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Baseball Told the Right WayIn-depth Baseball analysis on various topics regarding the sport we all love!
How did this organization ever win the World Series?
Yes, the Diamondbacks. How indeed? Some teams do all the right things and fall, oh so short but once (Braves). Some teams do half right, but spend enough money to cover their mistakes (Yankees). Some teams wait for a collective career year (Anaheim), and some teams just roll the dice enough times, figuring its bound to happen eventually (Red Sox).
Then there are the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks were inaugurated in 1998, spent an unconcious amount of money, and got hella hella lucky, winning the World Series in 2001.
That's the story of the Diamondbacks franchise. I didn't make it sound very exciting, did I? They won the World Series on the backs of Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, and a career year to top all career years from Luis Gonzalez. Wasn't that obvious to anyone else?
The fact that concurrent to winning the World Series, the Diamondbacks wasted tons of money on the likes of Brian Anderson, Jay Bell, Todd Stottlemyre, and Tony Womack is forgotten, especially by management. The D-Backs were the exception to a rule, not the example of how to run an organization. Overspending on bad or old or injured players handcuffed the new franchise and caused the ugly nadir we witness today. Basically nobody's wasted that much money since MC Hammer.
Does Joe Garagiola realize that he paid a 37 year old Matt Williams $10M for 135 ABs in 2003? You think he would have learned? Not a chance. He won the World Series at the same time he was throwing money around like a rap star, so he didn't notice the repercussions.
Well, the repercussions for the Diamondbacks are here, gift wrapped for the holiday season. They overspent, had to dump payroll, dumped the wrong payroll (Schilling), and ended up with a pathetic 51 win team in 2004.
I don't mind when someone screws up. I absolutely have to understand because I screw up everything I touch the first time too. But I have no tolerance for someone who doesn't learn from his mistakes. Joe Garagiola--or whoever the hell is pulling the strings to that puppet theatre--is walking through the same desert, with the same pieces, only missing the three reasons they actually won.
Now, I know the Randy Johnson deal looks like it fell through, so Randy might be around one more year, but the D-Backs don't have a Schilling or a Gonzalez (v.2001) to make them competitive.
What they do have is.......
another Matt Williams: Troy Glaus is coming off major shoulder surgery. Add that to wrist and back problems (am I missing anything?) and he is all but unable to play 3B anymore. So the D-Backs go and toss 4 years and $45M at him. Sound a little familiar?
another Tony Womack: Like Womack, Royce Clayton is not good. Like Womack, he is in Arizona for his defense, with the D-Backs giving up on Alex Cintron at short because of his mediocre D. Also like Womack, he is 35, and couldn't hit a round ball with a round bat at age 25. Hell, Clayton couldn't even top .279/.338/.397 in Coors Field. Plus, do you want that haircut/doorag combination as your starting shortstop? Only in the desert.
another Todd Stottlemyre: Russ Ortiz got a 4 year $33M deal. Ortiz isn't bad, I'll give him that. He eats innings consistently at about or a little better than the league average. Is that worth $8M a season for his age 31-34 seasons? Only in the desert. Only in the desert.
Maybe they're not done, maybe the D-Backs have more in them, but with a payroll now passing $70M, one would have to wonder what else? Heh. To make this team less of a laughing stock, and more of a serious example of what not to do with $70M, take a look at this list of free agent targets. Shawn Estes, Jeromy Burnitz, David Dellucci, and Craig Counsell. And the Diamondbacks were mentioned as "rolling out the red carpet" for these players. Oh my.
With Randy, this team may sniff .500. Without Randy, this team finishes last. Some franchises just don't deserve rings.