We've decided to check in here with a tale of the tape, comparing the relative grittiness of the Giants and Diamondbacks in order to decide who has a better chance to win this series. But first, I've compiled some useful assessments of the Diamondbacks offseason so that you can see just how wrong the Lamestream Media got the brilliance of Kevin Towers. I've helpfully translated these comments into Grit-ese for you.
Andrew Fisher, over at Purple Row:
"Towers started out with a benign-looking shopping list this off-season: shortstop, third baseman, power arm for the back of the bullpen, situational left-hander for the bullpen, and starting pitcher. As spring training starts, Towers has reached the checkout stand with each of those needs on the list checked off. And he did it by targeting men of character, guys with grissle, grime and grit."
Translation: Andrew Fisher hates America. Hustle built this country. We didn't land on Hustle Rock. It didn't land on us either. We just tried really hard, and so did Hustle Rock. And we eventually Eckstein'd our way through a few tough winters.
Keith Law, ESPN.com
"Arizona's return boils down to this: One year of Martin Prado, six years of a fifth starter in Randall Delgado, two fringy prospects, and one non-prospect. If that sounds like a good deal to you, I have some beachfront property in Phoenix to sell you."
Translation: Keith Law is the worst. He obviously doesn't understand that if you assemble 9 Willie Bloomquists, you can create a Voltron of bunting. It unleashes one huge, giant bunt, capable of moving one runner from any base to another at the cost of only one out. I don't think Keith Law knows that.
Over the summer Ken Rosenthal reported an anonymous quote from a teammate, but Rosenthal questioned the logic behind the deal
"Why even move Upton?...The problem is that he didn’t play with a high level of energy," said the former teammate, who spoke on the condition that he would not be identified. "What I think they want is guys who play with the speed, energy and intensity of the Oregon football team — all out, all the time. "
Translation: Rosenthal doesn't seem to understand. that there are two kinds of OPS. You see, there is OPS you calculate by adding on base and slugging percentages. But there is also OPSH. Thats on-base plus slugging percentage plus hustle. Did you know that Justin Upton's H rating was one of the worst in the majors? His OPSH put him many, many, many standard deviations behind Nick Punto.
Ok so we have our assessment of the off-seasons, but lets take a look at the positional matchups:
This is a pretty difficult one, mostly because both players are very talented AND seem to try hard. If Posey's game was a little more effortless seeming, choosing Montero here would be a no brainer. We'll only be able to resolve this if we stage a one-on-one basketball game between these two to see who breaks their hip first diving on the floor. Verdict: Push
This is an easy call. Brandon Belt has been a premium prospect while Goldschmidt has outperformed his predicted production in the minors. You know what outperforming expectations means, right? GRIT GRIND AND HUSTLE! Verdict: Goldschmidt
2B: Marco Scutaro vs. Martin Prado
This is the first crush of the competition. Now, don't get me wrong, there is some "gamer" in Martin Prado. He can play multiple positions in the infield and outfield. He generates a lot of his value from solid defense and non-showoffy plays like doubles instead of those attention-whoring home runs that other players like so much. However, Martin Prado once made an All-Star game on merit, which is basically the Kiss of Death in the Kevin Towers Gritfest Experience. (KTGE). Scutaro, on the other hand: I mean, wow. He tries really hard. He is kind of slow, but his defense is steady. Moreover, his mediocre range means that he gets to dive for more balls, radically increasing the amount of dirt he gets on his uniform. He's never made an All-Star game, indicating that the baseball economy that victimizes the heroes of OPSH has done its violence to Marco Scutaro. Most importantly, he has only had double digit home runs twice. That shows a true respect for the game. Verdict: Scutaro
Both players field great. Both players play hard. Both players can't hit. If only we could have TWO starting shortstops in the All Star game. Verdict: Push
This is an easy call. Despite being quite large, and in face of constant pressure to lose weight, Pablo Sandoval keeps right on fatting and slugging. That's right, he can't even be bothered to alter what he consumes for the good of the team. Oh sure, he hits some, but there's a stone cold guarantee that his devil-may-care atitude about diet will ruin the team. Most people don't know this, but all fat players have their Baseball Reference pages scrubbed and downgraded under a little-known "General Good of the Team" clause that was instituted by the Secret Order of the Hustle Players. So thanks for that three home run game in the World Series last year, Sandoval, but history will remember it for you accidentally bunting into your own face. Chavez used to be awesome, then sucked, and now is ok. If you sucked but then got ok, you know what you probably did? Gritted and grinded your way back. Advantage: Chavez
OF: Blanco/Pagan/Pence v. Parra/Pollock/Ross
This one is pretty difficult. Actually, no. See, right now both Adam Eaton and Jason Kubel, who were expected to start for their team in the spring, are out hurt. Following the OTOTBP (ontological theory of the bench player) the fact that the Gritbacks are trotting out TWO bench players in their starting outfield gives them an insane edge in this hustle fest. The Giants, on the other hand, really reverse hustle-f*$ked themselves on this one by trading for Hunter Pence last year and re-signing the talented Angel Pagan, two players who will absolutely never be known for using a 9 sided dice to roll for SEEING EYE HUSTLE HIT that just manages to squeeze itself out of the outfield by bouncing off the pitchers mound or something.
Well folks, there you have it. Its the D-Backs in a gritty facecrush. Tune in tonight for a cacophony of bunts, slap hints, stolen bases, pitch outs, and none of the lazy bullshit like hitting home runs or being good at baseball.