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D-backs deserve a refund

Did anybody happen to keep the receipt from the Diamondbacks' 2011 National League Division Series?

Arizona deserves a refund. And don't give us any of that malarkey about a "30 Day Return Policy." Wait, guess what? That looks like Kirk Gibson in line at the service desk.

"It's interesting we haven't heard from him," the D-backs skipper said Wednesday when asked whether suspended superstar Ryan Braun should be stripped of his 2011 MVP trophy. "I think he does need to get in front of the people and answer questions."

Look, we're not going to go all Sedona Code Red here ("You want answers? I want the truth!") and start screaming like the late comedian Sam Kinison ("Ahhhh!!"), known for his short temper.

Sadly, we've been through this before as baseball fans, right? We're realistic to know that there's no crying in baseball (wait, check that, did anyone see David Hernandez after the D-backs' extra-inning loss on Wednesday night?).

Instead, let's amend that to there's "no rewind button in baseball." Our local team will never be allowed to become the DVR-backs and somehow replay that 2011 playoff series, despite the specter of instant replay.

We gotta live with the 2011 playoff loss…in extra innings…in the deciding game… in a series where Braun raked D-backs pitching (batting .500 with nine hits in 18 at-bats). And then Braun shamelessly and defiantly defended his innocence against performance enhancing drugs a few months later.

"I promise you on everything that's ever meant anything to me in my life, the morals, the values, the virtues by which I've lived for my 28 years on this planet, I did not do this," Braun stated from the Brewers' spring training complex in Maryvale, only to accept a 65-game suspension this week.

No wonder Gibby-ball didn't hesitate to play hardball when lobbed a question by the local media: "Something tells me he's rehearsing his next speech right now, because he was pretty good at the last one."

No doubt. Maybe that's why Braun opted to issue a statement that included the following: "I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions."

Once again, Braun doesn't get it. It's the game of baseball that suffers the consequences. See, the real crime is that it's not victimless. It cuts to the core of the baseball itself by compromising the integrity of the game.

We already knew that self-serving cheaters (McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, Bonds, etc.) permanently corrupted the record books. Now we've come to the sobering realization that multiple playoff series have been directly compromised and forever tainted. How selfish. How myopic. How unnerving and demoralizing.

And, finally, how silly that we endlessly debate whether the All-Star Game should decide home field advantage in the World Series. When, all the while, cheaters are still deciding the very outcome of the Fall Classic itself.

No wonder the D-backs decided to debut a mascot wearing a luchador mask.

Once again, baseball has more in common with professional wrestling than it cares to admit.

About the Author

School: California

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: KTAR/KMVP = 1998

Favorite sports memory: Phoenix Open 1997 - Sitting under the ropes at the 16th green and watching Tiger Woods tee off with a 9-iron. 152 yards and two bounces later...the hole-in-one results in an unmatched moment of bedlam and pandemonium. I'm still suffering from partial hearing loss.

Favorite all-time athlete: Barry Sanders. How can a guy my size make the rest of the NFL look so helpless and hapless? No such thing as an open-field tackle of Barry Sanders, not unless it's a gang tackle.

Favorite sports movies: Rocky - "He doesn't know it's a damn show. He thinks it's a damn fight!"

Gone in 60 Seconds - The Shelby Mustang has great measurables and is elusive in open field!


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