The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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The Return of Sports Should Be Very Good to Phoenix

I'm not an optimistic sports fan by nature.

I'm not a bandwagon hopping fan who's sports allegiances flutter in the direction of whatever way the championship winds are blowing.

In my experience as a sports fan there have been too many: devastating losses, lies, deceit, controversies, more lies, more deceit, trade demands, poor decisions, bad owners, bad coaches, bad apples, phoniness and cronyism to overlook to be an optimist.

But I love sports. And I love pointing out all the above and celebrating the teams, players, coaches and GM's who rise above the BS of sports and succeed.

So, what I'm about to say to you is no homer-ism. I just feel it in my bones.

The Coyotes and Diamondbacks are going to have very good returns to action.

On paper, the Coyotes are loaded. Goaltending depth and healthy stars with plenty of extra motivation to right the wrongs of a once promising season.

Offense has always been an issue for the Coyotes but with Phil Kessel healthy and Taylor Hall getting a second chance to make a huge contract push, it shouldn't be this time around. Think of it this way, if Conor Garland is your fourth or fifth most dynamic offensive player, you're in great shape. The problems for the Coyotes offense came when they were asking Garland to be their best offensive player.

With a healthy OEL, Nikolas Hjalmarrsson and Jakob Chychrun, Arizona's defense should be up to the challenge as well.

Put it all together and I believe this team will win a few series and make a solid run at the pandemic Cup.

On the diamond, the Dbacks are built for this weird season.

Even with Mike Leake opting out of the season, they have the rotation depth to survive should their depth be tested.

Robbie Ray is pitching for the difference between a nine figure contract and a one year prove it deal. Plus MadBum is always mad as a hornet.

The early returns on the offense have been very promising. The Dbacks have several of the most underappreciated offensive players in the league in David Peralta and Ketel Marte. They've also got enough top prospects to field a minor league all star team every handful of games, if they so desire.

The wait for sports has been long. It's been weird. It's been frustrating. But if they can actually get to the games, it will all be worth it.

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