Mark Grace had a right to be fuming in the press box last night. The Arizona Diamondbacks, a team with no heart and no spark, sat by as Micah Owings plunked Ryan Roberts in the elbow. It was clearly an intentional HBP, as it occurred on the first pitch of the at bat, following an inning in which Brandon Phillips was buzzed. Could this be the single act that would set off a light in every Diamondback? Was this the chance to show what kind of team they really are? It was, and they showed it.
The Diamondbacks have become a lackluster shell of untapped potential this year. They lack pizzazz, swagger, spunk, and anger. They have become a team of free swinging idiots that miss everything in the strike zone and pop up pitchers' mistakes. Throughout the 2007 run to the playoffs, you saw a gritty young team not afraid of making mistakes, most notably on the base paths. It was a team with will power, and that determination brought them all the way to the NLCS. This year you have Eric "I Run Into Outs to Prove I'm Hustling" Brynes attempting to take second after the right fielder has the ball or stealing third with no outs. Chris Young, although I love his defense, needs to take a trip to AAA Tucson and remember what hitting a baseball feels like. Mark Reynolds can hit a ball 475 feet (once every 15 AB's) but strikes out too frequently (once every 2.85 AB's). Firing Bob Melvin was not the answer.
On Tuesday night, the Diamondbacks had a chance to stand up for themselves as well as one of their own. It was an opportunity to say, "We're not taking this shit anymore. We're not lying down." Instead new manager A.J. Hinch decided to pitch to the Reds in the top of the 9th, business as usual. I feel the anger of Mark Grace. This team has so much talent and an incredible amount of potential. Someone needs to light a spark under their ass. Perhaps a bench clearing brawl would do the trick. Instead, the Diamondbacks sat in their home dugout once again, watching the visiting team shake hands after yet another loss. It was a lack of retaliation the spoke volumes about the team.