May 18, 2008 technically wasn’t THAT long ago!
It was a little more than 2 years before I started typing this post.
But the Diamondbacks and their fans, it must seem like an eternity has passed since then.
On that day, the Diamondbacks beat Detroit in an interleague game. Blast from the past Randy Johnson threw 7 shutout innings and Arizona won 4-0.
The Diamondbacks improved to 28-16 and were in first place and looked like manager Bob Melvin and company had put together a contender not just for 2008, but for well into the next decade. This wasn’t a quick grab for a World Series title like in 2001 that nearly bankrupted the team. This was a smart rebuilding.
The D’Backs were coming off a surprise NLCS appearance in 2007 where their 90-72 record was the best in the National League.
Their team was LOADED with young talent like Conor Jackson, Chris Young, Mark Reynolds, Brandon Webb, Danny Haren, Stephen Drew, Justin Upton and Chad Tracy… all of whom were under 30 and had some playoff experience.
And on that day in 2008, the Diamondbacks were 5 1/2 games up with the best record in baseball. They were on pace to win 103 games.
Arizona was poised to take over baseball.
I started thinking that Arizona could be the next great baseball fan base.
What has happened since May 18, 2008?
They went 54-64 the rest of the way, barely finishing above .500.
From May 19, 2008 to last night’s 3-2 loss against Colorado, the Snakes are 144-182.
If they lose to Ubaldo Jimenez (a distinct possibility) they will be nearly 40 games UNDER .500 since that win.
The manager is gone, replaced by A.J. Hinch, who isn’t faring much better.
Sure it hurts when you lose Webb, the team’s Cy Young contender.
It hurts that Chad Tracy, Conor Jackson and Chris Young all flopped as badly as they did in 2009.
And it sure doesn’t help that their bullpen has been a house of horrors this year.
The Diamondbacks are now floundering in the basement of the NL West… the only team NOT contending. They finished in the cellar last year as well as they look like perennial cellar dwellers just as it seemed like they were on the verge of becoming a powerhouse.
Maybe they’ll get good as quickly as they got bad!
Maybe Justin Upton will break out and the Brandon Allens and Marc Krauss’s of the world can have the Diamondbacks jump back UP in the standings.
Let’s check back on May 18th, 2011.