Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Now Pitching for the D-Backs... Elisabeth Kubler Ross! 

Must. Retain. Eqaunimity.

Elisabeth Kubler Ross is best known for her writings on death and in particular her theory that dying patients go through five stages:
1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

This is best summarized in the following sequence from "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Bluefish" in The Simpsons' second season:
Dr. H: Now, a little death anxiety is normal. You can expect to go through five stages. The first is denial.
Homer: No way! Because I'm not dying! [hugs Marge]
Dr. H: The second is anger.
Homer: Why you little! [steps towards Dr. H]
Dr. H: After that comes fear.
Homer: What's after fear? What's after fear? [cringes]
Dr. H: Bargaining.
Homer: Doc, you gotta get me out of this! I'll make it worth your while!
Dr. H: Finally, acceptance.
Homer: Well, we all gotta go sometime.
Dr. H: Mr. Simpson, your progress astounds me.

OK, it's not the right order, but I think the sequence -- one of my all-time Simpsons favorites -- is funnier this way.

Now, it's not clear that all patients go through all these stages at the same time and in the same order. Even when the patients are Diamondback bloggers.

For example, I seem to be moving from denial -- "this baseball team isn't so bad, with a few lucky breaks in this lousy division, they could be right back in it" -- straight into fear -- "how the heck am I supposed to continue writing about this team for another 90+ games?" Other D-Back blogs seem to have settled right into anger. We all seem agreed that if the D-Backs are to enter the "bargaining" phase of their season that it's to trade the overpaid veterans for some new prospects. Acceptance seems a ways off yet, though I see glimmers of it on the horizon.

Of course, all this after what was not that bad of a game last night. Casey Fossum pitched well, just giving up a cheap homerun to Phil Nevin in the bottom of the 3rd. In a sign of Brenly's frustration, he stopped just short of blaming Petco Park's architect for the loss -- "He had all of his pitches working and save for a popup hit into a tricked-up corner of a ballpark, he probably would have had a better result. It's not for me to talk about designing stadiums, but they put that short porch out there and Nevin found it."

Hey, Bob, them's the breaks. It's not like they move the porch out to 375 when Gonzo and Fins come up to the plate. In any case, Fossum pitched 6 decent innings, while Service and Villafuerte struggled somewhat in their two innings.

Doubly frustrating was Shea's grounding into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the 5th. The D-Backs managed to get out the inning without scoring. (Whew! Uh... wait...) Shea leads the D-Backs in double plays with 11 and has grounded into 3 double plays with the bases loaded, matching the rest of the team combined. (His OPS in that situation is a nice round .000.) I realize that these are statistical anomalies at the individual level (sort of -- the D-Backs are 3rd in the NL in hitting into double plays total and have the 3rd- and 5th-worst NL record in OPS and GIDP with the bases loaded ), but it makes it no less frustrating.

Take a few pitches, folks, that might help. Gonzo had two of the three walks last night -- he draws walks at twice the rate of the rest of the team. (14.8% of TPA vs. 7.4%).

Finally, apparently Roberto Alomar is less-than-perfectly pleased about his non-return to the starting lineup. Somebody please tell All-Star voters that they should stop voting for him.

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