With only five weeks until pitchers and catchers arrive in Tucson Arizona for the beginning of Spring Training, it is time to start sending invitations to those players who are not currently on the Arizona Diamondbacks roster. Today those invitations went out to several players but one name was mysteriously omitted, mine. Oh sure, I am old but then so is most of the Diamondbacks roster. I mean there are people currently playing that are older than I am. So if Mike Morgan can get an invitation, I think I deserve one too. I don’t just want a George Plimpton invitation though. I want to compete for a job. Since the Diamondbacks might have just forgotten about me, let me refresh their memory.


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It has been a banner week for getting mail at our house. Normally we get things such as bills, requests for us to further our collection of credit cards, advertisements for weight loss and carpet cleaning (sometimes by the same company. I am guessing the program has something to do with me cleaning the carpets myself.) This week though, it was a little different. In addition to all that other stuff I had received my Salt Lake City Olympic tickets.


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In many parts of the country, people are surrounded by snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. For many years, I was one of those people. I would get up every morning, dress in every piece of clothing I owned, and trudge out into the darkness with my snow shovel in hand trying to stay warm while flinging snow from my driveway across the lawn. Cars would have to be plugged in to warm the engine block during the night or else the car would not start the next morning. This was all done in hopes that some three months from now the snow would melt and the grass would once again come out of hibernation so that we could again play baseball.


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Around the second Tuesday in January, baseball again seems to rise to the top of the national sports consciousness. This is of course the day that the Baseball Hall of Fame announces their newest elected members. This of course is also the time I make my annual case for why all-around nice guy and two-time Most Valuable Player Dale Murphy should be elected. This is usually followed by my annual tirade directed towards the Baseball Writers of Association of America for ignoring character when voting for the Hall of Fame inductees and instead determining who should go in based upon whether they were a good guy to interview, or some made up statistic or other subject criteria such as whether a player was the “best at their position”.


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As I arrived home from work, I was greeted at the door by the Federal Express man. This is not a normal occurrence for me so to see him at my house was just a little strange. In his hand was an envelope that I had to sign for. Looking at the outside of the envelope, the return address listed Utah. I felt around the envelope to try and understand what was inside. It felt fairly large and not real flexible. I took the package to my desk and tore it open. There inside was a Hallmark card from the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee. In the card was my tickets to the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic games. Each ticket displayed the event that the ticket was for along with a really cool silver hologram.


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Having been preoccupied over the last several days, I had not gotten a chance to look around on-line or in the newspaper to see what had been going on. By “what has been going on”, I was of course referring to the Arizona Diamondbacks. As far as I know, the newspaper has only one section (sports) and the Internet is made up completely of baseball related web sites. Well, today I decided that I really needed to check things out a little better so I sat down at the computer and began to check the web for Diamondbacks news. The first thing I came across made me very excited.


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It is hard to believe how quickly time goes by. I really need to check my watch. I am not positive but I think that as I get older, my watch runs faster. That is the only explanation I have for why time goes so quickly. But I have also noticed that my watch is subjective about when time goes faster and when it should slow down. For example, ever since November 4th at 9:05 PM, time has pretty much stood still. At that moment, the last out was recorded and the baseball off-season officially began. I feel as though I have been in hibernation ever since that moment. That is until December 20th. On that day, my daughter Ashley returned home from school. She has had me constantly running from the moment she got off the plane. Whether it was doing last minute Christmas shopping, after Christmas shopping, pre-New Years shopping or post-New Years shopping I feel like I have lived in the car or at the mall. I keep having to check my credit card to see if the magnetic strip has melted on the back or not. Now though, it is time once again for her to pack up her things and leave. The other children are fairly depressed thinking that they will not be seeing Ashley again for another four months. I am in a little better spirits since I will see her next month when I arrive for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.


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