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Giants/Diamondbacks series preview


Diamondbacks, you're breaking my heart.

It's been a while since I've actively loathed the Diamondbacks. When they won 100 games in their second year in existence, I loathed them. It's been six years since I told this story, so forgive me for telling it again: I went to a Diamondbacks game at Candlestick in '99, and I sat behind Joe Garagiola, Jr., who was in the Arizona front office at the time. He looked smug. His suit was woven from silk harvested from smug worms. He sneezed smug into a handkerchief that cost more than my car.

Some drunk guys behind me were giving him a hard time for rooting for the Diamondbacks, and one of them put a hand on his shoulder. Garagiola didn't look at the guy. He turned his head to the side and calmly said, "Don't ever touch me again." It was the only thing he said all night. He kind of smiled to himself after he said it.

Then Travis Lee hit a grand slam. Oh, the self-satisfaction that exuded from the guy after that. The Diamondbacks won. I didn't mind, though, because I was so jazzed about the midnight showing for The Phantom Menace later that night. SO JAZZED. IT WAS GOING TO BE THE BEST MOVIE.

Then the Diamondbacks won 100 games. It was their second year of existence.

Then the Diamondbacks won the World Series in their fourth year of existence.

So for a while, I really, really hated the Diamondbacks. If the Dodgers were team 1a, the Diamondbacks were team 1b. Could not stand them.

Years passed. The Giants were bad, so it was hard to loathe anyone but the Giants for a while. Then the Diamondbacks were hilariously bad just as the Giants were getting good. They haven't been in a lot of direct competition, these two teams. Then the Giants won the World Series (twice), so it was hard to be bitter biscuits about any team's success a decade earlier.

The Diamondbacks even picked up some likable players. Brandon McCarthy's cool. I'll always love Cody Ross. I even have a little bit of a fascination with Adam Eaton. I wouldn't mind if a sparrow continually dive-bombed Paul Goldschmidt as he ran from his house to his car every morning, don't get me wrong, but there aren't any Victorinos or Latosi on the team.

In a season with a terrible Giants team, it's not like I'm rooting for the D-Backs, but they're the most palatable of the four bad options in the NL West.

They sure picked a bad time, then, to curl up into a ball and start stinking. Do you know how the season has gone for the Diamondbacks? Since being alone in first place, they lost two series to the Giants. The first series was one of the two series the Giants won in June, and the second series was one of two series the Giants won in July. That's how far the Diamondbacks fell in the West race. They let the Dodgers roar past them.

Diamondbacks, you're breaking my heart.

This is pretty much a series between two teams out of the playoff race. I looked at this series in March and circled it as a potential pennant-race spectacular. Instead, these two teams are basically playing out the string. I suppose the Diamondbacks can make a late surge into wild-card relevance, so they're not exactly playing flotsam from Double-A to get an extend look at some young players. But they're certainly dead in the West.

Dammit, Diamondbacks. You were the chosen one. You were supposed to take the Dodgers down. You had a responsibility, and you blew it.

Kinda … kinda makes me loathe them all over again. We're going to have to watch the Dodgers in the postseason, and I'm blaming the Diamondbacks. It's a pretty unpardonable offense. Diamondbacks, you broke my heart , and now you're dead to me. You make me sick.

I wonder if you could actually train a sparrow and release it back into the wild. I'll check on that.

Hitter to watch
Did you see the lineup they trotted out against the Padres on Wednesday?

1. A.J. Pollock
2. Adam Eaton
3. Martin Prado
4. Eric Chavez
5. Aaron Hill
6. Willie Bloomquist
7. Gerardo Parra
8. Wil Nieves

Parts of that lineup are dreadful. Also, Eric Chavez is still active. Also, also, Kirk Gibson hits Willie Bloomquist ahead of Gerardo Parra. For reasons. Their lineup isn't always like that. Goldschmidt was getting a night off, and Miguel Montero was hurt. Still …

Give me Tony Campana as the hitter to watch. He seems like the perfect candidate to annoy the Giants in this series. Also, the Diamondbacks are starting Tony Campana pretty regularly now.

Pitcher to watch
Trevor Cahill is just a year older than Mike Kickham. I don't know why that impresses me so much. Feels like Cahill has been around for a decade.

I don't really want to watch any of these guys, actually. I don't even want to watch baseball. There isn't even a preseason Niners game this weekend. Ugh.

The Giants will hit a home run. The whole dugout will run out to home plate like it's a college softball game and congratulate the hitter. Oh, it's going to be delightful, simply delightful.