Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson is very perceptive. He's well aware of the rumblings and grumblings surrounding his baseball team and their slim chances to make it back to the postseason after back-to-back .500 seasons.
But as Gibson detailed before Saturday's final tune-up of the spring at Chase Field, he's not too concerned with the outside noise.
"I know what we believe in," Gibson said. "That's the important thing. I understand that people ride the emotional roller coaster. But, being involved at our level, that's not what you do.
"You write your own story and your own vision. That's why you play the season."
It's understandable why expectations might not be too high when it comes to the Valley's major league squad heading into Monday's home opener.
The D-backs share the National League West with a team that boasts the league's highest payroll and a bevy of star power to boot in the Los Angeles Dodgers. Not to mention, the San Francisco also reside in the division and are just two seasons removed from a World Series title.
Add in season-ending arm injuries to de facto ace Patrick Corbin and eighth inning reliever David Hernandez, and it seems like writing off the D-backs would prove to be the easiest option.
But predictions are just that. Predictions.
"There's going to be several predictions on who is going to win it," said Gibson. "Obviously, I've asked you guys this before, but what percentage of you are right? Really. Nobody knows. We don't know. You don't know.
"That's what's exciting. We get to find out. We get to start the journey to find out. That's the fun part about it. Players and athletes and people who compete and believe in themselves, they actually cherish people doubting them. So, that all begins on Monday."