Weep not for the Diamondbacks, they’ll be back

Oct 8, 2011, 12:06 AM | Updated: 1:14 am

So that’s it.

The 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks, who put together a season
as memorable as any the team has had in its 14 years of
existence, are done. No more rallies, no more comebacks,
no more GibbyBall.

Friday in Milwaukee the team had chance after chance,
opportunity after opportunity, and after pulling a classic
Diamondbacks-have-opponent-right-where-they-want-them move
in the 9th inning, the Snakes just ran out of magic in the
10th.

It stinks, but it’s OK.

Arizona went into the series as an underdog, facing the
team with the best home record in the National League and,
maybe not surprisingly, lost all three games in the
Brewers’ park.

Did the D-backs play a good series? Not really, but they
competed and had a chance, and that’s all you can ask for
out of any team and more than you would have asked for of
this team heading into the season.

And it is a time like this where we must remember just how
far the Diamondbacks have come in such a short period of
time. Just last season they lost 97 games, and now we’re
upset they lost in Game 5, on the road, in the NLDS?

Shows just how far the Diamondbacks as a team – and we, as
fans – have come. But the key, especially right now, is to
think of not where the team has come from, but instead
where they are going.

Paul Goldschmidt will begin the year with the team and
playing first base. Stephen Drew will return healthy, and
he’ll be joined by Justin Upton, Miguel Montero, Chris
Young and Gerardo Parra.

They were fourth in the NL in runs scored this season, and
that was with a patchwork lineup that was short on stars
and filled with players who, to be honest, probably
shouldn’t be starting for a team that won 94 games.

But that shows just how complete a team this was, as their
pitching staff was every bit as good as the offense. And,
like the offense, it too will improve.

The bullpen solidified, Kevin Towers and Co. can spend
their time filling out the starting rotation, which has
the potential to be as good as any in the Major Leagues.
Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson and Josh Collmenter are firmly
entrenched, and Jarrod Parker, Trevor Bauer and others
just waiting for their chance to make an impact at the
Major League level.

And they will.

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the playoffs in 2007 and,
after losing to the Colorado Rockies in the NLCS the
feeling was that the team was real close, and traded away
half the farm system for players they thought would push
them over the hump. The trades were so bad it took the
franchise years to recover, but there will be no such
maneuvers this time, as the pieces to win are either in
place or on the way.

Besides, they’re even closer now than they were four years
ago.

The Diamondbacks had to fix the bullpen, which they’ve
done. The rotation needed to be strengthened, which it is.
The young hitters finally started playing like the stars
many thought they’d be and, maybe most important, the
culture has changed. Organizational advocacy has been
replaced with GibbyBall, and that’s here to stay.

The important thing to take away from this season isn’t
that the Diamondbacks fell just short, rather realize they
took a giant step back to relevancy. No longer a doormat
in the NL West; this team will be in the conversation for
division titles and playoff spots for the foreseeable
future.

What happened this season was only the beginning. Buckle
up, the ride only gets more exciting from here.

Penguin Air

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