23 July 2010

About Town

  • Derrick Hall's working overtime, preempting chatter that the looming Haren deal is a rebuild or salary dump. I would feel better if he was working overtime actually ensuring the sort of "A+" deal he's publicly fantasized about. Or working at something he's more experienced at - like looking really concerned when a spectator is hit with a foul ball.

  • Sweeping the Mets was nice, prompting someone named Cash Kruth over at mlb.com, to call Arizona one of the hottest teams in baseball. According to Bill James' formula, the Mets sweep made us the tenth hottest team in the NL, tied with Pittsburgh. You decide.

  • The Diamondbacks dipped below the 2 million attendance pace tonight, for the first time this season. Not an easy thing to do on a Friday night.

  • Is Gibby turning it around? It's too early to tell, but the answer is No.

  • Back to Haren. Is the goal for next year to merely "get better" or is it go to the playoffs? An important distinction when this year's team projects to lose 95 to 100 games. You can get better than that just by breathing, cant you? Cobble together a cheap, merely bad bullpen. That's a huge improvement right there. Spend a couple hundred thousand on any pitching coach not named Mel. Why, you've skyrocketed up to 75 wins.

Going to the playoffs is harder, and the question becomes, Are you more likely to do that with Dan Haren or a staff anchored by people you get in exchange for Dan Haren?

It can go either way, but the key word above is "likely"and the short answer is "Haren." I'm off to San Diego for a couple weeks, so the long answer will have to wait, but basically the Diamondbacks' primary impetus for this trade is not to get better in 2011. They'd like to get better and will try to get better, certainly, but the driving factor in all this is that they'd prefer not to pay Dan Haren. The driving factor of the opposite clubs, like the Yankees, is winning. Neither bodes well for Arizona's contending chances in 2011.

  • In local news, the valley's largest body of water vanished a couple nights ago. Seriously, a billion gallons...gone. Whoosh.

I hope the same cant be said of 2011.

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