I got a text from the producer of the Burns and Gambo show
last night at halftime of the preseason opener. It simply
Skelton 1, Kolb 0
Yep. That's about right.
All of our fears about Kevin Kolb were realized in the
first 15 minutes of the preseason. The biggest of which
has nothing to do with performance. It has to do with the
ability to stay on a football field.
Concerns about Kolb have morphed from "is he good enough"
to "can he stay upright long enough". Last night's chest
injury is merely the latest example and an unfortunate
metaphor for the big picture problem facing Kolb. The pick
was bad. The injury worse.
Some will say I'm questioning Kolb's toughness; his
willingness to play through the injuries that have plagued
him over the last calendar year. Not at all. As Mike Sando
pointed out on his ESPN
NFC West blog, Kolb would have
been a fool for playing through a concussion late last
year and it was pointless to gut it out during a silly
preseason game. Ken Whisenhunt correctly pointed out that
it irrational to make judgments this early in the process.
But the facts remain. He's played in a little more than
half of the games in his Cardinals tenure. And once again,
as Sando notes, this is the fourth consecutive preseason
or regular season that an injury has knocked out Kolb.
I will say this though; at the start of camp the NFL
Network's Willie McGinest suggested that the players he
was talking to in the Cardinals locker room favored
Skelton over Kolb. While this report was dismissed as
hooey, I thought at the time that - hypothetically, if it
were true - it was in part because the players may view
Skelton was able (notice I did not write "willing") to
absorb the punishment in ways that Kolb would seem to
Either way, the smile on Skelton's face was obvious every
time the cameras cut to him Sunday night. He knows his
candidacy took a step forward with his steady play during
the TD drive. And in a moment that some may consider
revelatory and some will describe as merely interesting,
as Kolb was gingerly walking off the field, Skelton
approached him to give him a high five. Kolb left him
hanging. The pain of yet another injury and a night
horribly wrong was apparently just too much to bear.
As a proud graduate of Northern Arizona University I can
assure you that these words have not once, in the history
of the world, ever been spoken:
"What happens at Lumberjack Stadium stays in Lumberjack
It wasn't a misplaced Vegas reference. Instead, Clark
Haggans said it Wednesday night, trying to describe the
intensity of the Cardinals night practice. Physical.
Intense. Lot of trash being talked. The Cardinals have
reached that point in camp where they've grown tired of
each other, and frankly, I agree. We're all ready for the
games to start. Players are ready; they want to beat on
someone else. Fans are ready; by now we all understand
we're never going to answer the "big question" at
quarterback based on practice.
Neither Kevin Kolb nor John Skelton has yet to distinguish
themselves after one week of practice. Is it
A. Because it's been one week, stupid (likely answer)
B. Neither guy is a distinguishable quarterback
(scary answer) or
C. The Cards defense is so good, it's impossible to
use practice to judge them (sneaky answer that is the
focus of this blog)
The talk Thursday in Flagstaff after last night was
about the defense and just how far ahead it (any really
defense) is over the offense at this stage in camp. A
cliché to be sure, but clearly that's where the Cardinals
are at. I don't believe that's the reason why the QB
competition is a stalemate but it doesn't help when the
talent is concentrated on the other side of the ball.
I remember at one point last year suggesting the very
identity of the Cardinals was changing before our eyes.
The glory years (you know….all two of them) of putting up
huge offensive numbers with Warner and Fitz and Q and
Breaston are gone, replaced with a defense that's like a
good dark beer: Stout. This team's very soul may lie in
players like Campbell and Dockett. Washington and Acho.
Peterson and his healthy ego (second-best corner in the
league Patrick, really?).
Gambo and I debated on Thursday whether this new identity
was born by default (Gambo) or by design (me). In truth it
hardly matters; this is how it is. These aren't two elite
quarterbacks fighting it out on the fields of Flagstaff.
The thunder and lightning backfield of Beanie Wells and
Ryan Williams could go boom, could go bust. Michael Floyd
won't be Anquan Boldin on day one.
Now, I'm not trying to trivialize who wins the gig between
Kolb and Skelton. It's still the most important position
in all of sports. Just understand, no matter who gets the
nod on September 9th against Seattle, the reality is that
the Cardinals will likely win football games just as they
did last year; thanks to their defense and special teams.
Should that assumption come to fruition, follow it with
another: Ray Horton is gone, off to find fame and fortune
as the coach of (insert team here).
Worry about that later. The hope is that a QB emerges that
is able to make enough plays to play to the defensive
strength of the team. Figuring out who that is starts in
earnest on Sunday.
If I were in favor of trading Justin Upton I would
probably stoop to the level of a high school sophomore who
tries to spice up their term paper with a cheesy
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve
greatly." -Robert F. Kennedy
"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find
out how far they can go." -T.S. Eliot
And my personal favorite,
"You can't steal second base and keep your foot on
first." -Frederick Wilcox
That's IF I were in favor of trading Upton. I'm not.
Trading the mysterious and talented Mr. Upton would be an
incredible mistake for precisely the reason why I included
I wouldn't make the trade out of fear of failure. Fear
that Upton's emergence would happen for some other team.
That simply cannot happen and it would be foolish for the
D-backs to take that risk.
Maybe I can't steal second with my foot on first but I'm
not getting thrown out either.
If you're the Diamondbacks and you get this wrong, your
fan base would never forgive you for it. Josh Byrnes (did
I say Josh Byrnes-I meant Jeff Moorad) was never able to
live down the Eric Byrnes extension. Kevin Towers would
experience that wrath times ten if he were to trade Upton
just in time for Upton to blossom.
I just can't see the bounty they'd receive in return as
worth the risk. Honestly I don't think it's even close.
I have yet to cultivate one defining thought about the
bombshell that Gambo dropped on the Valley yesterday
In the hours since the news of Steve Nash to the Los
Angeles Lakers (and oh by the way here's a
Darren Rovell twitpic to really turn your stomach), I
haven't been able to hold a thought in my head without it
being replaced by another, and another, and another.
It's like trying to catch a mouse that has snuck into your
house. Every time I think I have it cornered it slips
So instead of one thought, I'll give you a stream-of-
consciousness-type column that hopefully by the end, will
have produced a clear what-do-I-think epiphany of the
biggest story of the decade.
I am at The Amazing Spider Man when I see the
tweet. That completely unnecessary reboot (Emma Stone is
awfully pretty though) will always be associated with THE
DAY THE SUNS TRADED STEVE NASH TO THE LAKERS. My co-host
broke the news, but I when tell my 14-year-old son about
it I add "I sure hope he's wrong." To which the wise young
man reminds me it was bad for the show if Gambo was wrong.
I respond by saying today I didn't care.
Once it was clear Gambo was right, I am literally queasy.
The medium popcorn and dollar refill of Coke is churning.
It was shock. Anxiety. Disbelief.
I read today that, according to Nash's agent, Nash briefly
contemplated retiring from the NBA. As I walked out of the
Harkins San Tan, I briefly contemplate renouncing my
citizenship from Planet Orange, like some kind of a Cuban
defector ("I seek political asylum with the Oklahoma City
I try to focus my emotions. Who am I upset at? Nash for
wanting this? Or the Suns for enabling it?
I thought about those words that brought me comfort a week
ago: "I think it would be hard to put on a Lakers jersey."
When Nash said that to an ESPN radio station in New York,
it brought peace. I feel lied to. Flat out, straight up
But wait. It takes two. How could the Suns do this to Suns
fans? How could they have so little knowledge or interest
in just how much WE HATE THE LAKERS? I thought of the old
radio adage; know your audience. Clearly, I thought, the
law firm of Sarver, Babby and Blanks doesn't know theirs.
Keep in mind, this was all before I left the parking lot.
Deep breath. Take the emotion out of it. Think rationally.
Take the information that was given, cover the word
"Lakers" with my thumb, and evaluate the move……ok, heart
rate slowing down. Telling myself at least they got
something for him. Somebody tweeted me and suggested that
the picks could be used as part of a deal to the Hornets
as part of a sign and trade for Eric Gordon. Ok, that's
good too. I feel normalcy envelop me.
Then I remember that sports is emotion. Take the emotion
out of it? I'm not a friggin' robot. I remember what I
told Jon Bloom after the Suns drafted Kendall Marshall;
when it comes to the Suns, I'm irrational. I don't run and
hide from that.
No -- the angel on my right shoulder whispers in my ear --
sports is a business and all that happened today was a
business transaction. Then another tweeter reminds me that
sports are merely entertainment, like the movies, and with
Nash in L.A. I've got another reason to loathe that team.
The badder the bad guy, the better the story (it's the
reason why Die Hard is one of the best action flicks
Then the devil on my left shoulder chimes in by coming up
with the analogy that, in a sports sense, my wife just
left me for my best friend. Or even worse, my most-hated
business rival. I can feel myself falling into an abyss.
Now I've got so many thoughts swirling around that I have
to ask my wife to drive to the D-backs game so I can
think. And tweet.
I think about the Suns and wonder if four picks and three
million bucks are worth alienating half of your fan base.
And really, let's be honest about the value of those
picks. Second round picks in the NBA remind me of signs
that you see that read "Dirt for sale." Late first round
picks are nothing more than putting all your money on one
number at a roulette table. Did the Suns really get
anything for Nash?
A friend compares the deal to the day the team traded
Dennis Johnson for Rick Robey. I cried that day, have I
ever told you that? I think of the day Charles Barkley did
a nationally televised interview with NBC (halftime of
Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Sonics and Bulls) all
but demanding he be traded from the Suns. I start
comparing those three kicks to the midsection to judge
which hurt the worse.
I think that given his love of filmmaking both in front of
and behind the camera, I think that L.A. is a perfect
place for Nash. And besides, what NBA player doesn't want
to play for the Lakers?
I go to bed mad as hell.
I woke up with new perspective and new information.
Nash, we found out, was desperate to stay close to his
family. He's only an hour away, his agent says. That,
while playing on a contender, means everything to him.
Reading Nash's statement and the gratitude he expresses to
Robert Sarver ("couldn't be more grateful" and "says a lot
about his character") and I feel my stance softening.
In addition to signing Gordon to the big offer sheet
(smelling sign and trade with Hornets), the Suns have
added Michael Beasley and Goran Dragic. They're going to
be interesting next year (I didn't say good, I said
Then I think about my own hypocrisy. I've been upset with
the Suns for years for not dealing Nash sooner in the name
of getting something for him sooner. I'm going to complain
now that they did what I wanted them to do all along? That
seems a little unfair. Then I think about Sarver and his
reputation, not among the fans but among the players of
the NBA. That rep took a hit during the lockout. Did he
just get some cred back for acquiescing to Nash's wish?
("Hey, everything you heard about me was untrue…did you
see what I did for Nash?") If they can walk away with Eric
Gordon, I'll be impressed. Maybe even pleased.
I'm about to get in the car and drive to the station and
I'm sure five more thoughts will pop into my head.
How do I feel about Nash to the Lakers? You didn't expect
an answer did you?
In "Back to the Future" - perhaps one of the most creative
movies ever made - Marty McFly goes back in time and is
stunned to see the way things used to be.
In "Back to the Future 2" - perhaps one of the worst
sequels I have ever sat through - Marty McFly goes 30
years into the future and is stunned to see the way things
On Thursday night, separated by only a couple of hours, we
revved up the Flux Capacitor and took a trip ourselves.
Suns draft pick Kendall Marshall is a nostalgic look into
the past. D-backs phenom Trevor Bauer is a curious vision
of the future.
The Suns drafted Marshall to be their point guard of the
future while staunchly insisting his selection doesn't
necessarily mean the departure of Steve Nash. Maybe not,
but it sure feels like goodbye. One day Marshall will be
the starting point guard of the Suns. Whether that day is
in two weeks or two years, who knows. But we know this:
Marshall is old school all the way. Like dial-up internet
and the VCR.
A tough minded, pass-first-shoot-later distributor. The
selfless leader type who thrives on getting others
involved. The hash tag on his twitter account reads
#PassFir5t. Roy Williams called him the best passer he's
ever coached. Once upon a time a point guard like that was
once a pillar of the NBA.
Russell Westbrook he ain't. Marshall lacks great
athleticism and isn't a lights-out shooter. Jay Bilas
described the lottery's other point guard, Damian Lillard,
as being in range the moment he is in the gym. Jeff Van
Gundy joked that if the Suns keep Nash, they'll have two
guards who can't guard the dribble so it should work out
Is there still a place in today's NBA for a point guard
like Marshall or is he an anachronism? The answer to that
may lie in the players that surround him. What good is a
pass first point guard if he has no one elite to pass to?
Or is he so good that he'll make the players around him
better? A point guard like that might serve as a magnet to
players who don't want to worry about sharing their shots
with a guy like Westbrook.
Bauer, on the other hand, is from another planet. Ignore
for a moment how he pitches and just focus on the way he
warms up. He stretches, runs, jumps, works out with a
giant rubber band, and of course, engages in the crazy
foul pole to foul pole session of long toss. The one that
requires a cutoff man just to get the ball back to him. Oh
yeah, and that crow hop warm-up pitch he throws behind the
mound before each inning.
Once the game starts, he throws nine or ten different
pitches; all sorts of variations on his curve, slider and
something he calls a reverse slider.
Bauer's debut wasn't as smooth as hoped. It was like the
grand finale of a Fourth of July fireworks show that
wasn't all that grand ("is that all?"). Four innings and
74 pitches later it was over. Maybe he is from another
planet but he's still just a kid; I'm sure he was a little
jittery so I won't be too hard on him. (We discovered
after the game that he has dealing with a groin issue from
the third inning on-factor that in with the 50 pitches he
threw just a few days ago and enough was enough). But the
walks, the pitch count, all the things that can be a
little concerning about Bauer showed up Thursday night.
In direct contrast, Patrick Corbin came into the game and
put on a Crash Davis-inspired display of old school
pitching, inducing six very democratic groundballs in his
three innings of work. Because strikeouts are boring and
fascist, right Crash?
Maybe not entirely, but surely the Diamondbacks would like
Bauer to pitch to contact more often. Does Bauer need to
introduce a little typical into his atypical ways in order
to succeed? Or does he know something the rest of us
don't? My guess is the D-backs will give him plenty of
room to be Trevor Bauer. Doing things his way has worked
awfully well for him up to this point.
A glimpse into the past. A view of the future. Which will
make for the better movie remains to be seen.
In the Pac-10 Championship game (a loss to USC) and the
first two games of the NCAA Tournament (win vs. Temple,
loss to Syracuse), Harden
shot a combined 6-27 and averaged just under 10 points per
game. The USC game recap says he missed a free
throw, a layup and a three-pointer in the final 50
seconds, a fact that I can't recall but…well…whatever. The
Thunder had a similar lack of concern about Harden; they
drafted him third overall and his NBA career has been a
success story ever since.
The fact is, I am still firmly entrenched in the Harden-
camp. The concept is a two-pronged question.
Could it happen? Should it happen?
It could. With the large extensions doled out to Kevin
Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder may have to
choose between Harden and Serge Ibaka a year from now. It
might be a tough choice, it might be a non-issue; as Jim
Traber suggested to us a week ago, OKC could amnesty
Kendrick Perkins in an attempt to afford to keep both
Harden and Ibaka. Both could take less to keep the band
together. I'll admit; the idea that Harden is available in
a year is, at best, a shaky hypothetical.
The "should it happen" question has grown increasingly
difficult to answer with what we've seen in the Finals. Is
Harden a max money player? The performances in these four
games say no. Everything else says yes and I'm still a
believer. Suns coach Alvin Gentry said a couple of months
ago that Harden might be the third best two-guard in the
NBA behind only Kobe and Dwyane Wade.
Harden is hardly the first player to shrink in his first
NBA Finals. LeBron pulled a Rick Moranis last year but is
now poised to win the Finals MVP. Players learn, evolve
and grow, and there's no reason to think Harden won't use
these Finals as a springboard for just that.
Where he lands, nobody knows. But if it's Phoenix, that's
just fine with me.
It wasn't a big hit for the former front man of The
Police; in fact, it wasn't a hit at all. Yet all this talk
about what happened to the Diamondbacks one year ago
Monday has embedded a very old song by Sting in my head.
History Will Teach Us Nothing.
Surely by now you know the importance of May 14th as it
relates to last year's 94-win, NL West champion team. It's
practically a holiday for team employees and was mentioned
prominently during Monday's broadcast. But just in case...
On May 14th last year, the Arizona Diamondbacks were
meandering their way through a 15-22 start. Since so
little was expected of Kirk Gibson's squad, the local
outrage barely measured a decibel. Everything was going
according to plan...the D-backs weren't any good. On that
May 14th, frankly, they weren't that great either; after
all, they were one-hit by the Dodgers' Chad Billingsley.
But Josh Collmenter formally introduced himself to D-backs
fans, Arizona scratched out a run on a sac fly and from
that moment on the magic carpet ride was in full effect.
From that day forward, the D-backs would win 15 of their
next 17 games. The rest is, well, history. It makes for a
terrific story and there is no denying its part in the DNA
of last year's squad.
Fast forward a year. The D-backs are, once again,
meandering, this time though through a season where the
expectation bar was set much higher. That fact alone
changes the equation. Instead of silence, a 15-20 start
has left the masses questioning, concerned and demanding.
So it stands to reason that the same team with an oddly
similar record playing the same team on the same day at
least provides hope that it can be done again. A wonderful
coincidence that makes for a fine talking point.
The problem with this particular history lesson is while
it certainly can happen again, it doesn't explain why it
will happen again. Or how it will happen again. It merely
serves as a friendly reminder to be patient: Everything
will be fine, it all worked out, we'll fix it just like we
did last year.
Just for fun, I looked up May 14th from the 2010 season,
otherwise known as the last days of A.J. Ironically, that
May 14th was something of a watershed moment as well. They
lost to the Braves to fall to 14-22 on the year, only
slightly worse than the record they sport now (but it's
worth noting that the 2010 and 2012 D-backs were both 8.5
games out of first on May 14th). That bunch won six of
their next eight games to pull to within four games of
.500 only to collapse in a heap of losses. Ten straight to
be exact. A.J. Hinch and Josh Byrnes would lose their jobs
a month later. May 14, 2010 was nothing more than a rest
stop on the road to ruin.
What does it mean? Nothing, and that's the point. History
will teach us nothing. This day a year ago, two years ago,
isn't going to help Justin Upton to lay off the outside
breaking pitch or J.J. Putz locate his split-finger
fastball. It isn't going to bring Chris Young or Stephen
Drew or Daniel Hudson back off the DL any faster than
before. It won't resurrect the Paul Goldschmidt or Ryan
Roberts of 2011. It isn't going to help Ian Kennedy
purposely plunk Clayton Kershaw in retaliation, something
he failed to do...twice. To his credit, Upton has said as
much. Last year is last year, let's quit talking about it.
The history lesson is over. Let's move on to current
For as much as I love the movies, I'm surprised that I've
never used this space to tell you what my favorite movies
of all-time are. Movies, plural. If you were the demanding
sort and mandated I choose just one, I would. But realize
if you ask me in a week you might get a different answer.
So I have three:
Saving Private Ryan. Raiders of the Lost Ark. The Silence
of the Lambs. You may say I'm sitting on a fence; I like
to think of it as having options. I can go summer popcorn
action flick, a serious war/technically brilliant classic
or violent, extremely well-acted thriller. Depends on my
And, much like me and my movies, the Arizona Cardinals
will have options on draft day, three of which I'll gladly
rubber stamp as THE RIGHT MOVE. I'm writing this under the
assumption that at least one of these three will be
available at #13 and that the Cardinals will take one of
these players. Should the Cardinals go off script and
draft someone outside of my top three, I reserve the right
to rip the pick or to view it as an unconsidered fourth
great option (much like I consider Shawshank Redemption as
my fourth-favorite movie).
Option 1: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Full disclosure…of the three options the Cardinals have,
Floyd is the one I would estimate to be gone baby gone by
the time the Cardinals pick. Hearing Mark May describe his
abilities the other day was like listening to a scouting
report on Anquan Boldin. Big, tough, physical, uses his
body. He's May's choice. He's Ron Jaworski's pick. He's
coveted by none other than fellow Minnesotan Larry
Fitzgerald. And that is good enough for me. Even though
he's doesn't address the offensive line concerns make no
mistake; it's a need. No one will blame the Cardinals one
bit for drafting a stud WR to pair with their stud WR.
Option 2: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Reiff was once thought to be a sure-fire top 10 pick, most
likely by the Buffalo Bills. But in the opinions of some,
he has slipped. Some think his arms are too short or he's
not athletic enough. Some think the media love him but the
NFL scouts do not. And some believe the entire tackle
position is over-valued in a league that is moving to more
three-step drops and quick releases. Yet some compare him
to another former Iowa lineman, Bryan Bulaga, who slipped
in the draft and is now one of the better right tackles in
football with the Packers. He clearly fits a need for the
Cards which makes him the comfy pick. Given that he was
considered a top-ten guy just a few weeks ago, he strikes
me as the one tackle who wouldn't be much of a reach at
#13. All the other tackles are and taking one of them is a
guaranteed rip job by yours truly.
Option 3: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
This is the bold move. High risk, high reward. Right now I
can hear a disgruntled voice in my head (and oddly it
sounds like Gambo's) and it goes something like this: "We
don't need another pass rusher. We have Acho. We have
Schofield. Fix what's broken." While it's true the
Cardinals have more immediate needs than adding another
pass rusher, and certainly the lack of a second round pick
on augments that, in my world you can never, ever have
enough guys who can get to the quarterback. Ever. Pop
quiz: Who won the Super Bowl? The Giants. What do they
have a bunch of? Oh yeah…guys who can rush the
quarterback. What I'd hate to see is the regret that comes
with knowing you could have had an elite pass rusher but
took a pass. Terrell Suggs anyone?
A 4-0 start works well no matter how you dissect it, but
it's especially satisfying when you consider through four
games, the Arizona Diamondbacks really haven't enjoyed the
spoils of their starting pitching.
Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson were both effective but
hardly dominating in their first starts. Josh Collmenter
has some work to do, and given the talent behind him in
the minors, he'd best do it fast.
Last night against the Padres, Trevor Cahill couldn't
harness any of his pitches. Yes, he only gave up a run and
two hits in his six innings, but with six walks and five
strikeouts he gave new meaning to the phrase "effectively
wild". As Nick Piecoro of the Republic noted during the
game, Cahill's sinker had so much movement even he didn't
know where it was going...let alone the Padre hitters.
My point though, is that despite the rough-around-the-
edges rotation so far, the Diamondbacks are the only
National League team without a loss (only Detroit is
undefeated in the AL — the two teams Ken Rosenthal picked
to meet in the World Series...just sayin'). I think Hudson
and Kennedy will be fine. Collmenter? Cahill? Wednesday's
starter Joe Saunders? To me, that's the key to this season
for the D-backs.
These days you'll have a hard time finding anyone who has
bad things to say about the Arizona Diamondbacks. From
winning the NL West, to getting to the World Series, to
Justin Upton winning the MVP, the Diamondbacks are that
movie that all the critics are raving about.
And that's what scares me.
Half the time you walk out of a movie like that trying to
figure out exactly what movie they were watching when they
gave it two thumbs up.
Like many, I'm picking the Diamondbacks to win the West.
But that fact doesn't mean I don't have legit questions
about this team; the answers to which may well determine
if they will win the West. Here are nine of them:
Tell me who are you (are you, ooh ooh, ooh ooh)?
Who is Ryan Roberts? Is he a 19 HR/.768 OPS guy again this
season? Or was that the very definition of a career year?
Who is Aaron Hill? In 33 games with the Diamondbacks he
hit .315/.386/.878 and was a huge part of the push for the
playoffs late in the season. Asking them both to do it
again feels like asking for too much.
I'll be curious to see how Kirk Gibson solves the nightly
puzzle of his one-man-too-many outfield. Pressure is on
Jason Kubel to produce; to prove that his acquisition at
the expense of Gold Glover Gerardo Parra was worth it.
He'll hear about it if he doesn't.
First Base from A (Allen) to Z (Zinter)
With apologies to anyone I may have forgotten…..since Mark
Grace retired Allen, Baerga, Branyan, Clark, Colbrunn,
Easley, Green, Hammock, Jackson, LaRoche, Mayne, Miranda,
Mora, Nady, Overbay, Reynolds, Ryal, Sexson, Snyder,
Tracy, Whitesell and Zinter all have given it a go over at
1B. Here's hoping the wheel of misfortune stops with Paul
Here's to your health
For lack of a better word, the D-backs were lucky last
year. Other than Stephen Drew's gruesome ankle injury and
J.J. Putz spending a few weeks on the DL, the Snakes
enjoyed a relatively healthy season. It seems almost
impossible that they'll repeat that good fortune. The
question then becomes do they possess the depth to
withstand a significant loss.
Catcher in the bye
If reports are true that Miguel Montero is in search of a
contract similar to the $50 million Victor Martinez
received from the Tigers, then this could very well be his
final season here. Can't see the D-backs giving him that
much coin. Trouble is there aren't a ton of other options
in the minors. Acquiring a catcher, perhaps in exchange
for the surplus of starting pitching prospects, should be
a top priority.
Getting out your regression
Based on his age and the fact he threw significantly more
innings than the previous year, SI.com's Tom Verducci has
pegged Daniel Hudson as a candidate for injury or
regression. D-backs fans better hope that Verducci's
formula is flawed when it comes to the "2" in the D-backs
1-2 pitching punch.
The man-child is now The Man
Justin Upton, seemingly, has arrived as a perennial MVP
candidate. I'm actually picking him to win the award this
year. He needs to have a spectacular year in order for the
D-backs to repeat.
A sinking feeling
In reading the USA Today's MLB preview, an anonymous scout
mentioned there was no sink to Trevor Cahill's sinker and
it appeared he was throwing a BP fastball. Earlier in the
spring, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported some around
baseball were curious why Billy Beane would be so willing
to trade a young, cost-controlled starter like Cahill. In
other words, what did he see wrong that others didn't? I
liked the deal then and I still like it now. The D-backs
gave up a young promising starter in Jarrod Parker to win
now with Cahill. That's exactly what he needs to do.
People will come Ray
Will they? This team overachieved last year and then went
over budget to try and do it again. During a year of such
hype and such promise here's hoping the D-backs and their