clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

And The Face Of The Diamondbacks Franchise Is...

There isn't one. This is the first Diamondbacks team with no super star since 1998 when they rolled out Devon White and a 23-year-old Travis Lee as the main attraction. From 1999 to 2004 it was Randy Johnson (along with plenty of others like Curt Schilling and Luis Gonzalez) and then from 2005 on it was Brandon Webb. 

Even though Webb was injured last season, he was still the guy who had won a Cy Young and when paired with Dan Haren, gave the team a face.

This season with Webb trying to rebuild his career as a Texas Ranger, there are no super stars. There's no one or two guys that the media is going to flock to for answers and there's no single player to dominate the clubhouse.

According to veteran infielder Geoff Blum, 37, who's played on five teams in his 12 years in the majors, having star players can be a mixed blessing.

"If you get the super stars on the team and everybody focuses on those one or two guys and it kind of detracts from the rest of the club house and that makes it kind of interesting throughout the course of the season when you need all 25 guys plus during a 162-game schedule," Blum said.

One guy who could step into a starring role is center fielder Chris Young. But even Chris thinks that's stretch for him and also doesn't see any one guy being "The Man".

"The type of team we have, your not necessarily going to have that guy," Young said, "You're not going to have that one guy that everybody goes to for advise or that one guy that's going to stand up in the middle and tell everybody what they need to do."

Both Blum and Young did mention one name, however, and it wasn't a player.

Manager Kirk Gibson is as close as it comes to Diamondbacks' star power. He's the name everyone around baseball knows and respects for what he's done as a player. And while this is Gibby's first go as a major league manager, he and his highly experienced coaching staff have already earned the ear of the team.

"You look at our coaching staff, those guys carry a lot of weight. If they're going to be talking, we're going to be listening. Those guys have big league experience, World Series experience, All-Star experience. I mean they have some serious street cred that allows them to be able to speak their mind and have us listen," Blum said.

Young also was quick to mention Gibson's name when asked about team leadership, "I think with Kirk (Gibson) being here, he's doing a good job of trying to initiate more of a team attitude -- like a Diamondback Way so to speak -- to try and establish it that way as opposed to having two or three marquee guys that are going to try and carry us."

Maybe Justin Upton, who turns 24 in August, will step into that starring role. He's clearly the most talented player on the roster but he's a long way from being a super star or even a guy who can command the automatic respect from his teammates. In the meantime, Gibson and his coaching staff along with veterans like Blum, Melvin Mora, Henry Blanco and Mike Hampton will be carrying the leadership load.