Arizona Diamondbacks 4 wins away from being kings of Valley
Oct 26, 2023, 6:12 PM
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)
One is a polarizing number. One is the loneliest number. One is also better than nothing.
One is the number of championship banners currently hanging from the rafters of Chase Field, which is one more than the Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes have produced in 106 seasons combined in Arizona.
One is also the index finger the Diamondbacks will hold aloft if they win four more games in this delirious, delicious postseason of 2023.
If the D-backs beat the Rangers for a World Series title in the coming days, they will flaunt two major professional championship titles in 25 years. They will no longer be third on our pecking order of sporting priorities. They will be kings of the Valley with a jewelry count that no one can dispute.
Another World Series title would be validation for majority owner Ken Kendrick, whose stewardship has been occasionally sloppy and controversial. Yet Kendrick deserves a nod of the cap in recent years for learning restraint, for keeping one’s foot out of one’s mouth by not opening one’s mouth in the first place.
Another World Series title would reward the entire organization, which decided to stick with good people through tragedy and the vagaries of human competition, as they have consistently done with general manager Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo. To wit:
The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t fire coaches they love because of public pressure. They stick with people they believe in, and same is true of the D-backs. They have shown great emotional maturity in this arena, pledging loyalty to a GM/manager combination I wouldn’t trade for any other in Major League Baseball.
A second World Series title would also give the D-backs precious leverage in their battle for a long-term home in the Valley, a team that has drawn nearly 200,000 screaming fans in its last four home games.
The D-backs are no longer playing in front of a tired, sleepy demographic. Their run to a championship coincides with the advent of a pitch clock in Major League Baseball, where the entire sport has been resuscitated, rejuvenated, and jolted back to life.
Baseball is suddenly appealing to a younger audience and diehards alike. Just like the 2021 Suns, the Diamondbacks’ fanbase is young and diverse; growing exponentially and organically; a team speaking to our robust Latino community.
In 2001, the D-backs shocked observers by winning the World Series in their fourth year of existence. It would be even more impressive for the 2023 D-backs to win a championship just two years after losing 110 games in a single season.
The D-backs are proof that the journey is always more important than the destination. But the destination is now Texas, and the destination seems really close.