Luis Gonzalez did a lot for the community as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but despite what some D-backs fans believe that is not reason enough to keep him in Arizona. I am getting tired of hearing about how bad the Diamondbacks treated Gonzo. All that they did was over pay him at the tune of $11 million per year that last three years, which is far more than his production would indicate, and gave him a send off that would make a President jealous. When Karl Malone left the Utah Jazz after 18 years with the team he did not get such a send off, in fact Malone rented out the Delta Center, bought free hot dogs and drinks for everyone and signed autographs. In other words he had to throw his own party.
Gonzo is gone from Arizona because he was unwilling to be a platoon player. He wants to get 3,000 hits and cement his entry into the Hall-of-fame. When he is sitting on the bench in the second half of next year with the Dodgers he may like the idea of platooning in Arizona. Gonzo also has a grudge against Ken Kendrick, Managing General Partner of the D-backs. The grudge started when Kendrick and others shoved Jerry Colangelo out of the way after Colangelo put the time in dire financial straits. Gonzo and most D-back players loved Colangelo because he threw so much money at them. Gonzo got more upset at Kendrick after some comments Kendrick made last year. Kendrick said that the D-backs got rid of those players that the team believed were steriod users. He mentioned that there were suspicions out there about Gonzo and steriod use. If you read into what Kendrick said it means the fact that the D-backs had never rid themselves of Gonzo would mean that they believed he was not on steriods. Also, Gonzo has said publicly that he favored drug testing because he had suspicions out there about him. Kendrick never said anything that Gonzo himself hadn’t said. The press ran with it and Gonzo whined and whined.
Gonzo would whine some more after being left out of the lineup for one game against a tough left-hander last August. I feel that cemented his exit because it was obvious he wasn’t going to do well platooning in 2007. Gonzo in September said that he wanted to play for a National League West team in 2007 so that he could get back at the D-backs. I don’t think that scares the D-backs too much that Gonzo is in LA. Gonzo’s buddy Dave Pratt of KMLE radio said they will do a remote from LA on Opening Day. I have quit listening to Pratt and in stead listen to Tim and Willy in the morning on KNIX who just got done playing in Tucson during the D-backs Fantasy Camp. I think others will follow. Pratt’s whining gets old.
As for Colangelo he took a lot of credit for the Dbacks winning the World Series in 2001. He actually put the team in such bad financial shape that the team was nearly taken over by MLB. It was also Kendrick and company’s money that was being spent, so he did the right thing by showing Colangelo the door. Unfortunetly the team has millions of dollars in deferred payments, but we can keep the payroll low due to the great crop of young players that have and will make their way up to the D-backs. As the young players get their feet wet it should be many years of success for the team. Success that Gonzo and Colangelo will not be a part of because of their own doing.
I love the new uniforms. I had a lot of purple in my life at one time. There was the D-backs, my favorite NBA team the Utah Jazz, my alma mater Weber State University, and even my oldest daughter Alexis loved the purple. Well Alexis and the Jazz have changed to blue and now the D-backs have changed to Sedona Red, Sonoran Sand, and Black. I can handle Weber State staying purple, and to all the fans that are complaining about the D-backs color change: Are you serious? We have gone from the worst uniforms in MLB to the best.
The hardest thing for me is trying to decide which jersey I like the most. I love the db snake head logo on the sleeve, I love the use of D-backs, and most of all I love the colors. Colors that I can wear without anyone thinking I have an alternative lifestyle, not that there is anything wrong with that Seinfeld fans. Hats off to the D-backs front office on job well done.
Though the D-backs are taken a risk on a 43-year old pitcher I like the deal. Luis Vizcaino is a decent relief pitcher, but the D-backs still have Brandon Lyon, Brandon Medders, and Jorge Julio to set up for Jose Valverde. Ross Ohlendorf is the best of the three prospects and he is no sure thing. The Yankees wanted Alberto Callaspo, Brandon Medders, and Micah Owings, but Josh Byrnes held out and got a better deal for Johnson. I have serious doubts that the Padres or anyone else were ever in this thing, because if they were the trigger would have been pulled. Besides if Randy wanted to pitch closer to home that means he wants to return to Arizona. Though San Diego is closer, it is still a plane ride away if you want to go home to Arizona.
The risk that the D-backs are taking is paying a 43-year old pitcher $24 million over the next two years. Johnson should benefit from moving to the National League. He recently had back surgery which I believe will help him next year. The reason I believe that is because I had Randy Johnson in a fantasy league last year. Randy had 17 wins, but a high ERA, but he also had a very good WHIP (Walks + Hits/Inning Pitched). Randy’s ERA was high because he gave up the majority of his hits with runners on base while he was throwing from the stretch. The back surgery in my opinion will help his mechanics in the stretch and with the weaker NL lineups his ERA will come down into the threes.
One more benefit for the D-backs is that Randy should also improve attendance some, especially in 2008 when he is going for his 300 win. I know I will want to be there when he is gunning for that monumental victory. One more benefit is that this may insure that Randy goes into the Hall of Fame as a Diamondback. Though most of Randy’s greatest successes have been in a D-back uniform including four Cy Youngs, a World Series Championship, Co-MVP of that World Series, and his 20-strikeout game; he stilled played more years in Seattle. The fact that Randy will have a similar amount of time in Arizona and that he will most likely end his career in AZ I believe will make it a cinch that he will go in as a Diamondback, the organizations first.
Next I will blog about the new uniforms, Luis Gonzalez, and Jerry Colangelo.
Welcome to the Taylor Made Baseball Blog by Ryan Taylor. I am just getting started but I will soon have lots of baseball to blog. A little about myself: I am currently living in Maricopa, Arizona. I am married to Tamarah and have three wonderful children Alexis, 8; Rhett, 4; and Lilie, 2. I enjoy most sports, but baseball is a passion of mine. Last year I wrote a Heroes and Zeroes column for fantasybaseball.com. This coming season I will be writing for a new website, so stay tuned.