By Nick Piecoro
Paul Goldschmidt smiled. The memories are perhaps the fondest of his career. His go-ahead triple into the corner. The dog pile near the mound. The joy on the faces of his veteran teammates. The night was Sept. 23, 2011, and the Diamondbacks’ 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field clinched the National League West.
“It was loud,” Goldschmidt said. “That’s what I remember.”
Five seasons have since come and gone, and it remains the only night Goldschmidt has been able to celebrate in a Diamondbacks uniform.
With spring training set to begin this week – pitchers and catchers report to Salt River Fields on Monday, a day before their first scheduled workout – there is little to reason to believe this year will be different. The Diamondbacks could improve – perhaps they should, given how bad last year was – and they might even surprise. But no one seems to view them as true contenders.
Goldschmidt has never seemed to concern himself with predictions or expectations. Nor does he acknowledge thinking too many steps ahead. But it takes only a little imagination to envision the Diamondbacks approaching a crossroads, with Goldschmidt at the intersection.
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