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Miserable With Your D-backs? Cardinals Camp Is Only 24 Days Away

It's already been a long, hot summer of suffering with the struggling Diamondbacks and their bullpen and inability to deliver enough in the clutch. 

The rest of the summer, and into October, will be spent looking ahead to next year. Getting back into the NL West race 17 games off the pace (as of July 7) would take a miracle of miracles.

This D-backs team doesn't figure to be that boring for three more months, with some roster changes bound to happen soon and Kirk Gibson at the helm. But they aren't winning and won't have a Suns-like postseason run in them, so it's OK to look ahead to the fall and NFL season.

The Cardinals get going in Flagstaff on July 31. They'll be at NAU for a good three weeks, giving folks plenty of opportunity to head north and see what's on the horizon for the 2010 Birds. Before you know it, it will be time to play preseason games, and everything starts for real in September. 

Here's one guy you may want to keep an eye on -- fullback Reagan Maui'a. He's trying to make the team as a free agent signed to a futures contract in January.


But until then, here's what to look for from Gibby and the Sedona Reds. 

"I'm trying to pick out the positive things that happen, and making sure I utilize that to make us better, keep these guys going, make sure they don't get too frustrated," Gibson said Wednesday. "A lot has to change, and it's a work in progress. It's a tough task."

Gibson plans to push the players more in an effort to get a "constant, gritty effort day in and day out." Fans can only hope that translates into hope for a better 2011.