For all the "long suffering" Diamondbacks fans who see 2011 as just reward for enduring all those (two) seasons of bad baseball, here are a few numbers to toss your way.
Fourteen years of existence. Three different general managers. Four different field managers. Five division titles.
Not exactly "The Curse of the Babe," huh?
The Brewers are looking for their fourth division title in 42 years. Montreal/Washington has one over the same span. The New York Mets? Five in 49 years. The Cubs? Let's not even go there.
Diamondback fans are, without a doubt, some of the most spoiled in sports. The banners continue to pile up. Ian Kennedy is making a bid to become the third different Arizona pitcher to win a Cy Young Award in the last 10 years (and if Randy Johnson hadn't overshadowed Curt Schilling for a few years, it might be four).
The teams in Los Angeles (Welcome to this week's edition of "Mc-Divorce-Court") and New York ("Weekend at Bernie Madoff's") are laughingstocks on and off the field.
The Diamondbacks, with the sixth-lowest payroll and the cheapest beer prices in major league baseball, could very well surpass the 92-win level of Arizona's 2001 world champs.
In these economic times - with HDTVs at home and $3.50 gas at the pumps - far be it from me to scold fans from failing to fill Chase Field. Sports are a great diversion, but not a budgetary necessity.
But to have watched this organization get off the deck, dust itself off and turn on a fastball this quickly - was it really just 16 months ago that ex-GM Josh Byrnes was introducing ex-manager A.J. Hinch and ex-philosophy of "organizational advocacy"? - is a testament to the changes upstairs and in the clubhouse.
You want to take advantage of every opportunity, but at the risk of suffering a Kirk Gibson clothesline and icy stares from Ken Kendrick, everything accomplished from this point forward is gravy.
This organization has good talent on the field, universally-regarded great talent on the way and a bottom line that would make Billy Beane smile ear-to-ear.
Then again, I think I remember saying the same thing in 2007 - and look what the future held for that bunch.
Yeah, perhaps on second thought, steamrolling the postseason competition and giving the 2001 team a 10th anniversary present would be the way to go.
• As Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds - one of many young and talented black players now in the NHL - was making a shootout attempt Thursday night in London, Ontario, a fan tossed a banana on the ice and in his path.
The brain surgeon responsible, who may have tried the same stunt earlier in the game when another banana was hurled out of the upper deck but landed short of the ice, was never identified and slipped out of the arena undetected.
Just checking my calendar here. Yup, it really is 2011. Amazing.
• NBA training camps have been postponed and the first week of preseason games have been cancelled due to the lockout. Yawn. Like most fall sports not named football, the fan radar for the NBA doesn't switch on until the Christmas Day tripleheader.
That gives the two sides about two months to figure out if they're going to take all the buzz and bump from last season and beat it to a bloody pulp. It's feeling more and more like a lost year.
• Cardinals 27, Seahawks 17: I had a Big Red winning by a field goal last week. I didn't have them squandering a two-score lead in the fourth quarter.
This week the Cards go from playing the worst 2-0 team in football to the worst 0-2 team in the league. The Seahawks didn't come close to scoring against the Steelers last week. That won't be happening against the struggling Cardinals defense, but don't expect Tavaris Jackson to go all-Cam Newton on the Big Red either.
Normally a 2-1 start isn't bad. But that one loss to an infinitely beatable team may come back to haunt the home team when wins get harder to come by later.
Jerry Brown is a contributing columnist who appears every Sunday in the Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org