you remember some 2008 guys: Chris Burke, Alex Romero, Doug Slaten, Josh Whitesell Billy Buckner, Jamie D’Antona.
Also: Remember when the Diamondbacks, in an attempt to counter the Dodgers trading for Manny Ramirez, traded for Adam Dunn? That was weird, wasn’t it?
There’s still a lot of season remaining, the Diamondbacks are still in first, and the rest of the NL West is, to be diplomatic, unimpressive*. This ship, if it even needs to be, can be righted.
*The NL West in 2008 was also unimpressive. The Dodgers ended up winning it with only 84 games won. 7 teams in Major League Baseball had a better record than them and did not make the Playoffs. Divisions are fun.
But, the fact that I, part-time columnist and social media poster, noticed the basic parallels between the two seasons, means that someone else probably has, and more people than that have. It’s understandable, though. Even though no player from the 2008 team is on the 2018 team (Only a handful are still playing), and the circumstances are different, and at least this time the Dodgers are more trash this time around, you just can’t help noticing the similarities. Hell, Mark Grace did color commentary on a few games, as he did in 2008!
You look throw your hands up and say “Same ol’ Diamondbacks!” Is it logical? Absolutely not. However, I get it. I totally get it, and your possibly knee-jerk pessimism is safe with me. It’s okay to feel these things, cause it’s part of the fun(?) of sports fandom. It’s okay to feel those feelings, just like those feelings you felt for that one who got away whenever you hear When It Rains on your digitally transferred copy of Riot! Wonder what she’s up to now? Well, she probably still has Facebook... Oh huh, she’s really into crash diets involving eating nothing but carpet fibers. Early adulthood nostalgia is a lie.