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Diamondbacks need to beat the bad

Arizona Diamondbacks Aaron Hill hugs teammate Gerardo Parra, right, after his game winning RBI single against the Baltimore Orioles after the 14th inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 5-4. (AP Photo/Matt York)

I can't stand it when teams play to their competition. Either you have a grotesque taste in your mouth that stains your soul when you lose or you use phrases like "it's early," "it's a long season," and "it's just one game."

Arizona splits with the Cubs in Phoenix while L.A. sweeps them at Wrigley. The Mets leave Chase Field with a series victory and go to L.A. to get swept by the Dodgers.

Comparing Arizona is the Dodgers is futile, I realize. They are in the midst of one of the most historic runs of regular season dominance. Remember the Dodgers-D-backs brawl? After that series, L.A. left for Pittsburgh. They lost the series. The Dodgers haven't lost a series since.

If the D-backs won series against Chicago and New York but split with the Rays and lost this recent series with Baltimore, I get it. The Rays and Orioles are excellent teams. There's no shame in losing to those clubs. I haven't figured out, however, how grinders lose to the weak and beat the strong.

Yes, you're wondering why am I writing this after three exciting, unbelievable walk-offs against Baltimore. The answer is, that's exactly why I'm writing this.

If you're truly a grinder, the weak will struggle against you. They should succumb to your grind-it-out at-bats and the unrelenting style. It's the Orioles and Rays who should beat you with their talent. Sure, your "grinder mentality" will steal a game in the series but the margin of error is too slim to win on a consistent basis against teams more talented than you.

I'm complimenting the players and staring them down, but I am not standing on the fence. The last three days show how good Arizona is. The results against the weak teams this year show that "grinder" is an over-used sales term. A grinder would not lower their focus with a rookie on the mound pitching for a below .500 team, but that's what has happened way too often this year.

Anytime a divisional opponent tears up baseball for as long as the Dodgers have, you're probably not going to win your division. It's unfair to expect any team to match the Dodgers. It is fair to expect this team to quit losing to the Padres. When the season is over, we'll look at the Dodgers record against below .500 teams and compare it to the D-backs.

I suspect we'll find out who the true grinders are.

About the Author


School: Ohio University...Go Bobcats!

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: 1st Doug & Wolf Show: 1/2/07

Favorite sports memory: Goldschmidt's triple icing the 2011 NL West title because it was a daddy-daughter day at the ballpark and Bellbrook vs. Dunbar '89 when I hit my one varsity HR.

Favorite all-time athlete: as a kid, Magic...as an adult, Grant Hill

Favorite sports movies: Field of Dreams

Best sports road trip: My honeymoon...wedding Saturday...Braves vs. Reds Sunday Night...Cooperstown Monday through Thursday morning...Jennifer sings the Anthem Thursday night at Fenway... Sox/White Sox triple play and cycle in the same game for only the second time in baseball history...Saturday night Clemens strikes out 9 through 7 but the bullpen blows it and the crowd is furious.

Best game I've ever seen live: Suns/Spurs Game 5 2007 Western Semis (the game w/o Amare & Boris). Hated the outcome but loved the experience.

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