Diamondbacks rise from ashes to dominate West

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By Natalie Rivers By Natalie Rivers

PHOENIX (AP) -- From the ashes of two miserable years has risen the most surprising team of this baseball season.

Just how the Arizona Diamondbacks became the runaway leaders in the NL West is a worst-to-first jigsaw story where the pieces somehow fit far better than anyone could have predicted. That begins with manager Kirk Gibson.

The Diamondbacks have acquired his team-first, grind-it-out, no-baloney mentality. Anyone venturing to ask Gibson about individual honors for his team does so at his own risk, especially any suggestion that he's a shoo-in for NL manager of the year.