From the Cheap Seats
Arizona Diamondbacks – What the @#$% is Going On?
It pains me once again to have to submit another article regarding the Arizona Diamondbacks and the substandard performance that we fans must endure in late August. In past articles I’ve talked about the funk, I’ve talked about the roller coaster, I’ve talked about the stock market baseball but here we are in late August and the Diamondbacks continue to struggle. Either the Diamondbacks need to straighten out and play well or I need to come out of with new catchy titles for my articles. As of last night and pathetic performance at Diamondbacks in the field I think I’m leaning heavily towards new catchy titles.
Quite honestly I don’t know where to start well take the easy road and start with what aggravates me most and that is the Diamondbacks dealing Stephen Drew to the Oakland A’s. I am a firm believer that you should always put your best players on the field and if you come up short and that’s the way it goes. But with the Diamondbacks ownership they are forced to look at additional information and in Stephen Drew’s case, his contract for next year. Having Scott Borass as an agent, almost always alienates owners from players. Borass as we all know has the reputation for manipulating owners into signing huge contracts with his players. So for this reason alone I believe the Arizona Diamondbacks ownership decided to trade Stephen Drew for minor-league ballplayer.
I don’t want to address all the possibilities that this young minor leaguer could present in the future because right now in the heat of a pennant race the future doesn’t mean anything. The talk amongst the cheap seats had the Diamondbacks ownership pain Stephen Drew between $10 and $15 million per year for a new contract. These numbers were thrown out there by all kinds of people but the bottom line is nobody knew what was going to take to sign Stephen Drew. So instead of letting it run a course, we’ll never know what it would have taken to sign Drew.
What aggravates me is that the Diamondbacks ownership, in particular Ken Kendricks a few months back called out Stephen Drew during his rehab of his injury. For those that didn’t follow Drew’s injury, he basically snapped an article sliding into home plate and ended up with his foot pointing in the wrong direction. Experts say that it takes a minimum of one year to recover from this sort of injury and those dates pretty much held true to the physical aspect of this injury. What caused a lot of animosity with the Diamondbacks ownership is that they felt Drew should have come back sooner than what he did. The team doctors cleared Drew to play yet Drew continued to hold out citing soreness in his ankle. My personal opinion is that the physical aspect of this injury pales in comparison to the mental aspect of this injury. Any time a player has this sort of injury the mental aspect is the final barrier to overcome and this is not easy. Learning to walk and run and to do all the things that a ballplayer needs to do is a lot to ask coming off of an injury like this. You just cannot push aside what has happened and go about your everyday life as if nothing happened. But none of this seemed to matter with Kendrick’s as he continued to vent his frustration with Stephen Drew.
Meanwhile on the active roster you get highly paid and underachieving healthy players such as Justin Upton and Chris Young in the lineup stinking up the ballpark every day. Ownership wants to call out players that’s fine just call out the players that are responsible for the team playing the way it is. Stephen Drew had nothing to do with that, Drew had always been a solid player on the field and in the clubhouse so for Kendricks to come out and openly criticize Stephen Drew and lump him in with the other players was totally unfair.
So now Drew is gone and we must fill another position with the minor league player hoping to catch lightning in a bottle on the Diamondbacks roster. My opinion is that the Diamondbacks are not as good of the team without Stephen Drew. And looking at the newspaper this morning I see that the Los Angeles Dodgers have added $261 million in salary by trading players with the Boston Red Sox. Not only did they spend more money they picked up top-level ballplayers and will increase their chances at winning the division, something the Diamondbacks seem to not want to do. Instead we have an owner that wants to haggle over $10-$15 million and then deal the player for minor leaguer making barely 6 figures, where’s the logic in that? How are the Diamondbacks fans supposed to interpret this? Are we putting forth our best effort with our best players? My answer is no.
So what we do from here? Not a whole heck of a lot in my eyes, all I see is our competition getting better and we are not. I believe we are about two weeks away from bowing out of this pennant race if the Diamondbacks continue to play like they have been. This does not make me a happy camper and it doesn’t bode well for the future of this existing team. When we started this venture in spring training I thought for sure that this Diamondbacks squad would run away with this division, clearly they’re not. What happens next year I don’t know, as a fan all I can do is hope for the best but this franchise needs to take care of their players and deal the dead weight that they seem to carry year after year. Prior to this injury, Stephen Drew was not dead weight but he was one of the most reliable, steady players on the roster and you don’t take care your players like this. Time will tell but for the immediate future all I see is pro football coming for Diamondback fans. I am truly disappointed and that’s my view from the cheap seats.
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