NL West Figures To Be Only Dodgers & Giants For Years to Come

The five teams than comprise the National League West have in recent years fallen into two categories, with the Dodgers and Giants in one, and the Rockies, Padres and Diamondbacks in the other. Either the Dodgers or Giants have won the division title in five of the last six seasons, and one of them will win it again this year.

Colorado has never won the division, but did have one shinning year in 2007, when they exploded over the last few weeks of the season and as the wild card, got to the World Series, where they lost to the Red Sox. Other than that, they have two second place finishes

in their history, and have not ended better than next to last over the last three seasons. They always seem to have some of the best offensive players in the game, but now, as seemingly always, they are a bad team and are not getting any better.

The San Diego Padres have been around much longer than the Rockies, and while they have been a bad team for most of their history, they have occasionally had some a
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good team here and there, and have had a handful of good seasons, having been to the World Series twice, losing twice. Since a couple of good seasons in the mid 2000s under then manager Bruce Bochy, who then went on to win two World Championships with the Giants, they have regressed to the bottom of the league, contending in only one season over the last seven.

Then there is Arizona. Born in 1998, they were an almost immediate success, winning the division in their second season (1999) and winning the World Series in their fourth season (2001). However, under general manager Kevin Towers, the team has struggled to play .500 ball in recent seasons, and this year has they have been beyond horrible, with a

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rag-tag team of has-beens and never-will-bees that has only managed to escape having major league baseball's worst record in the last few days because of the even worse recent play of the Texas Rangers and a couple of other teams.

Arizona does not figure to get any better any time soon, as they have now announced that Towers and manager Kirk Gibson will be back for yet another agonizing year, insuring not just bad play, but horrible sportsmanship and rule-breaking, as is seen with no other major league franchise.

In San Diego, the franchise has become a farm team for the American League, trading away more and more of their few talented players in cost-cutting moves for so-so prospects: The Angels need a lefty, send them Thatcher! The Yankees need a third baseman, send them Headley! The Angels need a closer, send them Street! In return, the

Padres have received a handful of low-minor pitchers, and a fringe third baseman who likely had the high point of his career in his first month, a high point that is now a distant memory, likely never to be repeated. They did receive one actual, quality prospect in all these deals, receiving Zack Borenstein from the Angels.
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But, it really looks as if the divide will widen, not close, as the Giants have quality people in charge, making good decisions, and the Dodgers, well, they have the big bucks are will spend as much as they have to, to maintain a roster with the biggest and most expensive names in baseball.

As for the D’Backs, Padres, and Rockies, more of the same is coming, and that does not bode will for fans in Arizona, San Diego, and Colorado.

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