Forget my screed of last night, the Dodgers lost securing a playoff spot of some sort for the D-Backs. Good luck to them on repeating as World Champions.
One question: has any team seemed less like World Champs the year after than the Diamondbacks have this year? Well, yes, the '98 Florida Marlins. Anyone else? And they are probably going to win their division.
No offense to Phoenix, but maybe it's because they play in a second-rate sports town and to some degree acknowledge it by using the "Arizona" and not "Phoenix" name. There's no Missouri Cardinals. Maybe it's the disgraceful purple uniforms. Maybe it's Bob Brenly's ugly mug and demeanor. Maybe it's because they will be "losing" $40-50 million this year due in large part to outrageous spending: $8 million to Jay Bell, $8 million for Todd Stottlemyre, over $5.3 to BrianAnderson, over $2.8 million to Greg Swindell, etc.
By the way, Brenly is considering taking two lefties in the bullpen in anticipation of playing the Cardinals in the first round according to the Arizona Republic. First, I have to say that he is taking the Giants far too lightly if he's taking the division crown for granted. Second, those two lefties are Mike "Halloween" Myers and Greg Swindell, despite their 4.67 and 6.27, respectively, ERAs. At least Myers is effective against lefties--they're batting .230 against him this year. Lefties are batting .339 against Swindell in 2002 with a 1.028 OPS. Ouch! He had hld lefties to a .206 batting average a .578 OPS for the past three years and had 0.82 ERA vs. St. Louis in that span, but that's old news. Of course, if they had Brain Anderson available... (though lefties batted .302 against him this year) How about Mark Grace?