It is here. Finally, FINALLY Spring Training has arrived. And for the Arizona Diamondbacks and their fans, they have been waiting since the final out of the World Series for this day to come. Personal note: I am equally thrilled not just because I am a rabid baseball fan. I have had it with both New York football teams and their fans, Lin-sanity (the player is a blast, the media hype is a bore) and the soon-to be aired Academy Awards.
Back to the D-Backs. You have visions of Justin Upton launching balls to Mars. Or, you are wondering how many fastballs Ian Kennedy will throw on his way to another mound masterpiece. Perhaps you are waiting for the first back-hand stab at third by Ryan Roberts. The old saying goes that every team thinks they have a shot once Spring Training starts. Well, if you are an Arizona player or fan, how can you not be giddy KNOWING you have one of the best teams in the game? The only real big question at this point is the health of Stephen Drew. He missed a big chunk of 2011 and the team still won the National League West. You can only imagine what the Diamondbacks will be like if he plays 140 games instead of 86.
I understand the division will be tough. The San Francisco Giants boast Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, a devastating one-two punch at the top of the rotation. The Los Angeles Dodgers finished 2011 strong and return Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, perhaps the best player and pitcher, respectively in the division. Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki when healthy, provide the Colorado Rockies a top-notch duo in the middle of their lineup. By trading Mat Latos, the San Diego Padres were able to add some useful pieces for both now and in the future.
No team in the West appears to be as complete as the Arizona Diamondbacks. While the Giants may have better top line starters and Tulowitzki and Gonzalez may are better than any Diamondback twosome, no team can match the overall depth of Arizona. Plus, the D-Back bullpen led by J.J. Putz, is stronger than all others in the division. The countdown to Spring Training began in November. The fun begins today.