Arizona Diamondbacks

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Posted by r2d2 03/26/2009 @ 07:08

Tags : arizona diamondbacks, mlb, baseball, sports

News headlines
Reynolds homers to lead Diamondbacks to 5-3 win - The Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — Mark Reynolds homered leading off a five-run seventh and Jon Garland pitched six strong innings to help lift the Arizona Diamondbacks past the Florida Marlins 5-3 on Tuesday night. Garland (4-2) allowed two runs — one earned — and seven...
A Crash Course in Managing for Arizona's Surprise Hire - New York Times
He has been traded and waived and demoted and released, all before retiring in 2005 and cutting his executive teeth as the Arizona Diamondbacks' farm director. One of the few things Hinch had never done in baseball was manage or coach at any level....
Josh Johnson's effort goes to waste - Palm Beach Post
The Marlins blew a 2-0 lead, made three errors and allowed three unearned runs in the seventh inning of a 5-3 loss to the Diamondbacks before 10131 at Land Shark Stadium. Game 1: Marlins RHP Chris Volstad (2-3, 3.35 ERA) vs. D'backs LHP Doug Davis (2-5...
Scherzer, Diamondbacks blank Braves 12-0 - The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) — Max Scherzer pitched six scoreless innings for his first major league win and Chris Snyder hit a grand slam in the ninth, capping the Arizona Diamondbacks' 12-0 rout of the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night. Snyder matched his career high...
Struggling Arizona recalls OF Parra from Double-A - USA Today
By Bob Baum, AP Sports Writer PHOENIX — The struggling Arizona Diamondbacks called up outfielder Gerardo Parra from Double-A Mobile and placed him in the starting lineup for Wednesday night's game against the Cincinnati Reds. The 21-year-old Venezuelan...
Diamondbacks place OF Jackson on DL, option P Korecky - Seattle Post Intelligencer
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - The Arizona Diamondbacks placed outfielder Conor Jackson on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday due to general illness. Also on Tuesday, the club optioned right-handed pitcher Bobby Korecky to Triple-A Reno....
Arizona Diamondbacks try to navigate rough start, recession - Bizjournals.com
The Arizona Diamondbacks are trying to overcome a lackluster start to the 2009 season on the field, but the team also is facing a down economy that cuts into attendance and fan spending -- and could reduce the number of player personnel moves...
Managerial switch fails to ignite Diamondbacks - The Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks hoped a managerial switch would change their fortunes. It has — for the worse. Picked by many to contend this season, the Diamondbacks are 1-5 since they replaced Bob Melvin with AJ Hinch, a front office...
Diamondbacks fire Melvin after 12-17 start - Seattle Post Intelligencer
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - The Arizona Diamondbacks fired manager Bob Melvin on Thursday after the team's 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Padres dropped the club to 12-17 on the young season. A new manager will be announced at a press conference on...
The Arizona Diamondbacks Are a Snakebit Franchise - Bleacher Report
The front office for the Arizona Diamondbacks has the same appearance as the one in Florida. But instead of winning World Series titles and then destroying the team before the next season, this management slowly poisons the team with bad decision...

Arizona Diamondbacks

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The Arizona Diamondbacks are a professional baseball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They play in the West Division of Major League Baseball's National League. From 1998 to the present, they have played in Chase Field (formerly Bank One Ballpark). Also known as the D-backs, Arizona has one World Series title, in 2001.

Between 1940 and 1990, Phoenix jumped from the 99th largest city in the nation to the 9th largest. As such, it was frequently mentioned as a possible location for either a new or relocated MLB franchise. Baseball had a rich tradition in Arizona long before talk of bringing a big-league team even started. The state has been a frequent spring training site since 1946. With the large numbers of people relocating to the state from the Midwest and the Northeast, as well as from California, many teams (most notably the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers) have normally had large followings in Arizona.

The first serious attempt to land an expansion team for the Phoenix area was mounted by Elyse Doherty and Martin Stone, owner of the Phoenix Firebirds, the city's Triple-A minor league baseball team and an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. In the late 1980s Stone approached St. Louis (football) Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill about sharing a proposed 70,000 seat domed stadium in Phoenix. It was taken for granted that a domed stadium was essential for a prospective baseball team to be a viable enterprise in the city. Phoenix is by far the hottest major city in North America; the average high temperature during baseball's regular season is 99.1 °F, and temperatures above 120 °F in July and August are not unheard of, but have only occurred three times.

Bidwill, with plans already in the works to leave St. Louis, opted instead to sign a long term lease with Arizona State University to use its Sun Devil Stadium as the home of his soon-to-be Arizona-based NFL franchise. Since baseball-only stadiums were not seen as fiscally viable during that era, this effectively ended Stone's bid.

In the fall of 1993, Jerry Colangelo, majority owner of the Phoenix Suns, the area's NBA franchise, announced he was assembling an ownership group, "Arizona Baseball, Inc.," to apply for a Major League Baseball expansion team. This was after a great deal of lobbying by the Maricopa County Sports Authority, a local group formed to preserve Cactus League spring training in Arizona and eventually secure a Major League franchise for the state.

Colangelo's group was so certain that they would be awarded a franchise that they held a name-the-team contest for it; they took out a full-page ad in the sports section of the February 13, 1995 edition of the state's leading newspaper, the Arizona Republic. First prize was a pair of lifetime season tickets awarded to the person who submitted the winning entry. The winning choice was "Diamondbacks," after the Western diamondback, a rattlesnake native to the region known for injecting a large amount of venom when it strikes.

Colangelo's bid received strong support from one of his friends, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and media reports say that then-acting Commissioner of Baseball and Milwaukee Brewers founder Bud Selig was also a strong supporter of Colangelo's bid.Plans were also made for a new retractable-roof ballpark, Bank One Ballpark, nicknamed the BOB, (renamed in 2005 to Chase Field) to be built in an industrial/warehouse district on the southeast edge of downtown Phoenix, across the street from the Suns' America West Arena (now US Airways Center).

On March 9, 1995, Colangelo's group was awarded a franchise to begin play for the 1998 season. A $130 million franchise fee was paid to Major League Baseball. The Tampa Bay Area was also granted a franchise, the Devil Rays (to be based in St. Petersburg), at the same time.

In the earliest days, the Diamondbacks operated basically as a subsidiary of the Suns; several executives and managers with the Suns and America West Arena were brought over to the Diamondbacks in similar roles.

There was some talk (which actually persisted for a few years after the awarding of the franchise) about the Diamondbacks being placed in the American League West. Colangelo strongly opposed this, pushing baseball officials to allow the new team to play in the National League West. Colangelo cited the relative close proximity of Phoenix to the other NL West cities; the similarities between the two fast-growing cities of Phoenix and Denver (home to the Colorado Rockies); the long history of Arizona tourism to San Diego; the Firebirds' long history as the Giants' top farm team; and the fact that Dodgers, Giants and Padres games were broadcast in the Phoenix and Tucson markets for many years.

From the beginning, Colangelo wanted to market the Diamondbacks to a statewide fan base and not limit fan appeal to Phoenix and its suburbs. Although every Major League Baseball team cultivates fans from outside its immediate metropolitan area, and even though the greater Phoenix area has 2/3 of the entire statewide population, Colangelo still decided to call the team the "Arizona Diamondbacks" rather than the "Phoenix Diamondbacks". Many in Phoenix were not pleased by this; they felt this move lent a "small market" tincture to the team's name. However, fans in other areas of the state generally embraced the "Arizona" title as a positive move to help make the team a regional team for the entire state, rather than just for the state's largest city and capitol.

Tucson, Arizona's second largest city, located about a 90-minute drive southeast of Phoenix, was selected as the home for Diamondbacks spring training as well as the team's top minor league affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders. Radio and television broadcast deals were struck with affiliates in Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott, and Las Vegas; among others.

A series of team-sponsored fan motorcoach trips from Tucson to Bank One Ballpark were inaugurated for the opening season and are still in operation to this day (it is now known as the "Diamond Express"). The Diamondbacks are also known for the "Hometown Tour", held in January, where selected players, management and broadcasters make public appearances, hold autograph signings, etc., in various locations around Phoenix and Tucson, as well as many small and mid-sized towns in other areas of Arizona.

Two seasons before their first opening day, Colangelo hired Buck Showalter, the American League Manager of the Year in 1994 with the New York Yankees.

Their lower level minor league teams began play in 1997; the expansion draft was held that year as well.

The Diamondbacks' first major league game was played against the Colorado Rockies on March 31, 1998, at Bank One Ballpark before a standing-room only crowd of 50,179. Tickets had gone on sale on January 10 and sold out before lunch. The Rockies won, 9–2, with Andy Benes on the mound for the Diamondbacks, and Travis Lee being the first player to hit, score, homer and drive in a run.

In their first five seasons of existence, the Diamondbacks won three division titles (1999, 2001, & 2002) and one World Series (2001). In 1999, Arizona won 100 games in only its second season to win the National League West. They lost to the New York Mets in four games in the NLDS.

Colangelo fired Showalter after a relatively disappointing 2000 season, and replaced him with Bob Brenly, the former Giants catcher and coach, who had up to that point been working as a color analyst on Diamondbacks television broadcasts.

In 2001, the team was led by two of the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. Arizona had postseason victories over the St. Louis Cardinals (3-2 in the NLDS) and the Atlanta Braves (4-1 in the NLCS) to advance to the World Series where, in one of the most exciting series ever, in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City, they beat the reigning champions, the New York Yankees, 4 to 3, to become the youngest expansion franchise to win the World Series (in just their fourth season of play). That classic World Series is chronicled in Charles Euchner's book The Last Nine Innings (Sourcebooks, 2006). The series was also seen as the beginning of the end of the Yankees' stranglehold on baseball glory, as profiled in Buster Olney's book The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty. All games in that series were won by the home team.

An estimated orderly crowd of over 300,000 celebrated at the Diamondbacks victory parade, held at Bank One Ballpark and the surrounding downtown Phoenix streets on November 7, 2001. This was the first major professional sports championship for the state of Arizona and the first for a team (in the four major North American professional sports leagues) owned or controlled by Colangelo, whose basketball Suns made it to the NBA Finals in 1976 and 1993 but lost both times. (Colangelo's Arizona Rattlers won the Arena Football League championship in 1994 and 1997.) Colangelo’s willingness to go into debt and acquire players through free agency would ultimately lead to one of the quickest free falls in major sports history when in just three years, the Diamondbacks would record one of the worst losing records in all of major league baseball by losing 111 games.

The team won the NL West Division Title again in 2002, but were swept out in the NLDS by the St. Louis Cardinals.

By the 2004 season, however, the Diamondbacks had dropped to a dismal 51-111 record, the worst in Major League Baseball that year and also one of the 10 worst records in the past 100 years of MLB, despite Johnson pitching a perfect game on May 18 of that season. Brenly was fired partway through the season and was replaced on an interim basis by coach Al Pedrique. Before the season co-MVP (with Johnson) of the 2001 World Series Curt Schilling had been traded to the Boston Red Sox, who won the World Series in 2004 and 2007.

By this time Colangelo and the other partners were embroiled in a dispute over the financial health and direction of the Diamondbacks (and notably including over $150 million dollars in deferred compensation to many players who were key members of the 2001 World Series winning team and others). He was forced to resign his managing general partner post in the late summer of 2004.

Colangelo sold his interest in the General Partnership of the Diamondbacks to a group of investors who were all involved as partners in the founding of the team in 1995. The investors include equal partners Ken Kendrick, Dale Jensen, Mike Chipman, and Jeffrey Royer. Jeff Moorad, a former sports agent, joined the partnership, and was named the team's CEO; becoming its primary public face. Ken Kendrick became the managing general partner.

Also a factor in Colangelo's leaving his post was his advancing age: Colangelo was 64 years of age in 2004, and had he not sold his sports franchises, upon his death, his family would have been faced with having to pay high estate taxes based on the value of the Diamondbacks as well as the Suns (which he sold to Robert Sarver in the spring of 2004).

Following the 2004 season, the Diamondbacks hired Wally Backman to be the team's manager. Backman was formerly manager of the Class A California League Lancaster JetHawks, one of the Diamondbacks' minor-league affiliates. In a turn of events that proved to be a minor embarrassment for the reorganized ownership group, Backman was almost immediately fired after management learned, after the fact, of legal troubles and improprieties in Backman's past. Former Seattle Mariners manager and Diamondbacks bench coach Bob Melvin became the new manager after only a ten-day tenure for Backman.

Following the Backman incident, the Diamondbacks spent heavily on free agents in order to re-build into a contender. The club signed 3B Troy Glaus, P Russ Ortiz, SS Royce Clayton, and 2B Craig Counsell, among others. They then traded Randy Johnson to the New York Yankees, for Javier Vazquez, Dioner Navarro, and Brad Halsey. They then turned around and dealt newly acquired catcher Dioner Navarro to the Dodgers for Shawn Green, and sent Shea Hillenbrand to the Toronto Blue Jays. Finally, they traded Casey Fossum to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for José Cruz, Jr.

The Diamondbacks, led by Melvin, finished the 2005 season with a record of 77 wins and 85 losses. However, this was a 26-game improvement over 2004, and actually good enough for second place in the woefully weak NL West, five games behind the San Diego Padres.

The Diamondbacks were considered by some to be the favorite to win the division after spending big money on the aforementioned free agents; however, injuries hurt the team's chances of reaching its expected potential.

Starting pitcher Ortiz was out for some time which really hurt the pitching staff. Glaus played with a hurt knee all season. Of all the free agents that signed before the season, no one had a better season than first baseman Tony Clark. Clark started the season as a bench player and ended the season starting and being an important part of the team. Clark was rewarded with a new contract at the end of the season.

In October 2005 the Diamondbacks hired 35-year-old Josh Byrnes, assistant general manager of the Boston Red Sox, to replace the out-going Joe Garagiola, Jr. as Diamondbacks General Manager. Garagiola took a position in Major League Baseball's main offices in New York City.

In a weak NL West division, the Diamondbacks failed to improve on their 2005 performance, finishing fourth with a slightly worse record than the year before. The season did include two excellent individual performances, however. 2B Orlando Hudson became the recipient of his second career Gold Glove Award, as announced on November 3. Hudson became only the sixth infielder in major league history to win a Gold Glove award in both the American and National Leagues. He first received the award after the 2005 season as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, and was traded to the Diamondbacks later that offseason. On November 14, it was announced that RHP Brandon Webb was the recipient of the Cy Young Award for the National League. Webb, a specialist in throwing the sinkerball, received 15 of 32 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Webb went 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA and in the 2006 season was named to his first All-Star team. San Diego Padres relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman was second place in the voting with 12 first-place votes and 77 points.

In preparation for the next season, the Diamondbacks made several significant trades during the offseason. The Diamondbacks and Brewers made a trade on November 25, 2006. Johnny Estrada, Greg Aquino, and Claudio Vargas were dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers for Doug Davis, Dana Eveland, and Dave Krynzel. On Sunday January 7, it was announced that Randy Johnson would return to the Diamondbacks on a two year contract, pending a physical. He was obtained from the Yankees in exchange for Luis Vizcaino, Ross Ohlendorf, Alberto Gonzalez and Steven Jackson. The Yankees will pay $2 million of Johnson's $26 million salary. The Diamondbacks and Florida Marlins made a deal March 26 to acquire RHP Yusmeiro Petit in exchange for Jorge Julio and cash.

The Diamondbacks announced in early September 2006 that their uniforms, which remained largely unchanged since the team's first season, would be completely redesigned for the 2007 season. Details were supposed to be kept from the public until after the 2006 postseason as per MLB rules, but the Diamondback page from the 2007 MLB Official Style Guide was somehow leaked around September 25, and local media broadcast printed the new design for all to see. Of great surprise to many fans was a brand new color scheme; apparently the original colors used by the franchise since Major League Baseball awarded it to Jerry Colangelo's ownership group in 1995 were to be discontinued.

While some fans applauded the redesign, most of the reaction to the new color scheme, which included the changing of the historical purple and traditional Arizonan colors of copper and turquoise to a reddish color known as "Sedona Red" similar to that of the Phoenix Coyotes and Arizona Cardinals color schemes, was pointedly negative.

The official unveiling of the uniforms came at a charity event on November 8 in nearby Scottsdale, where several of the players modeled the uniforms on a runway, and posed for publicity photos.

The distinctive "A" design remained unchanged save for the colors. The stylized snake-like "D" logo, also used since the early days for the road uniforms, was slightly redesigned and a completely new shoulder patch introduced. The lettering on the jerseys was completely redesigned.

In the 2007 regular season, the Diamondbacks enjoyed a relatively high degree of success with a young team including Brandon Webb, Conor Jackson, Stephen Drew, Carlos Quentin, Chad Tracy, Chris Young, Miguel Montero, Mark Reynolds (called up from Double-A in May) and Justin Upton (called up from Double-A in August). The Diamondbacks in the regular season posted the best record in the NL with 90 wins and 72 losses. Despite their success, they were actually outscored by a cumulative total of 20 runs in their games.

On September 28, the Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies to secure a position in the 2007 playoffs. After the Padres' defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers on September 29, the Diamondbacks secured both the NL West title and home field throughout the NL playoffs.

After taking the first two games at home against the Cubs, in the National League Division Series, they took the series to Wrigley Field, where they completed their sweep, earning their first berth in the National League Championship Series since 2001.

In the NLCS (where, ironically, they faced the Rockies), however, the D-backs' bats – and any sort of luck they had – fell silent. Though the D-backs' pitchers kept it close, they just didn't seem to get any kind of situational hitting. Plays in key situations- Upton's slide in Game 1, Stephen Drew's baserunning mistake and Valverde's 3 walks in a row, including a bases-loaded walk in the 10th in Game 2, Yorvit Torrealba's homer in Game 3, Conor Jackson booting the ball in Game 4, and even into the 8th and 9th innings of the final game, with the D-backs trailing by two, Tony Clark struck out leaving Upton at third base in the 8th, and in the 9th, Chris Young's leadoff double was wasted...the D-backs ran out of momentum against a Colorado team who just couldn't lose and were swept by the Rockies.

The 2007 season overall was a great success, with many of the young players showing their potential and proving that the team would be a force in the National League for years to come.

Reloading for 2008 with Dan Haren On December 3, 2007 the Diamondbacks traded Carlos Quentin to the Chicago White Sox for first base prospect Chris Carter.

Haren was expected to immediately join the Diamondbacks starting rotation which will include Webb and hopefully Randy Johnson if he rehabilitates successfully from his season-ending back injuries (Johnson was acquired from the Yankees in January 2007 and had a strong start to the 2007 season before back problems forced him out in August).

Haren was 15-9 with a 3.07 ERA for Oakland in 2007. This move was expected to make the D-backs favored to win the NL West in 2008 provided the offensive production is good.

Arizona was not able to re-sign veteran free agents Tony Clark and Livan Hernandez, who were picked up by San Diego and Minnesota, respectively.

After winning the opening game of the season on March 31 on the road against the Cincinnati Reds, the Diamondbacks found themselves with the best record in Major League Baseball, 20-8, by the start of May. At that time, they also led the NL West by 6.5 games. They lost the first series in May against the New York Mets, the first series lost since the opening series against the Reds. The Diamondbacks continued to lead the NL west despite only being 47-48 at the All-Star break.

On July 17, 2008, Tony Clark was traded back to the D-backs from the San Diego Padres for a minor league pitcher, Evan Scribner.

On August 5, Dan Haren signed a four-year, $44.75 million deal with the Diamondbacks worth a guaranteed $41.25 million through 2012 and including a $15.5 million club option for 2013 with a $3.5 million buyout.

Orlando Hudson, one of the more consistent offensive D-backs players in 2008, underwent season-ending surgery on his left wrist August 9 in the wake of a collision with catcher Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves. Hudson is due to become a free agent at the end of the season and speculation is that he will not be re-signed with the Diamondbacks, because he wants money.

LF Eric Byrnes was on the 60-day disabled list from late June, with a torn left hamstring, and was out for the remainder of the season.

On August 11, 2008, Dallas Buck, RHP Micah Owings, and C Wilkin Castillo were traded to the Reds (in last place in the NL Central at the time) in exchange for OF Adam Dunn. Dunn, who was tied for the major league lead with 32 home runs, was expected to provide a significant boost to an offense that has struggled to score runs for most of the season. Dunn seemed quite positive about being traded to a ballclub in first place in its division in August. The move was seen by some fans as a belated attempt by the D-backs to counter the trade by their division rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, for Boston Red Sox power-hitting OF Manny Ramirez on July 31 and also to compensate for the injuries to Hudson and Byrnes, generally considered two of the more "power-hitting" Diamondbacks on a team which has relied heavily on pitching and defense in recent years.

Owings, once considered an excellent pitching prospect for the Diamondbacks, struggled in the 2008 campaign with a 7.09 ERA after April 21.

On August 31, the Diamondbacks acquired former World Series MVP David Eckstein to fill the hole at secondbase which was opened after Orlando Hudson was placed on the disabled list. Eckstein was traded from the Toronto Blue Jays for Minor League pitcher Chad Beck.

They finished the season with a record of 82-80, (good for second in the NL West to the Los Angeles Dodgers).

In their short history, the Diamondbacks have been known to invite position players to pitch an inning in games that have already been blown out. The first such appearance occurred on August 30 of their 2001 division-winning season, when Manager Bob Brenly decided to pitch veteran outfielder Steve Finley for an inning of relief. Although Finley pitched a shut-out, no-hit inning, he walked a batter and also hit a batter. Brenly did this twice, as has current manager Bob Melvin.

The primary television play-by-play voice for the team's first nine seasons of play was Thom Brennaman, who also broadcasts baseball and college football games nationally for FOX Television. Brennaman was the TV announcer for the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds (along with his father Marty Brennaman) before being hired by Diamondbacks founder Jerry Colangelo in 1996, two years before the team would begin play.

In October 2006, Brennaman left the Diamondbacks to call games with his father for the Reds beginning in 2007, signing a 4-year deal (his FOX duties remained unchanged).

The English language flagship radio station is KTAR. Greg Schulte is the regular radio play-by-play voice, a 25-year veteran of sports radio in the Phoenix market, also well-known for his previous work on Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State University (ASU) broadcasts. In February 2007 he agreed to a contract extension through at least the 2011 season.

Jeff Munn is a backup radio play-by-play announcer; he served as the regular public address announcer at Chase Field in the early days of the franchise. He is well-known to many Phoenix area sports fans, having also served as the public address announcer for the Suns at America West Arena (now US Airways Center) in the 1990s. He is also the play-by-play radio voice for ASU women's basketball.

On November 1, 2006, the team announced that the TV voice of the Milwaukee Brewers since 2002, Daron Sutton, would be hired as the Diamondbacks primary TV play-by-play voice. Sutton was signed to a five-year contract with a team option for three more years. Sutton is considered one of the best of the younger generation of baseball broadcasters. His signature chants include "lets get some runs" when the D-Backs trail in late innings. Sutton's father is Hall of Fame pitcher and current Washington Nationals broadcaster Don Sutton.

Former Diamondback and Chicago Cub Mark Grace and former Major League knuckleball pitcher Tom Candiotti were the Diamondbacks primary color analysts for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Former Diamondback player (and current Diamondbacks minority owner) Matt Williams also does color commentary on occasion, as does former Cardinals and NBC broadcast legend Joe Garagiola, Sr.., a longtime Phoenix-area resident and father of Joe Garagiola, Jr., the first GM of the Diamondbacks (as head of the Maricopa County Sports Authority in the early 1990s, Garagiola, Jr. was one of the primary people involved in Phoenix obtaining a Major League Baseball franchise).

The Diamondbacks announced in July 2007 that for the 2008 season, all regionally broadcast Diamondback TV games will be shown exclusively on FSN Arizona; and a few could possibly be shown on the national MLB on FOX telecasts. FSN Arizona is currently seen in 2.8 million households in Arizona & New Mexico. The previous flagship station, since the inaugural 1998 season, was KTVK, a popular over-the-air independent station in Phoenix.

Spanish broadcasts The flagship Spanish language radio station is KSUN AM 1400 with Miguel Quintana and Arthuro Ochoa as the regular announcers. They are sometimes joined by Richard Saenz or Oscar Soria.

Games are also televised in Spanish on KPHE-LP with Oscar Soria and Jerry Romo as the announcers.

As of the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame election, no inducted members have played or managed for the Diamondbacks.

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2006 Arizona Diamondbacks season

The 2006 Arizona Diamondbacks looked to improve on their 77-85 record from 2005. They looked to contend in what was once again a weak National League West Division. They finished the season with a record of 76-86, good for a tie of fourth place in the division.

During the 2005 off-season, the Diamondbacks made several key moves to bolster a disappointing pitching staff and improve the team defensively. Highly regarded pitching coach Bryan Price (who was already a resident of nearby Scottsdale) was hired not long after he resigned from the Seattle Mariners after 19 years with that organization, the last six as pitching coach; he served with Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin when he was manager at Seattle in 2003 and 2004.

Key player acquisitions included catcher Johnny Estrada; right-handed pitchers Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez and Luis Vizcaino; outfielder Chris Young; second baseman Orlando Hudson (a Gold Glove Award recipient in 2005 with the Toronto Blue Jays), for whom Troy Glaus was traded; right-handed pitcher Miguel Batista (previously a member of the Diamondbacks from 2001-2003, including the 2001 World Series team); free-agent outfielder Eric Byrnes and veteran free agent pitcher Terry Mulholland (who would go on to spend two separate terms on the disabled list and get released in late June).

On December 8, 2005, future all-star Dan Uggla was drafted by the Florida Marlins from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2005 minor league draft. In January, the Diamondbacks signed highly touted 18-year-old shortstop Justin Upton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, to a $6.1 million contract that included a trip to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. Upton began the regular season at Class A South Bend.

The D-Backs posted a respectable 18-14 record for the 2006 Cactus League spring training campaign.

On April 18, LF Luis Gonzalez hit his 500th career double to became just the 21st player in Major League Baseball history to hit 300 home runs and 500 doubles; on May 13 he passed Babe Ruth for 38th place all-time for the most doubles hit in league history. "Gonzo", as he is called by his fans, became the number one fan favorite in Phoenix in the years since hitting the winning RBI in the 2001 World Series (which capped his 57 regular season HR's, still a team record).

Frustrated by not having a set spot in the rotation, Hernandez was traded to the New York Mets in exchange for reliever Jorge Julio on May 24. While on the Diamondbacks he posted a 2-4 record with a 6.11 ERA.

The team was in first place through the month of May, and they started the month of June with a 4-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field - then posted an astonishingly terrible 4 wins and 20 losses the rest of the month. The GrimsleyGate scandal (see below) may have been one factor in the "June swoon".

Based on several media reports that appeared on June 7, reliever Jason Grimsley admitted to taking illegal performance-enhancing drugs, specifically human growth hormone, as part of the IRS probe of BALCO, best known for similar allegations concerning San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds. IRS agents apparently made an extensive search of Grimsley's Scottsdale, Arizona residence seeking evidence.

Grimsley and team officials declined comment before the June 6 home game vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. Grimsley was released from the Diamondbacks on June 7 on his request, and his locker cleaned out.

It was later announced by Grimsley's agent, Joe Bick, that Grimsley decided to retire from the game of baseball, and that it was his understanding that the remainder of his $825,000 salary would be paid.

During the Diamondbacks home game on June 10, managing general partner Ken Kendrick told reporters that the Diamondbacks had no intention of paying Grimsley his salary and that the club would file termination papers on Grimsley with MLB on June 12 to that effect; this prompted Bick to announce that he would be filing a grievance on Grimsley's behalf with the Major League Baseball Players Association.

On June 12, the Commissioner's office announced that it would suspend Grimsley for 50 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, effective if Grimsley chooses to come out of retirement. Michael Weiner, general counsel to the MLBPA, stated that the union would file a grievance on his behalf.

Grimsley and the Diamondbacks reached a final settlement on the salary payout in August. Grimsley requested that the remainder of the salary funds be donated to charities designated by Grimsley.

It appeared that the controversy surrounding Grimsley, popular and well-liked with the other team members, possibly affected the team play of the Diamondbacks, leading to a "June Swoon." The Diamondbacks returned from a 10-game East Coast road trip in which they won 7 and lost 3 (including the above-mentioned 4-game sweep of the Braves) and found themselves 2½ games in front of the Los Angeles Dodgers by June 5. However, the team entered a freefall immediately following the Grimsley scandal, starting with a lengthy homestand in which they did not won a single contest until their June 13 home win against the Giants. The final Diamondbacks record in June was 4 wins and 20 losses.

Reliever José Valverde, the closer coming out of spring training (he was also in that role at the end of the 2005 season), was effective in April and most of May getting 12 saves and keeping the opposition to four runs in his first 16 appearances; in late May and June Valverde faltered to the point where his closer's job was given to newly acquired Jorge Julio; Valverde struggled for much of June, allowing 15 runs in nine appearances, and his ERA was 7.12 as of June 29. He was optioned to the Diamondbacks' AAA affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders, on July 3. The bullpen in general, while showing brilliance early on, struggled somewhat as a whole in June, although Julio ended the month with his seventh save in eight chances.

Luis Gonzalez struggled somewhat offensively before the All Star break; it wasn't until June 27 against the Seattle Mariners that "Gonzo" hit his first home run since April 20.

According to reports on Diamondbacks flagship radio station KTAR and in the Arizona Republic, RHP Russ Ortiz, who had a highly disappointing tenure with the D-Backs after signing a $33 million contract during the 2004 offseason, was designated for assignment (DFA) on June 13. He was signed by the Baltimore Orioles on June 25.

Ortiz, previously with the Giants and Braves, was 0-5 with a 7.54 ERA in six starts for the Diamondbacks in 2006, and was 5-11 with a 6.89 ERA in 2005.

As the second half of the season approached, fans writing on various Diamondback fan blogs expressed opinions ranging from frustration with the players and coaching staff (especially Melvin, who is seen by many fans as having too casual and relaxed of an attitude to properly motivate the players) for what they see as the squandering of a potential NL West Championship season, to frustration with fellow fans for not being patient and allowing a highly talented current core of younger players, including Stephen Drew, Carlos Quentin, Micah Owings and Scott Hairston, to develop in the minor league farm system and contribute to the D-Backs success in later years (and possibly as soon as this season).

On July 9, the Diamondbacks announced an agreement with manager Melvin on a two-year contract extension with an option for the 2009 season.

On July 15, shortstop Stephen Drew was called up from the Sidewinders to replace Craig Counsell, who broke a rib during an at-bat on July 14. Drew got his first major league hit on July 17 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, for which his brother J.D. Drew plays. Both Drew's parents were in attendance.

On July 20, the Diamondbacks promoted highly touted outfielder Carlos Quentin from Tucson. Quentin was Arizona's second pick in the first round of the 2003 draft. He played college baseball for Stanford University, where he was an outstanding hitter and helped lead Stanford to two College World Series appearances. Quentin was hitting .289 with 30 doubles, three triples, nine homers and 52 RBIs in 85 games for the Sidewinders. To make room for Quentin, the Diamondbacks optioned right-handed pitcher Edgar Gonzalez to Tucson. After grounding out in his first two at-bats, Quentin hit a two-run home run off Hendrickson in the sixth inning. He went 1-for-4 in the D-Backs' 5-2 win over the Dodgers.

That day, manager Bob Melvin told veteran OF Luis Gonzalez he was going to start Quentin in left field to give Gonzalez a night off against a tough left-handed pitcher (Mark Hendrickson of the Los Angeles Dodgers).

Gonzalez reportedly interpreted his benching in a negative manner; he took it as a sign the organization may be ready to part company with him at year's end. There has been speculation the club will not pick up its $10 million option on Gonzalez for 2007. "Gonzo", long a fan favorite for the D-Backs, was vocal to the media about his displeasure with the decision, angering many fans.

Gonzalez would later distance himself from those comments and slightly improve his batting average, and continued to move up the all time doubles list. On July 29th he obtained his 1,300th career RBI with a third-inning single against pitcher Brandon Backe of the Houston Astros.

On August 7, the D-Backs acquired RHP Liván Hernández from the Washington Nationals in exchange for minor league pitching prospects Garrett Mock and Matt Chico. Hernandez was 9-8 this season as of August 7, with a 5.34 ERA in 24 starts. The Diamondbacks flirted with trading for a pitcher before the July 31 trade deadline but made no moves at that time; after All-Star Brandon Webb (the ace of the Diamondback pitching staff and widely considered a candidate for the NL Cy Young Award) missed his scheduled August 5 start against Houston with a sore elbow, it became more urgent to add a starter to the rotation.

Hernandez finished the 2006 campaign with a final record of 13-13, with an ERA of 4.83, 128 strikeouts and 78 walks surrendered.

Veteran outfielder Shawn Green was traded from the Diamondbacks to the New York Mets for Evan MacLane on August 22. The D-Backs sent the 33-year-old Green and slightly more than $6.3 million to the Mets for AAA LHP pitching prospect Evan MacLane. Green is owed about $13.25 million for the remainder of his contract. Carlos Quentin became the everyday starting right fielder as a result of Green's departure.

On September 14, it was announced that the Diamondbacks would not pick up the 2007 option on Luis Gonzalez's contract, meaning that he would not be back with the club in 2007. This was disclosed to Gonzalez in a meeting with general manager Josh Byrnes and general partner Jeff Moorad, who served as Gonzalez's agent before becoming part of the Diamondbacks ownership group (Moorad actually negotiated Gonzalez's current contract with then-managing general partner and franchise founder Jerry Colangelo). The executives left open the possibility of Gonzalez returning to the franchise after his retirement, as a coach, broadcaster, or front office executive.

Gonzalez played his final game as a Diamondback on the final day of the season (October 1). He was greeted with standing ovations from the fans, many of whom disapproved of Gonzo's not being part of the future plans of the ballclub (paid attendance was 48,946, the largest regular-season crowd in franchise history). Colangelo and founding GM Joe Garagiola, Jr., who made the trade to bring Gonzalez to the Diamondbacks in 1998, were in attendance.

Gonzalez ended his Arizona Diamondbacks career with 547 total career doubles, good for 20th place on the all-time MLB career list. He leaves the Diamondbacks as the franchise leader in home runs (224) and RBIs (774).

Infielder Craig Counsell was also honored, as he was seen as not returning to the team for 2007 due to the emergence of Stephen Drew and the Baby Backs.

Despite strong late-season performances from José Valverde, who returned to the closer role in early September as a much improved relief pitcher, finishing the season with 18 saves, as well as other called-up Baby Backs including CF Chris Young and infielder Alberto Callaspo, the Diamondbacks lost 18 games in the month of August, including being swept in three games at San Francisco. They were at that point, for all intents and purposes, knocked out of the NL West pennant race and the NL Wild Card race. On September 24, the Diamondbacks were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention with a 5-1 loss at Los Angeles. The final game of the 2006 season was a 7-6 loss to the San Diego Padres at Chase Field (which gave the Padres the 2006 NL West Division championship) and featured a rare poor performance by ace starting pitcher Brandon Webb. The Diamondbacks finished the year with 76 wins and 86 losses for a .469 winning percentage. They tied for 4th place in the NL West with the Colorado Rockies, 12 games behind the Padres.

2B Orlando Hudson became the recipient of his second career Gold Glove Award, as announced on November 3. Hudson became only the sixth infielder in major league history to win a Gold Glove award in both the American and National Leagues. He first received the award after the 2005 season as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, and was traded to the Diamondbacks later that offseason.

RHP Brandon Webb, a product of the Diamondback farm system, became the ace starting pitcher of the club for 2006 after signing a four-year contract extension. Webb pitched effectively most of the season, beginning by winning his first eight starts, becoming the D-Backs sole representative to the 2006 All-Star Game (in which he pitched a perfect fourth inning), and ending up with a record of 16-8 and an ERA of 3.10.

On November 14, it was announced that Webb was the recipient of the Cy Young Award for the National League. Webb received 15 of 32 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Trevor Hoffman of the Padres and Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals (the eventual 2006 World Series winners) were runners-up in the voting.

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Arizona Diamondbacks seasons

Randy Johnson, has pitched for the Diamondbacks from 1999 to 2004, and then from 2007 to present.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are a professional baseball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks are a member of both the Major League Baseball’s (MLB) National League Western Division and the National League (NL) itself. Since the 1998 season, the Diamondbacks have played in Chase Field (formerly named "Bank One Ballpark"). The name "Diamondback", inspired by the Western diamondback snake, was chosen among thousands of entries that were received from a contest to name the team.

Arizona made their Major League debut in the 1998 baseball season, where they were an expansion team. After losing their first season, the Diamondbacks were the National League West Division Champions in the 1999 baseball season and made it to the National League Division Series where they lost to the New York Mets. They rebounded in 2001, however, and defeated the New York Yankees four games to three to win the 2001 World Series. In the 2002 baseball season, Arizona made it back to the National League Division Series, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. In the following four seasons, the Diamondbacks didn't make it into the playoffs. Arizona would, however, win their division in 2007, but only to lose to the Colorado Rockies in the National League Championship Series. The following season, Arizona just missed the playoffs, after the National League West was won by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

These statistics are current as of September 30, 2008. Bold denotes a playoff season, pennant or championship; italics denote an active season.

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Source : Wikipedia