Stephen Drew

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Posted by kaori 04/12/2009 @ 22:10

Tags : stephen drew, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Play by play - USA Today
None on with two outs and Stephen Drew due up. Out: Stephen Drew struck out swinging to end the inning. Single: Omar Infante infield single to first. Runner on first with none out and Yunel Escobar due up. Single: Yunel Escobar grounded into a...
Stephen Drew: (Hamstring) Returns From DL - Rotowire
Drew (hamstring) was activated from the DL on Tuesday night, the East Valley Tribune reports. He's healthy after playing in a couple of rehab games at Triple-A Reno on Sunday and Monday. Conor Jackson was placed on the 15-day DL with an illness to...
Stephen Drew: (Hamstring) Will Play Wednesday - Rotowire
Drew will start on Wednesday after being activated from the DL prior to Tuesday night's game, the Arizona Republic reports. "It feels a lot better," Drew said of his hamstring. "I've been running good and stretching it out. It's probably going to take...
Best of the Worst -
Stephen Drew - Yes, Drew's numbers (.208-1-6-3-0) are rather terrible, but let's not forget that he's only played 15 games and some of those were accompanied by a sore hamstring. That is simply not a proper sample size to draw conclusions about any...
Drew is happy to honor DiMaggio in unique way - Boston Globe
Drew certainly can relate to DiMaggio's story in that he has a brother in the major leagues in Stephen Drew, who plays shortstop for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Dom DiMaggio might have been overshadowed by his more famous brother Joe (Vince also played),...
Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew goes on DL with hamstring injury - The Canadian Press
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks placed shortstop Stephen Drew on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained left hamstring. The club filled Drew's roster spot by purchasing the contract of utility infielder Josh Wilson from triple-A Reno,...
Jailed Drew Peterson says younger children think he's helping police - Belleville News Democrat
Peterson spoke from the Will County jail in suburban Joliet to NBC's Matt Lauer during an interview aired on the "Today" show. He says his adult son, Stephen, is caring for his four younger children. He has two teenage sons with third wife Kathleen...
Nearing return, Drew heads to Reno -
By Steve Gilbert / PHOENIX -- After playing two games in extended spring training down in Tucson, Ariz., shortstop Stephen Drew is headed to Triple-A Reno. Drew is scheduled to play nine innings at shortstop on Sunday and Monday for the Aces...
The D-Backs' New Goal -
What I meant to say was that 2004 team never had anyone like Justin Upton, Max Scherzer or Stephen Drew. That 2004 team also didn't have the starting pitching this current team has, especially if Brandon Webb manages to come back this year (don't get...
Diamondbacks close to getting Drew back -
Stephen Drew was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, April 27 retroactive to Saturday, April 25. The shortstop tried to play through the pain of a nagging hamstring injury before deciding to shut it down. Drew went 2-for-4 for the Triple A...

Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew.jpg

Stephen Oris Drew (born March 16, 1983 in Hahira, Georgia) is a shortstop in Major League Baseball who plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Drew went to Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia. He played college baseball at Florida State University under head coach Mike Martin, as did both of his brothers, where he was Baseball America's Freshman of the Year, and ACC Rookie of the Year.

He is the younger brother of Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew and former major leaguer Tim Drew. The Drew brothers are the only trio of first-round siblings ever selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.

Drew was selected to the 2006 All-Star Futures Game.

On July 13, 2006, during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Craig Counsell injured his ribs, prompting the call-up of Drew from the D-Backs Triple-A affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders.

He made his major league debut on July 15 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Also making his major league debut that day (for the Brewers), was Tony Gwynn Jr., son of former major leaguer Tony Gwynn.

On July 17, 2006, Drew recorded his first major league hit off the Los Angeles Dodgers' Aaron Sele. This was also his first game opposing brother J.D..

In a game on September 1, 2008, Drew hit for the cycle against the St. Louis Cardinals, becoming the first player to do so at Chase Field. Batting leadoff, Drew singled in the first inning, tripled in the third inning, and homered in the fifth inning against St. Louis Cardinals starter Joel Pineiro. He added a ground-rule double in the seventh inning against reliever Kyle McClellan. It was the fourth time a player hit for the cycle in the 2008 season. On the same day, Adrián Beltré of the Seattle Mariners hit for the cycle. This was the first time that 2 players hit for the cycle on the same day since 1920.

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Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners logo.svg

The Seattle Mariners are an American professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in 1977, the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July 1999; from their 1977 inception until June 1999, the club's home park was the Kingdome.

The "Mariners" name originates from the prominence of marine culture in the city of Seattle. They are nicknamed "the M's", a title featured in their primary logo from 1987 to 1992. The current team colors are navy blue, teal, and metallic silver, after having been royal blue and gold from 1977–1992. Their mascot is the Mariner Moose.

The organization did not field a winning team until 1991, and any real success eluded them until 1995 when they won their first division championship and defeated the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. The game-winning hit in Game 5 clinched a series win for the Mariners, and has since become an iconic moment in team history. The Mariners share the record for most wins in a single season with 116, which they achieved in 2001. Despite their successes since winning their first division title in 1995, they have never won an AL Pennant championship and remain one of three franchises (the others being the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals) never to have played in a World Series.

Before being awarded a team in Major League Baseball, Seattle had been a staple of the Pacific Coast League dating back to the late 19th century. The first attempt to land a major league team failed when a bid by William Daley to move the Cleveland Indians to Seattle in 1965 fell apart. In late 1967, Daley, by then having sold the Indians, led a consortium to win a franchise in the 1969 expansion. That team became the Seattle Pilots. The Seattle Pilots, amidst a bevy of financial problems, were sold and relocated to Milwaukee for the 1970 season and became the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Mariners were created as a result of a lawsuit. In 1970, in the aftermath of the Pilots' purchase and relocation to Milwaukee by future Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig, the City of Seattle, King County, and the state of Washington (represented by then-State Attorney General Slade Gorton) sued the American League for breach of contract. Confident that Major League Baseball would return to Seattle within a few years, King County built the multi-purpose Kingdome, which would become home to the NFL's expansion Seattle Seahawks in 1976.

The Pilots lawsuit continued until 1976. At trial, the American League offered to give Seattle an expansion baseball franchise in return for dropping the suit, and details were ironed out over the next year. To keep the league with an even number of teams, a formal expansion proceeding was held, with a second team, the Blue Jays, being awarded to the city of Toronto. The new Seattle team, to begin play in 1977, would be owned by entertainer Danny Kaye, along with Stanley Golub, Walter Schoenfeld, Lester Smith, James Stillwell Jr. and James A Walsh.

The Mariners played their first game on April 6, 1977 to a sold-out crowd of 57,762 at the Kingdome, losing 7-0 to the California Angels. That year, star pitcher Diego Segui, in his last major league season, became the only player to play for both the Pilots and the Mariners. The Mariners finished with a 64–98 record, echoing the record the 1969 Pilots once held. In 1979, Seattle hosted the 50th Major League Baseball All-Star Game; Mariner Bruce Bochte had the game-winning hit for the American League in front of a sold-out Kingdome crowd. After the 1981 season, the Mariners were sold to California businessman and future U.S. Ambassador to Spain George Argyros.

Despite having stars such as Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry (nicknamed the "Ancient Mariner"), 1984 American League Rookie of the Year Alvin Davis, two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner Harold Reynolds, three-time American League strikeout leader Mark Langston, and shortstop and team captain Spike Owen on their rosters, the Mariners teams of the late 1970s and the entirety of the 1980s were characterized by perennial non-achievement, gaining a reputation for poor performances, low attendance, and losing records. Moreover, the team's ownership again changed hands after the 1988 season, as Argyros sold the club to a group headed by communications magnate Jeff Smulyan. However, the 1989 rookie season of center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr., acquired with the first pick in the first round of the 1987 amateur draft, gave fans hope that a change of fortunes might be on the horizon. The Mariners finished with a losing record in 1990 to start off the decade.

The first home run in team history was hit on April 10, 1977, by designated hitter Juan Bernhardt.

After yet another dismal performance in 1990, the Mariners managed their first winning season in 1991, finishing 83–79 under manager Jim Lefebvre. Though it was the team's best season up to that point, it was only good enough for a fifth-place finish in the seven-team American League West in which no team finished under .500, and Lefebvre was fired after 1991. The team hired Bill Plummer as Lefebvre's replacement for the 1992 season, but he too was let go after a 98-loss campaign in 1992.

After several years of relocation threats by owner Jeff Smulyan, in the middle of the 1992 season the Mariners were purchased by a group of Seattle-area businessmen, led by Nintendo chairman Hiroshi Yamauchi. The purchase was initially opposed by baseball officials, who objected to a team being owned by a non-North American entity. Eventually, they allowed the sale, provided that the team's presidency and chairmanship remained in the hands of American partners.

In 1993, the Mariners donned their current uniforms probably as a result of new ownership. During the 1992-93 offseason, the Mariners hired manager Lou Piniella, who had led the Cincinnati Reds to victory in the 1990 World Series. Mariner fans embraced Piniella, and he would helm the team from 1993 through 2002, winning two American League Manager of the Year Awards along the way.

The Mariners' fortunes began to improve in 1994. Beginning in the late 1980s, the team had added a core of strong players built around center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr., pitcher Randy Johnson, third baseman Edgar Martínez, and right fielder Jay Buhner. On July 19, 1994, four 15-pound ceiling tiles fell from the Kingdome roof onto the field and into the stadium's seating bowl. The incident led to uncertainty over whether the Kingdome was fit for use as a major league stadium, and may well have ultimately been a factor leading to the construction of Safeco Field. Unable to play at the venue while repairs were being executed, the Major League Baseball Players' Association rejected the idea of playing games at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma or BC Place in Vancouver, feeling that games should not be played in non-MLB venues. This forced the Mariners to play their next 20 games on the road over the span of 21 days. The long trip began miserably as the Mariners started off 2–8, but rebounded to win nine of their next ten games, leaving them just 2 games behind the division-leading Texas Rangers when a players' strike was called on August 12 that resulted in the cancellation the rest of the season. Many players felt the time together on the road and the overcoming of the adversity faced that season fed directly into the success the team would achieve in the 1995 season. The extended roadtrip resulted in a peculiarity, in which the first game in a series with the Boston Red Sox - which was supposed to be in Seattle - was rained out; if one still counts this as a home game, it would mark the first - and so far only - home rainout in Mariners history.

Although pitchers Randy Johnson, Bill Risley, and Bobby Ayala combined for an opening-day three-hit shutout, the Mariners' 1995 season started off on a bad note overall, as Griffey sustained a major early-season injury. Despite this loss, the Mariners continued to play fairly well, guided by Piniella. In mid-August, however, the Mariners appeared to be out of contention, 13 games behind the first-place California Angels.

The tide turned with a September winning streak marked by late-inning comeback wins, which led to their most-known slogan "Refuse to Lose." Combined with an absolute collapse by the Angels, this opened the way for the Mariners to end up tied with the Angels for first place at the end of the regular season, forcing a one-game playoff. The playoff pitted Johnson against Angels ace Mark Langston, whom, incidentally, the Mariners had traded for Johnson in 1989. Langston ended up on the seat of his pants at homeplate failing to tag out Luis Sojo who came all the way around after clearing the bases with a ball that got by the Angels first baseman, J. T. Snow, rattled around underneath California's bullpen bench, and resulted in a hurried and errant cut-off throw from Langston. The Mariners won the tiebreaker game 9-1 and clinched their first-ever trip to the playoffs. The Mariners had won 25 of their last 36 games.

The Mariners lost the first two games of the 1995 American League Division Series against the New York Yankees, but managed to win the next two at home and force a decisive Game 5. Down 5-4 in the bottom of the 11th inning, the most memorable moment in Mariners history took place. Edgar Martínez hit a game-winning double off Yankee ace Jack McDowell, scoring Joey Cora and Griffey to win the game 6-5 and advance to the American League Championship Series. "The Double", as Martinez's clutch hit has since been called by Mariners fans, is credited as being "the moment that saved baseball in Seattle" by generating newly refreshed interest in the team and making a new, baseball-only stadium possible.

Although the Mariners' championship run was halted in the ALCS by another up-and-coming club, Mike Hargrove's Cleveland Indians, who won the series 4 games to 2, 1995 is remembered as "The Magical Season" and "The Miracle Mariners of 1995" with "The Double" still considered by many the greatest moment in Mariners history.

In 1996, the Mariners, led by Griffey, rookie shortstop Alex Rodriguez, and sluggers Jay Buhner and Edgar Martínez, won a then-team record 85 games, but missed the playoffs. The offense set the all-time record for most home runs by a team in a season, but ultimately the Mariners' inconsistent pitching, exacerbated by a midseason injury to Randy Johnson, doomed the team.

The Mariners won a division title again in 1997, but were defeated in the 1997 American League Division Series 3 games to 1 by the Baltimore Orioles. They were again hurt by a lack of pitching depth to complement the strong offense, which was led by Griffey, who won the MVP award, a first for both him and the Mariners.

In 1998 and 1999, the Mariners had losing records due primarily to their lack of pitching depth. Randy Johnson was traded at the 1998 July non-waiver trading deadline to the Houston Astros after GM Woody Woodard publicly stated he did not intend on offering Johnson (who was a free agent following the 1998 season) a long-term contract. Johnson subsequently requested to be traded. He had been inconsistent during the first half of the season; some fans and press thought he had been trying to force a trade through malaise. Strong pitching from aces Jeff Fassero and Jamie Moyer was not enough to fully offset the loss, and the bullpen's struggles continued. Midway through the 1999 season, the Mariners moved to SAFECO Field. After the 1999 season, Ken Griffey, Jr. requested and attained a trade to the Cincinnati Reds, leaving Alex Rodriguez as the face of the franchise at the beginning of the high-expectation Safeco Field era, which was during the years 2000-03.

2000 was a return to respectability for the Mariners. They finished half a game behind Oakland Athletics in the AL West, as they played only 161 games. The tiebreaking rules had already awarded the division crown to Oakland, so the rained out 162nd game was not made up, and the Mariners were declared wild card winners. While Ken Griffey, Jr. was no longer patrolling center or anchoring the middle of the batting order, his replacement, Mike Cameron, was noted for his solid hitting and exceptional glovework (he would go on to win two Gold Gloves with the team). Alex Rodriguez replaced Junior as the face of the franchise in 2000. Edgar Martínez continued his steady hitting in the cleanup spot, putting up a career high in homers. Both finished in the top six in MVP voting. A key addition to the team occurred when the Mariners signed the one-time AL Batting Champion John Olerud, a Washington State University graduate, to play first base. Olerud would enjoy some of his best seasons in Seattle, and played a huge part in the team's success the following year. Jamie Moyer, Freddy Garcia, and Aaron Sele anchored what was easily the most successful rotation in Seattle since the departure of Randy Johnson. Closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, previously a star for the Japanese Yokohama BayStars, won the AL Rookie of the Year award. Stolen base king and former MVP Rickey Henderson was acquired midseason and filled longtime needs in left field and in the leadoff slot. The Mariners swept the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS, but lost to the New York Yankees in six games in the ALCS.

The following offseason was one of the most significant in Mariners history, as Rodríguez was up for free agency. Ultimately, Rodríguez was lost to the Texas Rangers for what was then the richest contract ever in professional sports. However, the Mariners were able to weather the loss by adding Japanese superstar Ichiro Suzuki and slick fielding, power hitting second base veteran Bret Boone.

In 2001, the addition of Ichiro and a career season by Boone helped the Mariners to tie the record for most wins in the modern era. This was despite the loss of A-Rod, who would be greeted on his return to Safeco with Monopoly money dropped by unusually irate Seattle fans, and on subsequent returns by incessant booing. The 2001 Mariners led the major leagues in winning percentage all season long, easily winning the American League West division championship, breaking the 1998 Yankees American League single-season record of 114 wins, and matching the Major League Baseball record for single-season wins of 116 set by the Chicago Cubs in 1906. At the end of the season, Ichiro won the AL MVP, AL Rookie of the Year, and one of three outfield Gold Glove Awards, becoming the first player since the 1975 Boston Red Sox's Fred Lynn to win all three in the same season. He also became the charismatic, if enigmatic, face of the team. He has been the subject of several books (including one released in the summer of 2001 that consists solely of his zen-like quotations).

The Mariners pulled off a come-from-behind 3-2 series win over the Cleveland Indians in the Division Series to advance to the American League Championship Series to have a rematch with the New York Yankees, but once again succumbed to the Yankees for the second year in a row in the ALCS, 4 games to 1. The Mariners also hosted the All-Star Game that year, and had a league-leading and team record eight All-Stars: RF Ichiro Suzuki, DH Edgar Martínez, CF Mike Cameron, 2B Bret Boone, 1B John Olerud, and pitchers Freddy Garcia, Kazuhiro Sasaki, and Jeff Nelson.

The Mariners started the 2002 season hot (they were on pace to win 100+ games again well into the summer), but they missed out on the playoffs. This was widely attributed to their failure to find a substantial contributor at the trade deadline and hot streaks by the Anaheim Angels and Oakland Athletics in the later months of the season. Ultimately, the Angels won the World Series as the Mariners won 93 games, which was still the second best total in their history. At the end of the season, manager Lou Piniella left the Mariners to manage his hometown Tampa Bay Devil Rays, reportedly due to his anger with management; Piniella believed that management was more concerned with the bottom line than acquiring quality players.

The Mariners signed Bob Melvin to be their new manager. The local press speculated that a first year manager (especially someone more even-tempered than the fiery Piniella) would be easier for the front office and ownership to control.

The Mariners again got off to an excellent start in the 2003 season. They contended all season long and reached the same record as in 2002, but were again beaten to the playoffs by their division rival Oakland Athletics, highlighted by a six-game losing streak in late August that saw their lead evaporate, which they would never recover. Their failure to make the playoffs was again blamed on management's inability to bring in a bat at the trading deadline and the aging roster's decline. Notably, the debate was started by pitcher Jeff Nelson, who was himself traded after criticizing the front office's deadline inactivity. General manager Pat Gillick became a consultant midway through the offseason to make room for new GM Bill Bavasi.

With the exception of the 1998 and 1999 seasons, the Mariners had been annual challengers for the AL West title from 1995 through 2003. The 2004 season, however, saw the fall of the Mariners from contention. With an aging roster, the Mariners went into the All-Star Break with a 9-game losing streak, and a 32-54 season record (.372) 17 games behind the first-place Texas Rangers. After the All-Star break, unable to ignore the dreadful state of their team, the Mariners gave the team a complete overhaul, trading Freddy García to the Chicago White Sox for Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed, and Mike Morse and moving aging and struggling players away from center stage (most notably, releasing Gold Glover and fan favorite John Olerud) and inserting over a dozen minor league call-ups into the 25-man roster. The season's end was enlivened by Ichiro breaking George Sisler's single season record of 257 hits (finishing with 262) and by events honoring the retirement of Mariner icon Edgar Martínez. Just days after the end of the season, the Mariners fired manager Bob Melvin. On October 20, 2004, the Mariners announced the signing of Mike Hargrove, who had led the Cleveland Indians past the Mariners in the 1995 ALCS, as their new manager. In the offseason, the Mariners and Bavasi surprised fans and the local press by signing two premier free agents, third baseman Adrián Beltré and first baseman Richie Sexson, ending some accusations from fans that the organization was only willing to make piecemeal signings and trades.

On November 26, 2004, the owner of the Mariners changed: Hiroshi Yamauchi sold his 54 % stake to Nintendo of America.

Despite several personnel changes and free-agent signings after the 2004 season, the team stayed at the bottom of the divisional standings throughout the 2005 season and finished in last place, though they improved their record by six games compared to the previous year. The brightest spot of the season was the emergence of 19-year-old Venezuelan pitching prospect Félix Hernández, who became the youngest major leaguer to debut since Jose Rijo entered the league with the New York Yankees in 1984. Sexson also played very well, hitting 39 home runs and 121 RBI. Stars Ichiro and Beltre, however, did not reach their high levels of offensive production from 2004, and 2B Bret Boone was released before the All-Star break. Along with Hernandez, two rookie middle infielders became part of the Mariners' long term plans: Cuban defector and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and Venezuelan second baseman and former top prospect José López became the next season's starters. However, the Mariners' rotation beyond Hernandez and the aging Jamie Moyer was poor, and the Mariners suffered the embarrassment of having the most suspendees under MLB's new drug testing policy, notably pitcher Ryan Franklin and IF/OF Mike Morse. During the 2005–2006 off-season, Ichiro spoke out and criticized the team's attitude, pointing out its lack of leadership and manager Hargrove's failure to harness players.

The Mariners began the 2005–2006 off-season by signing star Japanese catcher Kenji Johjima to a 3-year deal and left-handed starter Jarrod Washburn (formerly of division rival Los Angeles) to a 4-year deal. Designated hitter Carl Everett and outfielder Matt Lawton also joined the team, although both would finish the season out of baseball. The Mariners entered the All-Star Break 2.5 games out of first place in the AL West with a 43-46 record. Despite remaining in contention within the AL West through July, a disastrous 0-11 road trip in mid-August signaled the end of the Mariners' playoff hopes, leaving them in last place, where they would finish the season. Pitcher Jamie Moyer was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for a pair of minor league prospects, and weeks later bench coach Ron Hassey and administrative coach Dan Rohn—whom many viewed as a prime candidate to replace Hargrove as manager—were removed from their positions with the team. At season's end, the Mariners had only narrowly avoided losing 90 games for the third consecutive year. While the team entered the 2006–2007 off-season with some young talent in key positions, many questions remained as to the consistency of their offense and, more importantly, the strength of their starting pitching staff.

The 2007 season began with a sense of muted optimism. While the team had a busy off-season in terms of changes to the roster, fans questioned player transactions that moved young, potential-filled players (Rafael Soriano, Chris Snelling) in favor of veterans who have suffered injuries in recent seasons (José Guillén, José Vidro, Horacio Ramírez) or who have achieved mediocre success in the past with other clubs (Miguel Batista, Jeff Weaver). These transactions followed CEO Howard Lincoln's remarks at the completion of the 2006 campaign that GM Bill Bavasi and manager Mike Hargrove were on his "hot seat" and needed to produce more wins in 2007. Further magnifying the need to win was outfielder Ichiro Suzuki's suggestion at the beginning of spring training that he may have an interest in testing free-agency waters when his contract is completed at the end of the season if the Mariners continue to struggle on the field.

After two and a half seasons with the Mariners and while guiding the team to a 44–33 record in the 2007 season, Mike Hargrove unexpectedly announced before the July 1, 2007 game against the Toronto Blue Jays that the game would be his last as the Mariners' manager. Hargrove said that he could no longer provide the commitment from himself that he was expecting of his players and coaches. Bench coach John McLaren was announced as Hargrove's replacement. On July 13, Ichiro Suzuki signed a 5-year, 90-million-dollar contract with the Mariners that will extend to 2012. With minor league prospect Adam Jones playing well and a fairly consistent offense and pitching staff, the 2007 Mariners were back in contention in the AL West and AL Wild Card races. However, a 3–15 stretch late in the season effectively ended the Mariners' 2007 playoff hopes. The Mariners were mathematically eliminated from contention on September 24. One highlight during this stretch, however, was the home run that gave Ichiro Suzuki 200 hits for his seventh consecutive 200-hit season; Ichiro is only the third player in MLB history with seven consecutive 200-hit seasons, and the first to do it in his first seven seasons.

Heading into the 2008 season, the Mariners hoped to capitalize on their 2007 success by bolstering their roster to position themselves to once again challenge the Angels for the AL West championship. They dramatically transformed their pitching staff, adding free agent Carlos Silva and trading a package of players led by George Sherrill and Adam Jones to the Baltimore Orioles on February 8 for Erik Bedard. Other additions included outfielder Brad Wilkerson and infielder Miguel Cairo, as well as a new coaching staff under McLaren featuring former MLB managers Jim Riggleman, Sam Perlozzo, Lee Elia, and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre. Also added to the major league coaching staff was bullpen coach Norm Charlton, a member of the 1995, 1997, and 2001 AL West title teams, as well as Eddie Rodriguez, previously manager of the Mariners' Class AA minor league affiliate. Hitting coach Jeff Pentland remained as the only coach hired under Hargrove.

Despite their offseason additions, the 2008 Mariners featured one of the league's worst offenses. In April, the club attempted to solve some of its offensive woes by designating Wilkerson and pinch hitter Greg Norton for assignment. The offensive struggles, in concert with defensive lapses and inconsistent pitching from both the bullpen and the starting rotation, led the team to last place by the end of April despite an Opening Day payroll of nearly $117 million. On June 8, the Mariners held the worst record in baseball with a .349 winning percentage, and were on pace for 105 losses and the worst record in team history. Hitting coach Pentland was fired on June 9 and was replaced by Lee Elia, who was previously the Mariners' hitting instructor from 1993-1997. Following a 1–5 homestand, general manager Bill Bavasi was dismissed on June 16 and replaced by Lee Pelekoudas on an interim basis. Pelekoudas has held various front office positions with the Mariners since 1980, most recently as vice president/assistant general manager. The purge continued on June 19, when John McLaren was dismissed from his position and replaced by bench coach Jim Riggleman. Personnel moves of that sort were not limited to coaches and front office personnel in 2008, as Richie Sexson and Jose Vidro were released in July and August, respectively. On September 1st, the Mariners were the first team in baseball mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. They finished the season with 101 losses, only one fewer than the MLB-worst Washington Nationals.

2008 did have a handful of noteworthy achievements, however: On June 23, pitcher Félix Hernández hit a grand slam off of the New York Mets' Johan Santana, becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to hit a home run, as well as the first AL pitcher to hit a grand slam since 1971 (and the first ever in modern Interleague play). On September 1, third baseman Adrián Beltré became the fourth Mariner to hit for the cycle. Beltré's cycle came hours after Stephen Drew of the Arizona Diamondbacks hit for the cycle, marking the second time in MLB history – and the first since 1920 – that two players accomplished the feat on the same day. On September 17, Ichiro tied Willie Keeler's record of 8 consecutive 200-hit seasons, matching a mark that has stood since 1901.

On October 22, the Mariners announced the hiring of Jack Zduriencik, formerly scouting director of the Milwaukee Brewers, as their general manager. On November 18, the team named Oakland Athletics bench coach Don Wakamatsu as its new field manager. Zduriencik immediately got to work adjusting the roster, including orchestrating an orgy, 12-player trade that sent fan favorite closer J.J. Putz to the New York Mets but netted prospect Mike Carp, outfielders Endy Chavez from New York and Franklin Gutierrez from the Cleveland Indians. Wakamatsu, meanwhile, dismissed the entire coaching staff that had worked under McLaren/Riggleman and replaced them with an entirely new staff.

In January 2009 the Mariners unveiled their new slogan, "A New Day, A New Way", to help promote the team's new rebuilding philosophy.

On February 18, 2009, the Mariners signed former team member and fan favorite Ken Griffey Jr. to a one-year deal worth $2 million plus up to a additional $4 million based on incentives.

The score of the first game, played at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, was 6-1, with the Mariners defeating the Minnesota Twins. Ken Griffey Jr. hit a home run en route to the victory.

The team mainly plays spring training games in the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. They share the complex and stadium with the San Diego Padres.

This is a partial list listing the past ten completed regular seasons. For the full season records, see here.

First team of 2008 to officially be eliminated from the 2008 playoffs. Worst record since 1983, which was the last time they had lost over 100 games in a season.

First team in MLB history to lose 100 games with a $100 million payroll.

The following inducted members of the Baseball Hall of Fame spent part of their careers with the Mariners. None are depicted on their plaques wearing a Mariners cap insignia.

Additionally, in 2008, longtime Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus was honored with the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award. Though not officially considered an inducted member of the Hall of Fame, Niehaus was honored in the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and is permanently recognized in the Hall's "Scribes & Mikemen" exhibit.

The Seattle Mariners have not retired any uniform numbers. Official team policy states that number retirement is reserved for players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame who played for at least five years with the Mariners, or career Mariners players who narrowly miss election.

Despite not officially retiring any numbers, the team has not reissued the numbers 11 (Edgar Martínez), 14 (Lou Piniella), or 19 (Jay Buhner) to any uniformed staff since the last player to have worn the number left the team. Number 51, worn by Randy Johnson, was withheld from players from 1998 until 2001, when it was awarded to Ichiro Suzuki upon his request after wearing it for his entire career in Japan. 24 was not issued from the time Ken Griffey, Jr. left the team after the 1999 season until it was re-issued to him when he returned in 2009.

Number 00 is presumed off-limits, as it has been worn by the Mariner Moose since 1997 (outfielder Jeffrey Leonard was the last player to don 00 for the M's, in 1990). From 1990–1996, the Moose wore the last 2 digits of the year of the current season.

Jackie Robinson's number, 42, was retired throughout Major League Baseball on April 15, 1997.

In 2009, KIRO-AM 710 (ESPN Radio) returns to carrying Mariners contests after an absence of six seasons where games had been on KOMO 1000 AM, as they had carried Mariners contests and related programming from 1985 until 2002 beforehand. From the teams' founding from 1977 until 1984, the Mariners were broadcast on KVI 570 AM.

Television rights are held by FSN Northwest. In years past, Mariners games have also appeared in Seattle on over-the-air networks flagshipped by KING-TV, KIRO-TV, KTZZ-TV, and KSTW-TV as well as Prime Sports Northwest (the precursor to FSN Northwest).

Some Mariners games are also available on Canadian television, due to an agreement between FSN Northwest and Rogers Sportsnet. Selected games on FSN Northwest are simulcast on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific, which is the Rogers Sportsnet feed available to viewers in the network's Pacific region (i.e., British Columbia and the Yukon). Digital cable and satellite TV subscribers receive all four Rogers Sportsnet regional feeds, meaning that they are also able to view the games, regardless of their region of residence.

The Mariners broadcast team currently features Dave Niehaus and Rick Rizzs- back for their 32nd and 23rd seasons with the club, respectively- as well as veteran broadcaster Dave Sims and former infielder Mike Blowers. For the first three innings of each game, Niehaus works the television broadcast with Blowers, and Rizzs and Sims handle radio duties; after the third inning, Niehaus and Sims trade places. Former catcher Dave Valle continues to co-host the post-game show on the Mariners' radio network.

Spanish-language radio broadcast duties are handled by Alex Rivera on play-by-play and former second baseman Julio Cruz.

Tom Hutyler is the Mariners' public address announcer, and has worked in that capacity since 1987.

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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


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 Atlanta Braves 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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Justin Upton

Opening Day 074 Justin Upton.jpg

Justin Irvin Upton (born August 25, 1987 in Norfolk, Virginia) is an American Major League Baseball right fielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was selected first overall by the Diamondbacks in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft. He was previously an all-district shortstop for Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, and was awarded the AFLAC National High School Player of the Year Award. He is also the brother of Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton, who was taken #2 in the 2002 draft. In his first pro season he played for single-A South Bend Silver Hawks. He began 2007 with the High Class-A Visalia Oaks, but was promoted to the AA Mobile BayBears after hitting .341 with 5 home runs for the Oaks in April.

On August 2, 2007, Upton was called up to the big league team at the age of only 19, following an injury to everyday right fielder Carlos Quentin. He made his major league debut exactly three years after his brother B.J. made his for the Devil Rays.

Upton was originally drafted as a shortstop, but was later moved to center field because the Diamondbacks already had Stephen Drew at the position. When he was called up, the Diamondbacks had star rookie Chris Young at center field, so Upton shifted to right. He began the 2008 season as the Diamondbacks' starting right fielder.

Upton recorded his first career major league hit and run scored on August 4, 2007, in his third major league game. His first career RBI came the next day, and his first career home run two days after that. He almost became the youngest player ever to hit for the cycle on that day, falling just a single shy of the milestone.

In 2008 spring training, Upton hit over .300 with three home runs, 12 RBI, and four stolen bases, earning the starting right field job over Jeff Salazar. Manager Bob Melvin stated that Upton has a "very high ceiling" and that it "wouldn't surprise him" if he had a great 2008 season.

Scouts rave about Upton's talent, and he is often compared to current star Ken Griffey, Jr. Baseball Tonight's Peter Gammons recently stated during an episode that a Major League general manager recently told him that "Upton was the best 20-year-old he's ever seen".

Upton began the season and held the current title of being the youngest active major leaguer second to Clayton Kershaw as of July 31, 2008. Upton collected his first big hit of the 2008 major league season on April 3. In the sixth inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds, he broke up a no-hitter in the major league debut of Johnny Cueto with a home run. It was Arizona's only hit of the contest. The next night (April 4), he went 3 for 5 against the Colorado Rockies in their home opener with his second home run of the season. For the third consecutive ballgame on April 5, Upton homered while collecting three hits in a 7-2 Arizona victory. On April 11, Upton homered off Jeff Francis of Colorado for his fourth home run of 2008 campaign. The home run was in an 8-2 victory that was the seventh straight for Arizona. The very next day (April 12), he and Arizona continued their streaks, with Upton going 3 for 3, hitting a three-run home run to dead center field at Chase Field and the Diamondbacks winning 10-3, marking their eighth straight win. Upton had a career-high four RBI on the day.

Upton went through a prolonged slump in the month of May that saw him go 0 for 24 with 17 K's during one point. Upton came out of his slump on May 30 with a home run against the Giants. In a 4-3 loss Upton also had an RBI Triple.

On July 6, 2008, Upton hit a 484-foot shot off San Diego Padres' pitcher Josh Banks. To date this is the second longest home run in the history Chase Field. The only longer home run was a 503ft shot off the bat of Richie Sexson.

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Adrián Beltré

Beltré throwing

Adrián Beltré Pérez (born April 7, 1979 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball third baseman who plays for the Seattle Mariners. Previously, he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-2004). He bats and throws right-handed.

He was signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994. Beltré attended Liceo Maximo Gomez High School, where he developed into one of the school’s top players. In 1994, while working out at Campo Las Palmas, the Los Angeles Dodgers facility, he was spotted by scouts Ralph Avila and Pablo Peguero. Though only 15 and weighing just 130 pounds, he had a lightning-quick swing and electric throwing arm. On the insistence of Avila and Peguero, the Dodgers signed Adrian in July. He received a $23,000 bonus. When it was revealed that Beltre has signed his initial contract at the age of 15, commissioner Bud Selig suspended the Dodgers' scouting operations in the Dominican Republic for a year, due to the fact that signing a player at that age was prevented under MLB rules.

Beltré debuted with the Dodgers in the 1998 season at age 19.

In his effort to maintain his Gold Glove title, Beltré forgoes personal safety including the use of a protective cup.

After being called up to the majors from the then Dodgers Double-A affiliate San Antonio Missions, Beltré made his major league debut on June 21, starting at third base in the first game of an interleague series against the Anaheim Angels. During his first at-bat, Beltré smashed a two-out RBI double off Angels starter Chuck Finley into left field to score Paul Konerko from second base to tie the game. He would hit his first home run six days later against Texas Rangers starter Rick Helling. At the end of the 1998 season, Beltré would finish with 13 errors at third base while batting .215 with seven home runs.

The Dodgers saw Beltré develop into a consistent and durable young star during his time with the team, as he hit .265 while hitting 18 homers a year (on average). From 1999 through 2003, Beltré also started 710 games at third base (out of 810 games played) averaging a .948 fielding percentage.

Beltré enjoyed his best season in 2004, with career highs in batting average (.334), RBI (121), runs (104), hits (200), doubles (32), on base percentage (.388), slugging average (.629), OPS (1.017), total bases (376), and 48 home runs, which led the league. He won the Silver Slugger Award, and finished second in the National League MVP voting, just behind Barry Bonds.

2006 was, likewise, a disappointment for Beltré and led some to suspect that he had used steroids in his contract year of 2004, or at least had ramped up his production in order to be considered for a heftier contract. Beltré, in an interview for the Seattle Times, denied his dropoff in 2006 to have anything to do with steroids. After batting .167 through April 10, Ted Miller of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer suggested that Beltré may become one of the Mariners' greatest busts. By June 5, 2006, Beltré's batting average was slowly improving, from .109 on April 16 to .236 at that time. After hitting his first home run in April, and his second later that month, Beltré improved his hitting, getting more hits in ballgames, most notably doubles. He also hit two home runs in the first five days of June, good signs for Beltré as well as the Mariners. Beltre homered twice on the last day of the 2006 season to end up with a batting average of .268, 25 home runs and 89 RBI.

On July 23, 2006, against the Boston Red Sox, Beltré hit an inside-the-park home run, the first one ever in Safeco Field history.

Though it wasn't a great season for Beltre, it was his best as a Mariner. He hit .276, had 26 home runs, and had 99 RBI. He also had a career high 41 doubles.

The 2007 season wasn't one of Beltré's better defensive years statistically. In 2007, he tied with Brandon Inge for the AL lead in errors by a third baseman, with 18, but Beltré ranked second in the league in assists, total chances, and range factor. He also had the lowest fielding percentage of all third basemen in the league, .958. Beltré was awarded the Gold Glove award.

In the 2007 season, Beltré began the curious practice of requesting an appeal to the first base umpire on checked swings during his own at bats. Such appeals can result in the base umpire ruling a pitch a strike, when it would otherwise have been ruled a ball by the home plate umpire. Therefore, making such a request is advantageous only to the pitching team.

On September 1, 2008, Beltré hit for the cycle, becoming the 4th Seattle Mariner to do so. Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew hit for the cycle that day as well, the first time two players had done so since 1920. Adrian Beltre currently resides in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and has a home in Pasadena, California with his wife and daughter.

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Source : Wikipedia