The bad news gets worse and worse for the Diamondbacks. And it's not just the losses they are taking. Look at what happened just this weekend alone, when they coughed up another late lead, this time to Florida:
On Saturday, they finally won a game, and the Dodgers were no-hit by the Angels - yet still won to keep pace with Arizona. The Dodgers were shut out on Sunday, another game the D-Backs would have gained if the bullpen didn't catch fire in Miami.
While Justin Upton continues his struggles, castoff Carlos Quentin homered Saturday and Sunday for the White Sox in a sweep of the Cubs and again is tied for the American League lead in homers. If you saw that coming, take a bow.
Sunday in Omaha, 6-foot-8 Dustin Nippert, whom the D-Backs dumped after a horrible spring training, threw a seven-inning, Triple-A no-hitter for the Oklahoma RedHawks (Texas Rangers). Of course, Arizona proved on Sunday that seven great innings by a starting pitcher (Dan Haren) isn't enough anyway.
MANNY BEING ... AN IDIOT
We've given Manny Ramirez a pass for some of his dopey antics in the past. But ducking into the Green Monster to use the facilities or selling his barbecue grill on eBay or not running out double-play grounders or inexplicably cutting off balls in the middle of the outfield is one thing. His latest stunt is another.
Ramirez, who makes $20 million this year, pushed the team's 60-year-old traveling secretary to the ground Saturday. This happened after Manny found out that his request for 16 complimentary tickets to a game in Houston might not be possible.
"Just do your job," Ramirez yelled at John McCormick, according to the Providence Journal.
How about this, Manny? How about you peel a couple of C-notes off the top of your straining money clip and take care of the situation the right way? What's next? Choke a waiter when he has the nerve to bring you a bill at the end of dinner?
Manny has apologized. McCormick has accepted (as if there was another option). But hopefully, the Red Sox have treated this incident more seriously behind closed doors. Hitting home runs doesn't erase everything.
TWO GREAT MEN,TOO SOON
For years, the pressboxes at Sun Devil and Packard stadiums belonged to the Arizona Republic's Bob Eger and our own Bob Moran. To see both taken from us far too soon, just months apart, is tragic.
I remember being with "Eags" at the 1994 baseball regional in Tennessee, when the Devils outlasted Todd Helton and the Vols while Jim Brock was fighting the final days of his battle with cancer. Bob, as he had all season, went out of his way to make sure Brock was as comfortable as possible, cutting group interviews short and slyly offering his arm as a crutch.
That's how I'll remember Bob. Always in search of the best barbecue and key lime pie, and always willing to lend a hand - preferably while no one else noticed.
It would be nice to see the new Packard pressbox - whenever that is built - named after these two special men: extraordinary sports writers and gentlemen both.
For those who were upset when the D-Backs traded Trot Nixon to the New York Mets with the outfield struggling on offense, watch Nixon play defense in New York. Actually, you'll have to wait for that, since Nixon is already on the disabled list with a groin strain.
Hockey brat Sean Avery is from Canada, but he doesn't like a lot about the country. "I don't enjoy hockey-obsessed Canadians," he said. "The exchange (rate) is not very good right now. And it's going to cost me a lot of money in tickets for people I don't even like."
Avery might want to hook up with Manny Ramirez and find out how all this is supposed to work.
There can be some really exciting, edge-of-your-seat 1-0 soccer games. Unfortunately, Spain's win over Germany in the Euro 2008 final wasn't one of them. Yeah, there was some good defense on the part of the champs, but the Germans had no fire at all and did nothing offensively. A tournament defined by excitement and late scoring ended with a thud.