If there is one thing you can tell by watching the Arizona Diamondbacks or following the people that cover the team, you will see right away just how much of a team this group of players is. Despite individual accomplishments, everyone defers to their teammates and how they helped out.
There is perhaps no better example of this concept of team than what happened after the Tuesday night loss the Arizona Diamondbacks suffered to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It was a game in which Chris Young made a dazzling catch but hurt himself, having to leave the game.
Shortstop John McDonald, who was not expecting to play, came up big and hit a game-tying homer late in the game. It was his first homer as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks and his first as well since May 2011.
However, when asked about it after the game he would only say this:
"I just think that everyone was disappointed I was even in the ballgame. With what Chris (Young) has already done this season I think of the disappointment of losing him. It's tough for a lot of us right now. I think everyone is anxious to see how he feels in the morning. Any results that anyone gets when they get in the ballgame after one of your teammates goes down is very small in comparison to the outcome of the game or the outcome of a loss."
He didn't even want to go near his individual success when he had a teammate that was hurt.
It seemed almost noble to speak like that. He hit a homerun to tie the game but felt bad that he was even in there.
Surely he was excited and if we gave him a couple of days, maybe he would look back with a little more enjoyment. But since the team lost and a teammate, at least for the game, that's all he wanted to talk about.
It is this sort of talk that embodies the whole organization. You hear time after time players praising other players for their work, but when it comes to themselves, they are simply happy to have been able to be there for their teammates.
I have seen it on several occasions this young season, but perhaps no better example than McDonald on Tuesday.
This is what makes this team so special. Not only is there production, but the players play for one another. That is a motivation that really cannot be quantified.
And in baseball, the sport of quantifying everything, it is something that will continue to remain a mystery.