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Giants/Diamondbacks Series Preview

When the Diamondbacks sent over a busload of prospects for Dan Haren, it was because they could. The front-office executives were probably lighting their cigars with prospects, chortling like fat cats in some turn-of-the-century editorial cartoon. And this was with the Diamondbacks already winning the division in 2007. It was quite unfair. So after the championship runs of ‘08 and ‘09, the Diamondbacks are again in...

...last place? Wait a sec. Wha’ happened? And the Diamondbacks didn’t have championship runs in ‘08 and ‘09. Actually, they were pretty bad last year. Chris Young was more Wily Mo Pena than Willie Mays, Chad Tracy was more Lance Niekro than Lance Berkman, and Eric Byrnes was more Giants-era Eric Davis than Reds-era Eric Davis. The offense was awful. Conor Jackson even sat out for most of the season with "valley fever", which sounds more like a reason to miss the the nuclear power plant’s softball game than a horrific medical condition. It’s at this point that a hack would write something like, "The Diamondbacks were snakebit!", but I’ll spare you.

Just kidding. The Diamondbacks were snakebit. And the early returns on this season suggest the same thing. Instead of lighting their cigars with prospects, the front-office executives just stand a few feet from the bullpen with the cigars in their mouths. Dan Haren still has the stellar K/BB rates going, but he’s allowed more home runs than Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Barry Zito combined. Justin Upton has struck out in a third of his at-bats, giving the Diamondbacks a similar kind of "he’ll be fine...right?" sensation to what we’re feeling with Pablo Sandoval.

I don’t feel a lick of sympathy. I hope the Diamondbacks lose 100 games every year until they’re contracted out of the league. While they aren’t patently evil like the Dodgers, ridiculously uncooperative and annoying like the Rockies, or as bland and frustrating as the Padres, never forget that the Diamondbacks have a world championship. The Giants have slogged through decade after decade in San Francisco, losing painful playoff series without winning the World Series, and the Diamondbacks flitted around for four freaking seasons before the Phillies donated Curt Schilling to them for a collection of ne’r-do-wells and chumps. Then the Phillies’ karmic reward was that they’d win a championship in the same decade.

Also, Scott Hairston was drafted and developed by the Diamondbacks.

And people wonder why Giants fans are so bitter.

Hitter to watch

Watch Adam LaRoche every time he steps into the batter’s box. You’ll sense a distinct sadness, a smoldering malaise. It’s that of a man who knows he can only afford a Lamborghini Gallardo instead of a Lamborghini Murcielago. Sucker. Should have taken the Giants’ money when it was on the table. Instead, the Giants settled on Aubrey Huff, who is performing almost as well for a fraction of the price. The Giants used the savings on, uh...Freddy Sanchez and Mark DeRosa, but that’s not the point. The point is that Adam LaRoche can have marital relations with himself, giving himself his own diseases back in the process.

And watch for that sadness.

Pitcher to watch

Ian Kennedy is a control specialist who thrives on teams getting themselves out. Therefore, he’ll pitch like some sort of radioactively enhanced Pedro Martinez.

You know what? That joke is tired. Please stop making me tell it, baseball gods. Just stop.

Prediction:

I’ll want to punch every person shown on camera hanging out by a pool instead of watching a baseball game.