PHOENIX — Prove it.
That’s my motto for this year’s Diamondbacks team, and really for the rest of baseball following the 99-day unnecessary lockout. Prove it to the fans and our city.
Out of the gate, the vibe is already tending in right direction. The players truly seem different.
There’s a serious confidence in the clubhouse that they won’t be a 52-win, dead-last team again.
Is that because of the youth movement? Maybe. But guys like Seth Beer, Daulton Varsho, Jake McCarthy, Geraldo Perdomo and Pavin Smith have just as much to prove.
So does the pitching staff. In the bullpen, they’ve gone away from relying on often injured veterans and young arms, to building around guys with experience saving games. The team brought in Ian Kennedy and Mark Melancon to help shore up the bullpen.
In the rotation, they’ve double-down on Madison Bumgarner, Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, and are hoping former Mesquite High School star Zach Davies can look like his 2020 self again.
Prove that old-school philosophy that pitching and defense is how to win games. GM Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo have been preaching this for years. It worked in 2017, the last time the D-backs made the playoffs.
Prove that history always repeats itself. It’s fitting that last time this team made the playoffs, they walked it off on Opening Day. Chris Owings in 2017, now Seth Beer in 2022.
But most importantly, prove it to the fans.
The D-backs didn’t sellout the opener. Thursday’s crow of 35,508 (seems generous) was their smallest Opening Day at Chase Field ever.
This was a clear message from fans.
They want results, and I don’t blame them for being in a wait-and-see mood after last season and a quiet off-season.
So go prove it, play ball, and win. Thursday night was a good start.
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