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Snake Bytes, 9/28: The finale countdown

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The last series of 2018 gets under way in San Diego tonight. And it means absolutely nothing to either team.

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Team news

[Arizona Sports] Five questions from D-backs CEO Derrick Hall entering the offseason - Hall was asked what questions he would present to general manager Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo as they sit down for offseason discussions during his 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug and Wolf Show appearance Thursday. The questions revolve around this Hall statement: “First and foremost, we have to figure out why we did not make the playoffs after being in first place all year. 1. “Why wasn’t the consistency there?”

[AZ Central] Disappointing Arizona Diamondbacks’ decision: Rebuild, or take one more shot - The course they chart might define not just the Diamondbacks’ upcoming offseason, but also the direction of the franchise over the next half-decade. The club has disappointed this year. Key players are set to become free agents. Change is coming. And with it the Diamondbacks might be one of baseball’s most fascinating teams as the offseason approaches. “They have a decision to make,” a high-ranking official with an American League club said. “It’s just a matter of whether they want to try to thread the needle one last time.”

[Arizona Sports] D-backs CEO Derrick Hall: Paul Goldschmidt is not untouchable - Goldschmidt declined to comment when asked if there were discussions of contract extensions. He did, however, say that he enjoys playing in Arizona. “I love it here, I think everyone knows that,” he said. “I haven’t really thought too far about it. Just especially with this year, all the focus has just been take it day by day … and not live in the past or look toward the future because any of that stuff can just be a distraction.”

[The Athletic] Back to basics: How the Diamondbacks became good on the bases again - When the ball was hit in the air, Diamondbacks baserunners were tagged up and ready to go. Or, more accurately, Goldschmidt was tagged up and ready to go. Over the past two seasons, he’s accounted for much of the positive value when it comes to advancing on balls hit in the air and caught by outfielders. He alone has been worth nearly three runs above what would be expected in this regard and stands head and shoulders above his teammates and the rest of the league.

[Arizona Sports] By the numbers: The Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2018 season - 125, After leading the NL West for 125 days this season and being in first place at the start of every single month, the D-backs will finish the season in third place in the division. 321. The team has had a record of .500 or better for 321 consecutive games dating back to Opening Day 2017. This is the second-longest streak in D-backs history behind a 333-game streak in 1999-2001.

And, elsewhere...

[Purple Row] Rockies 5, Phillies 3: Colorado extends division lead with sweep - There’s just one series of the season left, and the Rockies are in the driver’s seat. The Rockies magic number for the their first division title is three. The three game series against the Nationals gets started tomorrow at 6:10 MT. Kyle Freeland will make his final start (OF THE REGULAR SEASON) against Joe Ross.

[Forbes] It's Time For Baseball To Dump the Designated Hitter - What’s the rush in taking away the advantage a well-rounded pitcher has over his opponent? Two years ago, Manfred told media members, “I think our owners in general have demonstrated a willingness to change the game in ways we think would be good for the fans – always respecting the history and tradition of the sport.” But keeping the DH, and maintaining the status quo of different rules for different leagues, flies in the face of that comment. If the Players Association is worried about the 15 designated hitters active now, why not increase roster size from 25 to 26, thus creating twice as many new jobs?

[ESPN] Sports Misery Index: How miserable is each MLB fan base? - It’s time to delve deeper into which MLB fans feel good about life and which are, quite frankly, miserable. The Index takes into account five factors: championships, playoff berths, playoff wins, heartbreaks and rival comparison, with recent events being weighted more than events that took place decades ago. We’ll identify how each MLB team rates in each category. In this exercise, the higher the ranking, the more the misery. All figures are based on the last completed season, which is 2017. [Spoiler: 18th]

[SI] CC Sabathia Cost Himself a Shot at $500,000 by Getting Ejected - Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia was ejected from Thursday afternoon’s game against the Rays, and it may have cost him a big chunk of money. Sabathia was tossed after he plunked Tampa Bay catcher Jesus Sucre leading off the bottom of the sixth inning, in retaliation for Andrew Kittredge throwing high and tight on Austin Romine in the top half of the inning. (Sabathia took a step outside the dugout after Romine was hit.) On his way off the mound, Sabathia pointed at the Rays dugout and said, “That’s for you, b----.” The vengeance may have proved costly for the veteran lefthander. Sabathia entered the game with 148 innings pitched, needing only seven more innings to trigger a $500,000 performance bonus in his contract.