Byrnes = Pot, Rockies = Kettle

Byrnes = Pot, Rockies = Kettle

If the Arizona Diamondbacks "outplayed" the Colorado Rockies in the NLCS as Eric Byrnes suggests, then the Snakes got outplayed during the previous 165 games. The Diamondbacks finally got the results that all of their numbers suggested in an ugly playoff sweep.

As everyone in baseball by now knows, the 2007 Diamondbacks became the fourth team in history to make the postseason despite allowing more runs than they scored. They also scored more runs than we would expect given their hitting statistics and allowed fewer runs than their pitching numbers suggest. In fact, the Diamondbacks finished last in the NL West in third order wins, which accounts for quality of opponents as well as component runs scored.

The Arizona Diamondbacks were generally outplayed by their opponents during the season. Though they were often outhit, the Snakes would often find ways to win through timely hitting and clutch bullpen work.

If you want to make the claim that winning a lot of close games is a skill that the 2007 Diamondbacks possessed, that's fine. But Eric Byrnes ignored all of the fortuitous breaks that the D-Backs caught during the first 165 games of 2007 and threw it in the Rockies' faces when Colorado caught a few breaks of their own.

The word for that is hypocrisy.

In the NLCS, the Diamondbacks actually outhit the Rockies by 36 to 30. That is likely the basis for Byrnes' comments before Game 3. The Rockies, however, drew 10 more walks in the series than the Diamondbacks did, and performed much, much better in the clutch.

Clutch hitting is important, but Eric Byrnes would have us believe that Arizona's timely hitting and the Chicago Cubs lack of it indicated that the Diamondbacks were the superior team in the Division series. Wouldn't that also mean that the Rockies were the superior team in the NLCS?

In the end, Eric Byrnes' bold remarks after Game 2 did not appear to enflame the Rockies players, and likely didn't affect the outcome of the next two contests. The danger lies in what the other Byrnes takes from this situation.

General manager Josh Byrnes could easily look at a young team coming off a 90-win season and stand pat, assuming the team will improve. He could believe the junior Byrnes, that the Diamondbacks should indeed have bested the Rockies in the NLCS.

Alternatively, he could believe that the Diamondbacks were roughly a 78-win team on paper, and are going to need to make some key acquisitions to keep pace in the NL's toughest division. He could look at the Diamondbacks as lucky to have swept the Cubs in the NLDS as opposed to believing that the Rockies were fortunate to have swept the Diamondbacks.

How Josh Byrnes chooses to reflect upon the 2007 season will shape his approach to this offseason. The club should improve as many of their youngsters mature, but that improvement isn't going to be enough alone to come close to 90 wins or to win the NL West next year.

Hopefully, Eric Byrnes did not cloud this issue for the Diamondbacks' general manager. Recommended Stories

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