Thursday, January 13, 2005

Uber Division Rivals

Well, it looks like the Shawn Estes to Arizona rumor wasn't just a rumor after all -- it's now stark-raving mad reality. One year, 2.5 million. Not terribly expensive, but for a team with what seems to be delusions of contention, this just ain't the right guy to get. It's hilarious -- they acquire Estes for 2.5 million, then trade Shea Hillenbrand to Toronto in an effort to cut costs. Hillenbrand, according to ESPN, would have likely received about 4 million in arbitration. Hillenbrand doesn't walk much and all, but Arizona, are you trying to get better or not? Unless they run out and sign Carlos Delgado, the D-Backs just made themselves a worse team in two different ways today.

So now when the D-Backs and Giants face off, 2/5ths of the Arizona rotation will be former Giants. Will both Russ Ortiz and Shawn Estes use their knowledge of Giants hitters to afford their team a huge advantage over their division rivals?

Um, no.

At least when those two walk Bonds, it won't be some strange occurence. They issue more walks than an inner-city intersection. Here's to the Giants hitters planting their bats on their shoulders when facing Estes and Ortiz, and forcing them to pitch something over the plate. They can't get their breaking balls over for strikes consistently, fellas, don't fall for it.

But one thing remains the same: the NL West just loves to exchange players with each other. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I don't think any other division has players go back and forth within the division more than the NL West. I'm sure Jeff Kent just can't wait to try and stick it to Barry...I mean, stick it to his former team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the D'backs are trying to give the illusion of competing this year, rather than actually doing so. Seems to have been quite successful, going by the surprisingly large (that'll be non-zero!) number of fans here in Arizona who actually appear to be looking forward to the new season.

I'd love it if we did compete, but history is not on our side: no team since the nineteenth century has even gone from 100 losses to the playoffs, never mind the 111 posted by Arizona last year. I'm looking forward to 2006.

Jim McLennan
But It's a DRY Heat...