By now you’ve probably heard. The Diamondbacks were swept by the Dodgers on Monday night, ending their bid for the NLCS and beyond. The bats were quiet, the Dodgers didn’t chase pitches out of the zone — again — and while Zack Greinke wasn’t necessarily awful, he wasn’t exactly good either in a time when he, frankly, needed to be great. That’s how these things work. The margins for error become razor thin and timing is everything. It’s playoff baseball and we’d want it no other way.
So there are a million places to go from here. There’s a budget that’s still highly stressed by the presence of Greinke and Yasmany Tomas. There’s a competitive core in place. Arbitration projections are out. The bullpen will need remaking, but the closer should wear a familiar beard. Paul Goldschmidt might be the NL MVP. There are prospects to rank and guys still slugging it out in instructs and the AFL. The season’s over, but it’s not really over. Because when Goldy chased that Kenley Jansen cutter low and away, something happened. You could say the season ended, but I choose to look at it another way: a new season begun.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure how I fit into that new season.
I’ve been adulting pretty hard these days, flying for work three or four times a month, working long hours, building a life with someone special and even buying a house. You might have noticed the posts getting further and further apart. That’s just because the time has become harder and harder to come by. Responsibility calls, I guess, and sometimes the hourglass just runs out of sand. Been a lot of that lately.
It’s just not feasible to expect my writing frequency to return to normal, but it’s almost harder to imagine not doing it at all. Honestly, every post just feels like delaying the inevitable, which hurts more and more every time. Coming to grips with the reality that I can’t sustain something that’s been an integral part of my life for the last five years hasn’t been easy. I’ve started and stopped writing this post a few times now and put it off. Today it finally feels like that last strike is going by and I’m not going to hit it.
New adventures and opportunities await. I’m not killing the website, and if I can and feel like it, I might even post once in a while. Hard to say. I’ll stay on Twitter and routinely make typos in my tweets. The jokes will be bad. If you ever need to reach me directly, I’d recommend doing it there or through the Inside the ‘Zona Facebook page. It would be nice to hear from you.
When I joined on here back in 2013, I never thought I’d get to interview baseball players, become a credentialed media member, produce 65 (!!!) podcast episodes, be published at ESPN and Baseball Prospectus, and make friends with some extremely talented analysts and media folks. The Diamondbacks have always been very kind to me, specifically people in the media and publications departments. “Generous” doesn’t begin to describe their support. I’ve developed mentors, sources and developed some life changing relationships with some truly great people. You know who you are.
Ryan started this thing and he’s been gone a while now. From the website, I mean. He’s alive and well. I even talk to him sometimes. Without the friendship and camaraderie we developed, so many opportunities would have never materialized. I could never put into words what it’s all meant to me.
If this is the first Inside the ‘Zona post you’ve ever clicked on, sorry. For the rest of you, I say thank you for the support from the bottom of my heart. You kept me going longer than I could have ever hoped. But the time has come for me to take some undetermined absence. That absence already started, really, but you deserve to know. So there’s that. My flight’s about to board and I should probably give this thing a once-over before hitting “publish.” Thanks again, and let’s make sure our paths cross sooner than later. Go D-backs.
P.S. They really gotta find a way to trade Yasmany Tomas.
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FanGraphs Stats Glossary
Nick Piecoro Author Page
Cot's Baseball Contracts
BP Base Running Stats
Previously on The Pool Shot, the guys explained some of their favorite advanced stats. Hitting, including wRC+, HHAV and batted ball; pitching (38:00), including FIP, xFIP and SIERA; and baserunning and defense, including UBR, UZR and DRS (58:00).