December 4th, 2015. The day that changed the course of the Diamondbacks franchise. The previous day, two very big things had happened in the life of this writer:
- The Diamondbacks unveiled their new uniform set to universal acclaim and adoration.
- Scott Weiland died.
The former was the start of a new era of my favorite baseball team. As far as designs go, it was bold and different, yes, but it was unique, and easily identifiable. No longer did they look like the Angels/Reds/Nationals/Phillies. They were the Diamondbacks. Brash in their own way. There was a fashion show and everything. Boy, Ender Inciarte looked good in those, can’t wait to see him play.
The latter was a bummer. STP was my favorite band in Middle/Early High School, and as anyone knows, the music you like around that time really sticks with you. You hear a good song and it’s the best damn song ever and you want to hear it 4,000 times in a row and that’s never enough. That news was both tragic for him and his family, but also a reminder that you’re never young again. However, you should appreciate what the past gave you and how it molded the person you are today, but not fall into a prison of nostalgia and regret.
Around 6 PM on December 4th, the tweets started trickling in that the Diamondbacks were major players for Zack Greinke. This was interesting, but probably just smoke and mirrors. The Diamondbacks hadn’t signed a major free agent since, what, Randy Johnson? Also, Zack Greinke was previously a Dodger, and a much disliked one at that. His agent probably just fed that to someone to make the Giants or Dodgers pony up more.
About ten minutes later, it happened.
Sources: Greinke in agreement with #DBacks, pending physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 5, 2015
Things went nutty at that point. I preserved, for posterity, the front page of this website at the time:
I may or may not have uploaded a video to Facebook wherein I chugged a lot of Rum in a very large souvenir cup then yelled “WOO GREINKE!”
This signing made the Diamondbacks relevant for the first time in about five years. (Some smart guy even wrote about that at the time.) It was the mad machinations of Dave Stewart coming to bear, but he wouldn’t see the fruits of it.
In that moment, my only regret was that the theater I worked at that had closed the previous month cause I really wanted to rub it in my jerkass Dodger fan former boss’ face.
Zack’s time with the Diamondbacks was worth every one of Ken Kendrick’s pennies. The 2017 team, which might be my favorite D-Backs team ever, had an amazing rotation led by Greinke. Even as the bullpen and offense went to pieces around him, he stayed steady, elite, and capable of giving awkward soundbites.
Greinke signing that evening in late 2015 was the beginning of a new era. That era took a big step toward becoming the old era yesterday.
Trading Greinke, as the Diamondbacks did yesterday, made sense in a modern day baseball way. You restock the farm system more, and save money to reload on free agents in the offseason if you think that 2020 is a good year to compete. (I’m making a naive assumption that the Diamondbacks, or any team, will spend in free agency ever again except for top-tier players, but bear with me.)
It’s never really that simple, though. Even if you trade for all the prospects in the world, you might never unearth another Zack Greinke. It’s not a guarantee that the Diamondbacks will reach those 2017 highs again any time soon, but we should be thankful that they happened for us to remember, and be thankful that Zack Greinke helped us get there.
We should not, for example, make Zac Gallen never smile in pictures and give pithy interviews to replace everything about the ace we lost.
Unless he’s cool with it
Diamondbacks deadline acquisitions ranked by spoonerism:
- Like Meake
- Beth Seer
- Gac Zallen
- Morbin Cartin
- Roshua Jojas
- B.B Jukauskas
- Cosh Cansiderations
This has been studied and confirmed by a group of scientists at the University of Chicago whose grant money we are flushing straight down the toilet. Do not argue.
The only real comment I have on this Henderson stuff is this:
Every owner and executive will talk about how they love being part of whatever community they happen to be in, how they love being something that contributes to the civic good blah blah blah fart noise.
The millisecond some other city might offer a 1% better tax rate or a stadium they can use to fill their pockets and not sign free agents with, they will burn that bridge laughing manically, then put on that serious good Samaritan face for the next group of suckers in the next town, much like traveling snake oil salesmen of the old west.
Much as they like to sing and dance at charity events, they are not your friends. They could have all the local ties to the community to fill up an S&M Club, they will hop on a hovercraft to Juneau if it means they can also buy many blinged out individual hovercrafts with the tax breaks.
Never forget that, and always be skeptical.
Thanks for reading. Be nice to one-another, but hold to account those who aren’t.