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SnakePit Round Table: Christmas Talkings

Just be glad I couldn’t find a pic of Baxter as Santa...

Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies

What do you want the D-backs to give you for Christmas?

James: Just about any reason to be excited for the 2021 season. Right now, the payroll talk, lack of moves, and the poor 2020 performance all feel like they are adding up to an extended, 12-game version of what we just went through this last summer. I would just as soon skip that, thanks.

Makakilo: Jingle Bell Rock. It’s the right time to rock the season away with a power hitter!

Jack: New ownership with DEEP pockets.

ISH95: Definitely new ownership, but since that’s like asking for a pony, I’ll go with Trevor Bauer, if for no other reason than I’d love to watch the discourse within the Dbacks fandom.

Wesley: Wishing for new ownership is like wishing for someone to give you a million dollar supercar for Christmas… Sure, it could happen, but will it? Not likely. Honestly, I’d just like to be excited and optimistic about the team going into next season. Bauer signing? Some premium hitter?

Turambar: A hippo of course. In all seriousness though I just want them to not make any stupid moves, in that I don’t want them to over extend themselves going in to a potential lockout.

How many games do you think will be played in the 2021 season?

James: I didn’t think they would get all 60 in this last season. Manfred proved me wrong when he insisted they play, even when they couldn’t field a team and then also during air quality conditions that had even healthy adults wearing masks indoors. If the owners agree to a 162-game season, that’s how many games will be played. I think the players wind up getting their 162 games, though they may not like the way they get them.

Makakilo: Run Rudolph Run. The teams have gotta make it to town, which is the playoffs!

Jack: Everything I am hearing both public and private so far is that owners do not want to stage games unless they can have 50% attendance. If that is actually true, then it’s doubtful they will play in April, and maybe not even May. So that leaves them with approximately 120-140 games, depending. Of course this information could be wrong, but it’s the information I have seen and far. If ownership is willing to stage games again without fans, or with minimal attendance, then they’ve proven they can forge ahead.

Right now, I’d personally set the over/under on 140 games. We’ll see.

ISH95: I’ll say 140 at the expense of a brutal offseason involving a strike/lockout, which will have the effect of also shortening the 2022 season.

Wesley: If the ownership wants 50% attendance, then I’ll go with 110 games.

Turambar: At this point , with all the recent bad news, I’m guessing between 100-90 games. We’ll have a season for sure, but not a full one.

If it comes up short, how should that affect the team’s plans?

James: This is not a borderline World Series team. Regardless of how the season goes in terms of 120 games of 162, they need to go into the season with a clear plan in place and then stick to it.

Makakilo: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 2021 and 2022 are rebuilding while competing years. In 2023 top outfield prospects Kristian Robinson, Alek Thomas and Corbin Carroll should be playing in the Majors. Then plans will be spot-on and Santa will say, “Rudolph, with your Diamondbacks so bright, won’t your wins be higher than out-of-sight?”

Jack: If the season is another “Pandemic Season”, then it’s going to be compromised once again. Eff it….let the Dodgers do their thing when it matters least. *Asterisks fly forever. The D-backs should move any salary that isn’t going to be contributing to the team after 2021. That means Escobar and Vogt. Move them, save 10M, (0r at least 5-6M if they have to eat some of the money). Play youth and find out what you’ve got. I’m not talking about a 3-5 year rebuild here. I’m just talking about being realistic for just one damn season and building for 2022. They could come out of it with valuable experience for the youngins….(yes, I hear you Chuck), and some extra cash to use on the considerably better 2022 FA class.

Wesley: I don’t think it affects anything. We’re in rebuild mode unless several of our prospects break out. Jack is right on with his assessment of 2022-23 being our window of contention most likely.

Turambar: Ensure the youth movement takes priority. All eyes must be firmly set towards the future. Anything else would be just plain silly.

Are you surprised and/or concerned by the lack of team moves so far?

James: Not terribly surprised, no. I tend to agree with Jack’s earlier comments. I think Mike Hazen makes some moves once Spring Training is already underway. I think that’s where he finds some middle-tier talent that is starting to panic that wants a contract and agrees to a low-ball deal to play in Arizona. I am a bit concerned that this may in fact be the strategy employed by multiple teams this winter. That will not sit well as we enter into the earnest CBA negotiations.

Makakilo: Here Comes Santa Claus. I’m confident there will be moves! “Here comes a winning trade, here comes a free agent, right down offseason lane.”

Jack: Not in the least surprised. I’ve assumed all along they will slow play the off season and see what happens with future plans, fans in stands, etc. They have almost zero payroll flexibility….so all they can do is wait it out and see what crumbs fall to them. (Hence my thoughts in the previous question). Now that I said that they will make a major move the same day or day after this publishes.

ISH95: No, I think everyone is playing the waiting game, trying to see what the season, and therefore revenues, will look like before doing much of anything.

Wesley: Not at all.

Turambar: Not surprised at all. Every teams, and I do mean EVERY TEAM, is gonna cut payroll in some fashion this year. So any and all moves by any team will be of the “treading water” variety.

Where will Trevor Bauer end up?

James: Somewhere in SoCal. The Mets are still in the mix as well. But, if the Mets want him, they are going to need to bring in other talent first. The later and larger his deal is, the more it will work towards soothing the ire of the MLBPA.

Makakilo: Let it Snow. He will likely be a Met. He will find, “Oh the weather outside is frightful.”

Jack: Not in Cincinnati according to Jon Heyman. He’ll end up with whatever team offers him the most money. I’ve not really handicapped who that might be.

ISH95: Mets seem likely, since they are probably the team least affected by pandemic revenue losses. Angels would probably be my second guess.

Wesley: I have no idea, other than whoever pays him most. I have feeling a team may just throw a gigantic one year deal at him and see if he takes it like he said he would. The Mets new owner is said to want to make some big splashes in the FA market and build a contender quickly.

What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without sleep? How did it effect you?

James: Somewhere between 80-96 hours. The very beginning and the very end of the time are quite foggy, resulting in not being able to peg exactly when it all began and ended. The evolution was a four-day evolution though. I was punch-drunk and pretty much acting on auto-pilot at that point. I no longer felt “tired”. I just felt like the list of things that needed to happen was not happening fast enough for me. I was certainly somewhat irritable with things not going my way, but I was also far less vocal about things and mostly just stayed within myself, keeping my eye on the finish line - which was marked by a comfortable bed.

Makakilo: Frosty the Snowman. Maybe my memory is as optimistic as I am. More than once, it remembers missing a night’s sleep in happy circumstances. One happy circumstance was flying overnight to Phoenix to see the Diamondbacks’ Wild-Card game. “Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul. ...He began to dance around.”

Jack: 48 hours. 1983, Taichung, Taiwan. Got up on a Tuesday morning, worked all day and all night with several stitching factories rushing to ship out a container of athletic uppers from Taiwan to Australia. Sealed the container at 7 AM Wednesday, then went to the office to do some paperwork. Went home for a shower at lunchtime, but no sleep. Had to get back to work. That night after work my best friend asked me to go out and party with him. Somehow I stupidly said yes, and next thing I know about 11 PM we ended up in a speeding car going from Taichung to Taipei….normally a 90 minute drive, we got there just before midnight, 55 minutes. Hit some clubs and did some things I’m glad I can’t really remember ;) Crashed at a motel sometime in the morning..don’t know what time, but sun was up again. Needless to say I never made it in to work on Thursday.

ISH95: approximately 72 hours. I had a real issue with caffeine addiction and drank three double strength energy drinks in the span of a 7 hour shift at work. That was the equivalent of 27 shots of espresso. Pretty sure I spent the entire time on the verge of a heart attack. Stopped drinking pretty much all caffeine cold turkey after that.

Wesley: Five days. I have had chronic insomnia my whole life, and this was when I was in school and waaay too high a dosage of stimulant adhd medication after being off it for a while. After a point you just fall asleep

Turambar: Two full days due to a massive eye infection. I started hallucinating by the end of the 2nd but that was mostly due to the infection.