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Updated Mar 31, 2011 - 11:03 am

Looking at D-backs season through Magic 8 Ball

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Daniel Hudson throws against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of their spring training baseball game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick near Scottsdale, Ariz., Monday, March 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

In what can only be described as some bizarro-psychological experiment, two baseball fans have been chosen to watch and document every single baseball game this season. They'll show up to work in a 15,000 square foot, glass enclosed "fancave" that will be visible to people walking by on the street in New York City. Inside are 15 televisions, a built in barber shop, a statue of Willie Mays' famous catch; the place was conceived by an Extreme Makeover designer.

They'll blog, they'll tweet, they can pick up a phone and call into to the MLB Network.

2,463 games. Nearly 400,000 minutes of baseball. They'll show up in the morning and are required to stay until the last out of the late West Coast games. Many times, that game will feature the D-backs.

Poor guys. Hope the Starbucks next door delivers.

I say that because based off of what I'm reading about your D-backs….it's going to be a long year. ESPN's Buster Olney (need ESPN Insider) says a talent evaluator told him they have the least amount of talent of any team he's seen. played the season 50,000 times with a computer. According to them, the D-backs chances of winning the NL West: 0.1%

But nobody saw the Padres coming last year and yet they came. Just about every "expert" whiffed on that one. So, in times like these, I like to turn to my in-house counsel.

The MAGIC 8 BALL APP on my iPad!* says the Over/Under on the D-backs this year is 72 wins. I'm thinking about taking the under. Is that a good idea?

Validation is a wonderful thing. 72 wins means 90 losses. Last year it was 97 losses and the year before 92. The under on the wins total seems pretty safe to me.

Does the poor performance by the Diamondbacks in the Cactus League mean anything once the regular season starts?

But I only got that answer after two very wishy-washy responses of REPLY HAZY TRY AGAIN and CANNOT PREDICT NOW. I think the Magic 8 Ball App really had to think about it. Normally I take spring results and toss them out every Thursday with the trash. But Kirk Gibson sure emphasized it, and wasn't too happy with the results. Trying to set a tone? Maybe. I still think spring stats and results mean nada.

If I asked you to name three other players on this roster not named Stephen Drew, Justin Upton or Chris Young….could you?

Of course the Magic 8 Ball app could do it, but could you? Calvisi and I were talking about this before Sports Interactive on Wednesday. If I gave you Drew, Upton and Young, what percentage of sports fans in this town could name three other players on this roster? 10%? 5%?

Last year's bullpen was Reliever Roulette; that bullpen door would swing open and you had no clue who or what was coming out. With the addition of J.J. Putz, the bullpen has to be better than a year ago, right?

Oh boy. I think (hope? pray?) Magic 8 Ball is wrong. It can't get worse than last year. But if Magic 8 Ball is right....

Is Kirk Gibson gonna lose his mind managing this team?

An answer which actually doesn't surprise me a ton. Gibson told us a story at Fan Fest about sailing out on a lake with his family. When the weather got rough he could have flipped out. Ultimately he determined that panicking and acting like a lunatic would have only made the situation worse.

But if they lose a bunch of games because the defense stinks, I could see a bona fide flip-out in our future.

Daniel Hudson was studly last year. Will he duplicate his success?

Really, how could he? 7-1 with a 1.69 era and a 0.841 WHIP. Asking him to do that again is asking too much.

I got a baaaad feeling about Joe Saunders and it sure seemed like Gibson felt the same this spring. Am I right to feel that way?

Disagreement #2. A weird spring for Saunders. The most veteran guy on that staff who had wait until the end of spring to hear he was actually on the staff.

In 2009, Justin Upton hit .300 with a slugging percentage of .532. In 2010, uh, not so much. I think he's going to have a borderline monster year; a year more like '09. Am I right?

Something tells me Upton, a year older - a year wiser, will put up big numbers.

And finally…….

Can the D-backs contend in 2011?

Just don't tell those poor saps in the MLB fan cave.

* All results of the Magic 8 Ball App were confirmed by the independent accounting firm of Burns, Burns and Burns


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