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SnakePit Round Table: And so, it ends...

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When does spring training start?

‘A Descent into the Maelstrom’ by Edgar Allan Poe Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images

How would you sum up the 2020 Diamondbacks season?

Makakilo: Mixed emotions. I’m disappointed that an opportunity to reach the expanded playoffs was lost. I’m puzzled why hitting was so inconsistent, and how it will be fixed going forward. I’m confident that Mike Hazen executed opportunities to improve the team, mixed with a curiosity of how he will mold the team for next season, especially center field and the bullpen. I’m happy that talented young players were given playing time; the future looks bright because of the very strong farm system.

ISH95: Disappointing to say the least. The team was riding a streak of winning seasons, the core was intact, and Hazen had made some statement additions in the offseason. Things were looking good, but it just didn’t happen.

Dano: I’m happy and impressed that the team was disciplined enough to avoid any positive covid tests, one of only nine teams to manage that according to today’s broadcast. Sad we didn’t do better, especially because I genuinely believe this team is better than the record reflects. The last few weeks have been closer to what I would have expected—it’s as if everyone was finally done getting their spring training reps. Also, like ‘kilo, I’m glad we got to see some of the youngsters get substantial playing time.

Turambar: Disappointing. Very disappointing. Going in to the year, prior to Covid, this team had everything (on paper) to compete for a playoff spot. Covid had other plans though and all the complications thereafter made for a team that just wasn’t ready in multiple aspects of the game. It’s truly a shame, but it is what it is.

James: Disappointing as hell. All the acrimony between labor and ownership, combined with the farce of the 60-game season that never really got its feet under it, left me rather disenchanted with the season to begin with. Then, MadBum showed he was not healthy. Lamb got his three games worth of at-bats before the team had seen enough. Ray and Weaver both started having issues immediately. It only took about 7-10 games before the team had me not particularly interested in seeing how the aberration of a season played out. The extreme skid they went off was just the terrible icing on a moldy cake.

Tell us about one good thing you’ll remember from it.

Makakilo: Zac Gallen. He emerged as the Diamondbacks ace!

ISH95: Have to agree with Kilo. Definitely Gallen. Specifically watching him chase, catch, and the surpass 3 runs or less record. He was must watch TV all season, something that could be said for just about anyone else on the team.

Dano: Merrill Kelly, unmistakably doing the business in his second season. I very much hope that he can come back from his injury more or less intact.

Turambar: Gallen is king. Period. End of story. He’s taken the throne as ace of this team, and will likely retain that title for years to come.

James: It will probably be the emergence of Zac Gallen. If not that, it will be how Kole Calhoun managed to step up and shine when the rest of the team’s offense went into the tank, this despite arriving in Arizona with a highly questionable bat.

What was the worst thing?

Makakilo: After reaching a promising position of 2 games above 500, with real chances of reaching the expanded playoffs, immediately the Diamondbacks lost 18 of 20 games. Adding to the pain, in the middle of that stretch, they traded away Starling Marte (big surprise), Archie Bradley, Andrew Chafin, and Robbie Ray.

ISH95: The complete meltdown of almost the entire pitching staff. Bumgarner was hurt, the bullpen was ineffective GC

Dano: Losing Kelly so soon, to such a potentially scary injury. I’ve been a big fan since last year, so that kinda broke my heart.

James:The combination of Robbie Ray and the offense forcing Mike Hazen’s hand towards selling off almost every player not nailed to the floor. If the Diamondbacks had even managed to play .500 ball through the trade deadline, I think we see a very different product on the field at the end of the season and this team might even be in the playoffs.

Who will you be rooting for in the postseason?

Makakilo: Any team but the Astros, Dodgers, and Brewers (Ryan Braun).

ISH95: Go Rays! They’ve always been the closest I have to am AL team, and it would be cool to see the other 98 expansion team win it.

Dano: Any team other than the Dodgers, Yankees, Astros, or Marlins. I think it might be particularly neat if the Reds managed to go all the way.

James: Anyone but the Dodgers. Beyond that, the players I would be most excited to see have success are either injured or were recently eliminated. If the Astros win, I will be happy for Greinke.

And who do you think will win the World Series?

Makakilo: Padres! The Padres are the third highest team in wins-above-average(WAA) in the Majors. They have great talent. Their manager, Jayce Tingler “doubled down” on fundamentals and he is getting the most from his players. They could win-it-all. On the other hand, the model shows they have a 6% chance of winning the World Series, with five teams having higher chances (Dodgers, Yankees, Rays, Twins, and Braves).

ISH95: Pfft who knows. These playoffs are going to be chaotic, favorites will fall, underdogs will rise, become favorites, and then fall.

That said, it’s going to be the Dodgers, just to cap everything off.

Dano: I like the Rays for it, or maybe the Twins.

James: Would the real New York Yankees please stand up? If the Yankees can avoid kicking the ball around the infield, I think they can crush just about anyone they come across. If they continue to have extended fits of an inability to play basic defense, they are not going to be long for the postseason.I’m not sure at that point. I think the Rays, A’s, and Twins all have a strong chance. I think the winner comes from the AL. I think Oakland has some health issues that might bite them.

What is the most epic moment in the history of cinema?

Makakilo: Casablanca has several memorable moments. The most epic moment was a scene in Rick’s bar, when a group of Germans (who are ‘occupying’ the city of Casablanca) start to sing their national anthem. The underground resistance leader strides to a small brass band, who are taking a break. He asks them to play the French National Anthem. After Rick nods his head, they do. The French patrons stand and sing their national anthem with tears in their eyes. The Germans continue to sing, but eventually only the French are singing. A daring individual shouts, “Viva la France.” I’m thinking viva the human spirit.

Watching it pulled me into the scene with strong emotions. That moment shows the indomitable human spirit that cannot be crushed by oppression and military power. The scene is engaging, powerfully inspiring, and timeless.

ISH95: I’m going to have to say the big reveal where Vader tells Luke “I am your father!” Fantastic moment.

Dano: Either the Imperial ground attack on Hoth at the beginning of “Empire Strikes Back”, or that one big battle scene from “Excalibur” that has the Carmina Burana playing behind it.

James: I think ISH might have a decent pick. It was, at the time, one of the bigger “reveals” in cinema history. In fact, it wound up being so big that it is now just part of modern culture to the point that no one can possibly be surprised by it anymore. The opening scene to the original Star Wars was epic in that it immediately announced the film as a new standard bearer for action and special effects driven cinema.

I can think of a number of individual scenes that pop out to me as iconic scenes from the history of cinema. I’m not sure all of them are necessarily “epic”. They are amazing scenes though. The chariot race in Ben-Hur. The grand procession in Cleopatra. The flight from the Balrog in The Fellowship of the Ring. Rocky vs Apollo Creed in Rocky was huge. I should probably stop.