Go take a gander at the NL West standings. No look lower. Lower. Yeah, there at the bottom. That is where the Diamondbacks have been the past two years. In fact as of this morning, the only team further back than the 23 games the Dbacks are from their division leader is Baltimore from the Yankees at 33.5. Admittedly, I'm a St. Louis Cardinals fan, but living in the Phoenix area since '03, I've come to have some love for the Dbacks. Sometimes love hurts.
I know fans hate to hear this, but it is time to start looking forward to the future. Last year Justin Upton was an all-star, and he is starting to show that form again as he is in the midst of a 15 game hitting streak. This year, Chris Young was an all-star and has showed increased maturity at the dish. Mark Reynolds has not cut down on his strike out numbers, but he's always a threat to hit the ball 420 feet. The point being, there is talent on this team, but the team is still in last place. Without changes this team will remain in last place for years to come.
In response to these facts, the past few weeks have been full of action for the Diamondbacks from the front office all the way to the bullpen. The team has a new interim-GM and manager, in Jerry DiPoto and Kirk Gibson. They've also traded a few arms sending their ace, Dan Haren, to Anaheim as well as the pitcher who threw the first Dbacks no-hitter since Randy Johnson, Edwin Jackson, to the ChiSox. There will be plenty of mixed emotions as more fans realize late Friday night both Chris Snyder and Chad Qualls will be traded to Pittsburgh and Tampa, respectively. Snyder was a crowd favorite although he has recently been moved to the backup role with the development of fellow catcher Miguel Montero. Amongst all the fans here, he'll be missed. I even read today someone wishing Snyder luck and more playing time as a Pirate. On the other hand, there's Chad Qualls. He's been a fan favorite too; sadly it's the fans of the other team cheering when he comes in the game. His 1-4 record and 8.51 ERA certainly will NOT be missed here in the Valley of the Sun by Diamondback fans. While his numbers are bad, most fans would guess they were even worse. Perhaps that's because as a team the Diamondbacks have 19 saves in 34 opportunities (more on that later). In any event, if you hear a "ssshhhh," coming from Phoenix, it's Diamondback fans trying to keep down their friends' giggles for fear their laughter and exhilaration at getting rid of Qualls will tip off the good people in Rays front office they shouldn't have taken him and paid his remaining salary.
As for whether or not the moves were salary dumps, please stop whining. The team is in last place! Be happy the front office is doing something. We'll know soon enough if the moves were good or bad, but I appreciate the movement and effort. What do you want a last place team to do? Sit around and wait for everyone else to get worse, so we don't feel so bad? That's not going to happen people. So what if every move was a salary dump? The Diamondbacks attendance has been under 20,000 17 times this season in a stadium with a capacity of 48,652. Can fans blame owners for dumping salary if the fans aren't supporting the team by going to games?
With that, no owner should turn his/her back on a team's fans nor act like fans are dumb. Everyone who is not employed by the Diamondbacks thought we got hosed by the Angels with the Haren trade the way we feel we're hosing Tampa with the Qualls trade, but is Haren really an ace? I mean that with all due respect (heck, he's on my fantasy team), but he was never supposed to be the Diamondbacks' ace. He was supposed to be the #2 behind Brandon Webb. Webb got hurt and Haren became our ace; that wasn't the original plan though. Also, let's say the bullpen converted on all 34 of the aforementioned save opportunities. That would put the Dbacks tied with the Rockies at 53-50. Guess what? That still would be in last place in the division, so the front office has to keep making moves.
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