The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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The Dbacks Have One Job This Season

The 2023 Arizona Diamondbacks have one job.

Well, they have a lot of jobs. Like, Corbin Carroll needs to justify a nine figure guaranteed contract with less than two full months of MLB experience.

Madison Bumgarner hopefully discovered the fountain of youth while he was roping hogs or something. Do you rope hogs or tie them? I think you rope calves? The fact that MadBum’s career as rodeo guy Mason Saunders is the highlight of his Dbacks career tells you everything you need to know.

Another job for the 2023 Arizona Diamondbacks? Put together a bullpen that is less flammable than an open container of gasoline sitting next to a campfire while a lightning storm hits an incredibly dry forest bed.

How about Torrey Lovullo just doing his job better. If baseball hadn’t declined so precipitously in Phoenix the last few years, people would be as outraged about Lovullo’s job security as we were about Kliff Kingsbury’s.

But more than anything, the Dbacks really do have one job for 2023: Be interesting.

Command our attention.

Entertain us.

Be relevant in ways the team simply hasn’t been in a few years.

In that respect, they’re off to a good start. Corbin Carroll is the best Dbacks prospect since Archie Bradley. The young OF is full of fast, athletic dudes who can cover ground, hit for power and fly around the bases.

The pitching staff is anchored by Zac Gallen, who at 26 last season finished in the top 5 of Cy Young voting. While some parts of the rotation are bogged down by dead weight in MadBum and Zach Davies, there are lots of interesting arms set to get their shot this season in Ryne Nelson, Drey Jamieson and eventually Brandon Pfaadt.

The lineup has the aforementioned young studs in the OF, Ketel Marte and Josh Rojas but still some ghosts of boring Dbacks teams of the past in Nick Ahmed and Christian Walker.

It's absolutely wild that Nick Ahmed is starting his 10th year as a Dbacks shortstop. 10 years! Do you realize Paul Goldschmidt's Dbacks career lasted 8 seasons and Nick Ahmed is entering Year 10?!? This is the dumbest stat in Dbacks history. I was ready for the Nick Ahmed Era to end five years ago but the wait will last a little bit longer until Geraldo Perdomo proves he can hit major league pitching slightly better than Nick Ahmed, which isn’t a high bar to clear but he still fell well short last season OR super prospect Jordan Lawler is ready to take over for realsies. But I digress.

Forget about the NL West and its collection of giants for a second. It doesn’t even feel like the Dbacks are competing in the same sport as the Dodgers and Padres, which is of course a major problem. Its true though that the Dbacks aren’t competing with those teams this year.

They are competing with Netflix and Apple TV and staycations and pool time. They are competing with all the other options that Diamondbacks fans have been choosing in recent years over watching or attending Dbacks games.

Let’s forget about trips to Las Vegas or legal disputes over roof repairs. Let’s celebrate the pitch clock and shift ban and a different Diamondbacks roster this year.

Its officially baseball season, let’s hope more people in Phoenix realize that this year than the last few years.

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