If it is at all possible for a team to make a statement just three games into a 162-game season, the Arizona Diamondbacks did just that over the weekend.
It's not just that the D-backs swept the San Francisco Giants, a team many think will challenge Arizona for the NL West crown.
And it's not just that the Diamondbacks swept the San Francisco Giants while facing the likes of Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain - the last of whom pitched against Josh Collmenter.
No, the fact that the Diamondbacks swept the Giants in a way that reminds you of how this team won so often last season shows that the resiliency - which was this team's best and most important trait - has not gone anywhere.
"That one will make you smile, it really does," manager Kirk Gibson said after Sunday's 7-6 win, one in which his team committed 5 errors while falling behind 6-0. "Guys battled. It was an interesting game, and they got the job done, competed very well today."
While interesting isn't the word I would use to describe what transpired Sunday (sloppy would be more accurate), the one thing it should not have been - even if it was, just a little - is surprising.
OK, it was admittedly surprising to me, as I turned to my grandfather in the third inning Sunday and said something to the effect of "well, this one's over."
You'd think I would have learned not to doubt the D-backs after last season, because if Gibson's squad has proven anything over the last year or so, it's that they won't give up on any game, and because of it, neither should the fans.
But as you likely already know, old habits die hard.
As fans, we must get used to the fact that this is a good team with a chance to be special. That comes with some pressure, because "just being competitive" is no longer good enough. Sure, last year was fun and all, but we want more this season. We expect more this season.
And, I believe we'll get more this season, even if, like Sunday, it's not always pretty.
"I think it brings back good memories for us, similar to last year," Gibson said after the win. "I've said several times that I love playing ugly games and winning them.
"Today's game was really beautiful."
While three games is hardly enough of a sample size to determine what this D-backs team will accomplish this season (remember, they finished last April with a 11-15 mark), we can all feel comfortable with the knowledge that everything that made this team special last season remains.