DAN BICKLEY

Diamondbacks’ World Series run is something that couldn’t be expected

Oct 24, 2023, 8:53 PM | Updated: Oct 25, 2023, 8:32 am

Pinch yourself in disbelief. Splash cold water in your face. No matter what you do, a stunning reality remains:

The Diamondbacks are going to the World Series.

This feels like a dream, a gift, the party we never expected. It feels like the sporting gods are finally smiling on the Valley, rewarding us for decades of torment.

How else does an 84-win team storm the scene a year ahead of schedule, sweeping the Brewers, sweeping the Dodgers and winning their final two games in the crucible of Philadelphia, muting the loudest, proudest sports town on the planet?

But that puts too much faith in faith. And the 2023 Diamondbacks deserve more credit than that.

Their romp through postseason has been defiant, unexpected and exhilarating. Corbin Carroll was the engine behind Tuesday’s 4-2 clinching victory, joining a new cluster of stars that now includes Ketel Marte, Gabriel Moreno, Merrill Kelly, Brandon Pfaadt and Kevin Ginkel. Maybe more.

Game 7 doesn’t come with safety nets and it doesn’t care about your feelings and the Diamondbacks never flinched. They were playing with house money on Tuesday and that still wasn’t good enough. It will take a while for the city of Philadelphia to shake off this defeat.

What a series. What a story. What a show.

Generally, an 84-win team that advances to the World Series engenders contempt and disgust. Critics bemoan a watered-down postseason and a playoff format that doesn’t re-seed on the fly. Remember how the 9-7 Cardinals were once called the worst Super Bowl team in football history?

The Diamondbacks heard a lot of that early in the postseason, especially after backing into the playoffs with a four-game losing streak. They have been underdogs in all 12 playoff appearances. But not anymore. Not after winning 6-of-8 road games. Not after stirring the ghosts inside Chase Field. Not after rallying from a 2-0 deficit to eliminate the powerful Phillies, shattering their shield of home-field invincibility.

Rejoice. We have seen the yin and the yang of Game 7 and we have the scar tissue to prove it. The Diamondbacks beat Mariano Rivera and the Yankees, delivering our first and only major professional championship. The Suns were eviscerated by Luka Doncic and the visiting Mavericks in one of the most awkward, lopsided, uncomfortable Game 7’s in NBA history.

This is something different. This is luxurious. We rarely enjoy absurd payoffs like the 2023 Diamondbacks.

Some questions remain: Will Chris “Mad Dog” Russo retire, as he vowed if the Diamondbacks prevailed in Games 6 and 7? Will ESPN stop talking about the Cowboys and Jets and give this baseball team its due? Of course not. But that doesn’t matter because this isn’t their triumph, and even if they tried, they would never understand.

This belongs to the Diamondbacks. This belongs to us. This is a time to savor, enjoy and hoist a glass to the National League Champions.

Our baseball team isn’t waiting for next year.

Dan Bickley

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Do Phoenix Suns fans have the patience to see Mat Ishbia’s 3-year plan through?

Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia joined Burns & Gambo to explain his three-year plan for the organization on Wednesday. Dan Bickley ponders if fans have enough patience to see the entire plan all the way through.

3 days ago

Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks fields a ball during Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Gl...

Dan Bickley

Several themes swirl around Diamondbacks at All-Star break

The Arizona Diamondbacks have several questions facing them at the All-Star break with a turning point looming.

4 days ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: How Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo, Ketel Marte can seize MLB All-Star Game opportunity

Arizona skipper Torey Lovullo will lead the National League team for the 2024 MLB All-Star Game while Ketel Marte starts at second base. Dan Bickley explains how the two D-backs' representatives can make the most of their time on the national stage.

5 days ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Diamondbacks ‘better make the playoffs or else’

The Arizona Diamondbacks are in Wild Card contention despite everything that could've derailed the team in the first half of the season. Dan Bickley is expecting big things for the team after the All-Star break, including another playoff berth.

6 days ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Is there something magical ahead for Diamondbacks?

Despite everything that's gone on in the first half of the season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, they're still in striking distance of a Wild Card spot in the National League. Dan Bickley wonders if this team can catch lightning in a bottle after the All-Star break, and make another run to the playoffs.

6 days ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Who’s to blame for Diamondbacks collapsing against Dodgers?

Dan Bickley wonders who should shoulder the most blame for the Diamondbacks loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

18 days ago

Diamondbacks’ World Series run is something that couldn’t be expected