Live to Plan, Plan to Live

“Sir, we have all the information we need to draw up our battle plans.” With this statement, my daily routine was interrupted in what would be the most important activity I would do to date this millennium. Granted, the millennium was only 5 days old but still, this was pretty important work. I cleared off my desk with one sweep of my hand. Oh sure, the cleaning lady would complain tonight when she attempted to get into my office but was met with a knee-high pile of unfinished work strewn across the floor. That was not my concern at this point in time. I had more important information I had to deal with.

For you see, Major League Baseball announced the spring training schedule for the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues today. The quest I had ahead of me was to determine what the best possible combination of days and games would be that would allow me to see all of the teams in the Cactus League at all of the ballparks while maximizing the number of times I would see the Diamondbacks and minimize the amount of work I would miss. This quest took three computers, and four people an entire afternoon to calculate but at the end of our quest, we had narrowed it down to 9 games at 8 parks. What was even more impressive was that we would make exactly 2 trips to Tucson and would see 3 games and 5 different teams. It also had the added benefit of allowing us to see a double header at Tucson Electric Park on my birthday March 9. The first game would start at 1:05 PM and we would see the Chicago Cubs play the Chicago White Sox. The night game would find the Arizona Diamondbacks hosting the Colorado Rockies. In an amazing scheduling feat, I would see my boyhood favorite team the Cubs, my second favorite team the Rockies and MY team the Diamondbacks all on my birthday. It can’t get much better than that. But wait, there’s more. We were able to schedule complete squad games for 6 of the 9 games and traveled to each park once while we have no more than 2 games in any week so we will only miss a handful of afternoons from work. It was a scheduling masterpiece. We are now missing only one thing, the tickets.

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