Diamonds in the desert

Need a bandwagon to hop aboard with the A’s and Giants both steaming toward hibernation? You could do a lot worse than the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Arizona left town Wednesday night after collecting two of three from the Giants and did so with a 2 1/2 game lead in the National League West (though only two in the loss column). And what makes this group so impressive is that there is really nothing impressive about them.

Yeah, you could point to Brandon Webb and his amazing 42-inning scoreless streak last month. Or their dynamite bullpen, led by closer Jose Valverde. Or rookie Chris Young and his 30 home runs.

But overall, this is just a scrappy club, the perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. They hustle. They’re aggressive. They play hard for nine innings. Small things, really, but you’d be surprised how many teams lack the same. They remind me a lot of the 2000 A’s, a team that was awfully dangerous then and had far better days ahead.

I talked to Eric Byrnes and Tony Clark for a column that probably will appear Friday on the site, and they both raved about how the D’backs have succeeded in putting team in front of individual, and how they won’t forget this experience no matter how it may turn out. My guess is that they’ll make the playoffs, though it might be as a wild-card. They’re probably not talented enough (yet) or deep enough to make waves in the playoffs, but if I’m the Mets, I sure would like to avoid them if at all possible.

Anyway, keep an eye on these guys. They’re a fun team to watch.


  • Way back in February, I wrote up my predictions for the baseball season.

    At that time I picked the D-backs to take the NL wild card.

    The rest of my picks were terrible, but the D-backs have been coming through for me.