PHOENIX -- While the D-backs trailed by 4 1/2 games in the National League Wild Card standings after Saturday's loss to the Giants, three of the club's Minor League teams had capped off championship seasons. On Friday, rookie-level Missoula defeated Ogden, 10-0, to win the Pioneer League and Double-A Mobile edged Jackson, 1-0, to capture its second straight Southern League championship. And on Saturday, the Triple-A Reno Aces took the Pacific Coast League crown with an 8-2 win over Omaha.
"It's great, huh?" D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's a tribute to the organization and the guys. There is more continuity throughout the organization. I get to work with a lot of those guys in Spring Training, you share concepts and philosophies, so it carries over." According to Gibson, all of the championships not only help the farm system but they also prepare the players for the Major League level. "Winning is important when you're trying to develop people," Gibson said. "It develops a mentality and what it takes to do so. When you get to that point, you either do it or you don't. It's a different level of commitment. You can't give in to deterring factors." D-backs rookie outfielder Adam Eaton, whom the Pacific League honored as its MVP earlier this month, is ecstatic to be in Arizona but also relishes his time he had with Reno for the majority of this season. "If they do win, I'll celebrate, definitely. I'll get a ring, too," Eaton said. "Those are the guys down there that you fought all year with. I wouldn't trade it for being up here in the big leagues, but definitely I'll send my congratulations to them." Although he hopes his Minor League career is over, Eaton recognized how fortunate he was to come up in a farm system built around winning. "It's awesome. Hats off to the Diamondbacks," Eaton said. "Our farm system seems extremely healthy and prosperous. I'm glad to be a part of it. It's a great feeling."