Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke speaks with the media after earning a win in a 7-4 victory over the Padres on Wednesday at Chase Field. Richard Morin/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb speaks with the media following a 7-4 win against the Padres on Wednesday at Chase Field. Richard Morin/azcentral sports
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Zack Greinke only lasted five innings, but Jake Lamb carried the Diamondbacks to their eighth straight home win on Wednesday at Chase Field.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley dish on the Diamondbacks and NBA finals in our Shot Clock video.
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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred backs the Diamondbacks in the team’s arguments with Maricopa County. David Kadlubowski/azcentral.com
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Edinson Volquez’s no-hitter and his team’s struggles on the road.
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The Diamondbacks’ Chris Herrmann talks about Edinson Volquez’s outing and his team’s struggles on the road.
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Diamondbacks outfielder Rey Fuentes talks about his team’s struggles against Edinson Volquez.
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin said he thought he pitched better than the results showed on Friday night in Miami.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Patrick Corbin’s outing and his team’s ability to fight back from an early deficit.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s come-from-behind win over the Marlins on Thursday night in Miami.
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Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta said he was glad Chris Owings came through with an RBI hit because Peralta didn’t want to play another inning. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Chris Owings, who drove in the winning run, talks about the importance of Wednesday’s victory in Pittsburgh.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s ability to overcome obstacles on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray was mobbed by his teammates in the clubhouse after throwing the first shutout of his career on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Robbie Ray’s outing on Tuesday night against the Pirates. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks catcher Chris Herrmann said Robbie Ray missed his glove only a couple of times on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ JJ Hensley and Mark Faller discuss the Diamondbacks losing over the weekend and the Penguins’ win over the Predators.
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Chris Iannetta talks about his two-run, game-tying homer on Monday evening at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, May 29, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo talks about the emotional swings in the Diamondbacks 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, May 29, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley talks about the home run Andrew McCutchen hit off him to give the Pirates a walkoff on Monday, May 29, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses Patrick Corbin’s struggles and his team’s loss to the Brewers on Sunday at Miller Park. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin was roughed up by the Brewers on Sunday in Milwaukee, giving up seven runs, including four on a grand slam by Domingo Santana. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke talks about the pitch that Jett Bandy hit for a bases-clearing double in Saturday’s loss to the Brewers. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo breaks down Zack Greinke’s outing vs. the Brewers and Chase Anderson’s near no-hitter on Saturday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt talks about the performance of ex-teammate Chase Anderson, who flirted with a no-hitter against his former team on Saturday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s late rally to beat the Brewers 4-2 in Milwaukee on Friday night.
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Chris Iannetta talks about the ninth-inning home run he hit on Friday night in Milwaukee.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the key for the Diamondbacks’ long-term success this season and weigh in on the LeBron vs. Jordan debate.
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Lefty Robbie Ray lowered his road ERA to 0.81 with seven scoreless innings vs. the Brewers on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about left-hander Robbie Ray’s outing in his team’s 4-0 win over the Brewers on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses his club’s 8-6 win over the White Sox to complete a home sweep on Wednesday. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb discusses homering off left-hander Jose Quintana despite his lefty struggles and the Diamondbacks’ strong start to the season after Wednesday’s win. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks catcher Chris Herrmann on recent hitting surge and his home run in Arizona’s 5-4 win on Tuesday at Chase Field. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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Pitcher Archie Bradley was one of three Arizona Diamondbacks who participated in a cow-milking competition on May 23, 2017 at Chase Field.
The contest was to promote Shamrock Farms Grand Slam Milk Drive program.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller discusses his Tommy John surgery and his impending rehab before Tuesday’s game at Chase Field. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Mark Faller and Dan Bickley weigh in on the Diamondbacks, LeBron James and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
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Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke on his near-complete game and use of an Eephus pitch during Monday’s dominant outing against the White Sox. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Zack Greinke’s strong performance and the club’s offense. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and E.J. Montini discuss the Diamondbacks and their special summer ticket deal.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Padres lefty Clayton Richard’s performance and the home run by Chris Iannetta on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks’ Chris Iannetta returned from the disabled list on Sunday and slammed a home run on the first pitch he saw. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Godley threw seven innings and allowed three runs, all of them scoring in the fifth in a loss to the Padres on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on his team’s easy win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s eight-run first inning and right-hander Taijuan Walker’s sharp outing vs. the Padres. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker gave up just two hits in six scoreless innings, but he wasn’t satisfied with the way he threw on Friday night in a win over the Padres. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks’ Brandon Drury talks about his team’s offensive outburst vs. the Padres on Friday night at Petco Park. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the NBA MVP, the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers and the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive backs.
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D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo, catcher Chris Herrmann and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to the 5-4 win against the Mets, sweeping the series, May 17, 2017.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Greinke and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt react to Tuesday’s 5-4 Diamondbacks win. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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D-Backs’ Zack Godley talks pitching and gameplay after his team’s 7-3 win over the Mets, May 15, 2017.
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D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo discusses the pace his team kept during a 7-3 win over the Mets, May 15, 2017.
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Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock talks about the injury that forced him to leave Sunday’s loss to the Pirates. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta doesn’t think his glute injury is significant, he said. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo breaks down his team’s 6-4 loss to the Pirates on Sunday and provides updates on his injured outfielders. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta says he ‘got lucky on all accounts’ after being hit in the face by a 93 mph fastball on Friday night vs. the Pirates. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Taijuan Walker and shortstop Nick Ahmed react to the 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, May 13, 2017.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo provides an update on catcher Chris Iannetta, who was hit in the face by a pitch during Friday’s game, before Saturday’s game. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo, second baseman Brandon Drury and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to 11-4 win against the Pirates, May 12, 2017.
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Shot Clock: Colin Kaepernick is better than Blaine Gabbert, right? So why did the Cardinals not sign him? Also, Zack Greinke has his Randy Johnson moment … what does it mean for Diamondbacks?
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Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke describes his night, in which he nearly threw a no-hitter against the Pirates.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo reacts to Zack Greinke’s near-no-hit performance in Thursday’s win over the Pirates.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Godley and shortstop Nick Ahmed react to the 7-1 win.
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Manager Torey Lovullo and left-hander Robbie Ray react to the 7-3 loss.
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azcentral sports’ Sarah McLellan and Dan Bickley discuss the D-Backs’ difficulties on the road and the NBA’s big issue in the playoffs.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo says defensive miscues cost them in a 5-2 loss to the Rockies on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker talks about his outing vs. the Rockies at Coors Field on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin was charged with eight runs in four-plus innings against the Rockies on Saturday night.
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Manager Torey Lovullo didn’t think his team played fundamentally sound in Saturday night’s 9-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke gave up two runs in seven innings in a win over the Rockies on Friday.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo breaks down his team’s win over the Rockies on Friday night.
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Greinke on his ‘all right’ outing in D-Backs’ win
Lamb on big performance in D-Backs’ win
D-Backs beat Padres for another home win
Shot Clock: D-Backs train rolling; Durant new No. 1?
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on rift between D-Backs, Maricopa County
D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo on no-hitter, road struggles
Chris Herrmann on Edinson Volquez’s performance in no-hitter
D-Backs’ Rey Fuentes on Edinson Volquez’s pitch mix in no-hitter
Patrick Corbin after loss to Marlins
Torey Lovullo on Patrick Corbin’s outing vs. Marlins
Torey Lovullo on Nick Ahmed, comeback win over Marlins
David Peralta talks about Chris Owings’ ‘clutch’ hit vs. Pirates
Chris Owings on D-Backs’ extra-inning win in Pittsburgh
Torey Lovullo on ‘character win’ in Pittsburgh
Robbie Ray on postgame celebration after shutout vs. Pirates
Torey Lovullo on Robbie Ray’s shutout of Pirates
Chris Herrmann on Robbie Ray’s ‘outstanding’ outing vs. Pirates
Shot Clock: Winless weekend with D-Backs
Diamondbacks’ Chris Iannetta on his latest clutch homer
Torey Lovullo on Diamondbacks’ loss to the Pirates
Archie Bradley after walkoff loss to Pirates
Torey Lovullo on Patrick Corbin’s outing, loss to Brewers
Patrick Corbin on his outing vs. Brewers
Zack Greinke on his outing in loss to Brewers
Torey Lovullo on loss to Brewers, Chase Anderson
Paul Goldschmidt talks about Chase Anderson’s outing
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ comeback win in MIlwaukee
Chris Iannetta on his game-tying homer vs. Brewers
Can D-Backs keep this up? Why, why not
Robbie Ray after dominant outing in Milwaukee
D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo on impressive win over Brewers
Torey Lovullo on ‘nice team win’ for D-Backs
Jake Lamb on strong game against lefty Jose Quintana
Chris Herrmann on hitting surge, HR in win
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley competes in cow milking competition
Shelby Miller: Tommy John surgery ‘was a pretty smooth process’
Shot Clock: Time to take D-Backs seriously
Zack Greinke on near-complete game, Eephus pitch
Torey Lovullo on Zack Greinke’s ‘great night’
Montini volunteers free tickets – with Bickley’s help
D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo on loss vs. Padres
Chris Iannetta on homering in first game off DL
Zack Godley on his outing vs. Padres
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs pound Padres 9-1
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ blowout win vs. Padres
Taijuan Walker tosses six scoreless vs. Padres
Brandon Drury homers in win vs. Padres
Watch out for Dodgers; Cards CBs apply for job
Diamondbacks outlast Mets in extra innings
Diamondbacks discuss close win over Mets
Diamondbacks’ Zack Godley talks after win over Mets
Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo talks upbeat pace in win over Mets
A.J. Pollock discusses his injury after loss to Pirates
David Peralta downplays his injury vs. Pirates
Torey Lovullo on injuries, loss vs. Pirates
Chris Iannetta talks about scary HBP vs. Pirates
Diamondbacks rally falls short against Pirates
Lovullo: Iannetta “said he could play tonight if he had to” after HBP
Diamondbacks overwhelm Pirates 11-4
Kaepernick blackballed? Greinke now trade bait?
Zack Greinke on his near no-hitter against Pirates
Lovullo reacts to Greinke’s near no-hitter in win
Diamondbacks snap losing streak with win over Tigers
Diamondbacks drop third straight with loss to Tigers
Shot Clock: D-Backs face pivotal homestand
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ latest loss to Rockies
Taijuan Walker after loss to Rockies
Patrick Corbin after being roughed up by Rockies
D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo on ‘tough night’ at Coors Field
Zack Greinke on impressive outing vs. Rockies
Manager Torey Lovullo after win over Rockies
The 2017 Diamondbacks might be one of the most surprising teams in Valley history. They’re also one of the most unquotable.
They are stocked with young, serious professionals like Jake Lamb and Brandon Drury. Their best player, Paul Goldschmidt, is a man of few words. Their ace, Zack Greinke, is quirky and not prone to off-day exchanges with the media.
Like on Tuesday, when Greinke was asked if he had a few minutes to chat.
“Probably not,” he said.
These Diamondbacks are not that unusual. They reflect a larger trend in Major League Baseball, a sport that is dealing with a shortage of personalities and star power. A few months ago, a survey firm asked 6,000 sports fans to list their favorite American athletes, and found only three baseball players ranked among the top 50: Derek Jeter (No. 13), Babe Ruth (30) and Pete Rose (50).
No active players made the list, even though major-league stadiums are populated with elite, young talent. So what does that say about the current generation of players?
“Our game is a team game,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “That’s not going to change. Honestly, I think it’s one of the great charms and appeals of our game. Having said that, I think that it’s incumbent upon us to do everything we can to build the profile of our great young stars. And I do believe we have a unique group of young stars that have come into the game recently.”
Part of the issue is that MLB has failed to promote its young stars in the past, and Manfred seems committed to changing that dynamic. He cites a recent deal with Under Armour as proof, a brand they chose to design their uniforms because of its popularity among young people and the great success it has marketing athletes.
There is also the code of the clubhouse, where MLB is very much like the NHL. In both sports, athletes are expected to stay within the confines of the group, and not bring too much attention to themselves or their individuality.
Mike Trout is a perfect example. He’s the best player in the game but has reportedly turned down offers to show off his personality on late-night talk shows, with national endorsement deals and appearances in the Home Run Derby. His singular dedication to baseball is admirable, but would you recognize him in the coffee shop?
By contrast, Bryce Harper is full of sizzle. But his brash nature is not always appreciated by opponents or teammates.
“Baseball is younger now,” former Diamondbacks catcher Robby Hammock said. “You have people walking much more of a fine line, and it all has to do with the emergence of social media. Anything you say can and will be used against you.
“Social media is the perfect verdict of that because reading something is much different than hearing the words. It can take on so many different meanings and reach so many different people. So guys are like, ‘You know what? I’m just going to shut up.’ “
The lack of outward personality is not an issue among baseball fans in Arizona, especially when the current team seems poised to remain in playoff contention over the summer. But it’s a stark contrast to the 2001 Diamondbacks, a team that featured media stars like Mark Grace, Luis Gonzalez, Curt Schilling and Brian Anderson. Even Randy Johnson was a compelling interview when he chose to talk.
“That team probably had a 10-year age difference, on average,” Hammock said. “We all know how 10 years can change you personality-wise. You get a clubhouse where the average age is 20-plus, and it’s probably a whole different scene.”
The 2017 Diamondbacks are not robots. Behind the scenes, they seem to have fun and converse easily. The extraordinary communication skills of their manager, Torey Lovullo, has made this team a tight-knit family resistant to outside forces.
Even Greinke shows a much different side behind closed doors. During his visit to Arizona on Tuesday, Manfred walked into the board room, where Diamondbacks scouts where preparing for the upcoming draft. The commissioner asked who was going to attend the draft in New York and announce the Diamondbacks’ selection.
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A hand was raised from the back of the room. It was Greinke, who was watching film with the scouts. Laughter filled the room.
But that side of this team isn’t readily shown to the outside world. The latest anecdote came after Wednesday’s victory against the Padres, when Lamb became the league RBI leader. He shrugged off the topic and the accomplishment in postgame interviews, telling the media he was tired and wanted to go home.
Lamb says he only seeks the approval of his teammates, coaches and family, and does his best to avoid social media.
“I don’t want to hear people talk good about me,” Lamb said. “I don’t want to hear people talk bad about me. Because both are going to happen.”
No worries. Not every team has to be like the Arizona Cardinals, full of charismatic, magnetic talents like Patrick Peterson, Bruce Arians, Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson and Tyrann Mathieu. Not every team can be like the Cubs, the rare MLB outfit overflowing with personalities. And if the 2017 Diamondbacks entertain through victory alone, that’ll be more than enough for a playoff-starved region.
MORE D-BACKS: Patrick Corbin’s path from No. 2 starter to trouble
Reach Bickley at [email protected] or 602-444-8253. Follow him on twitter.com/dan.bickley. Listen to “Bickley and Marotta” weekdays from 12-2 p.m. on 98.7 Arizona’s Sports Station.