You Have to Wonder

The Arizona Diamondbacks begin a ten game road trip today visiting the Philadelphia Phillies. After a great home stand that saw them win seven out of ten and climb to within a game of first place, there are a lot of expectations for this team. They appear to be at a crossroads of trying to decide if they are buyers or sellers at next Monday’s trade deadline. If the team continues to win games and remain this close to first place, the Diamondbacks may look to trade for pitching help to get them to the play-offs this year. If on the other hand they slightly falter and fade during the series with the Phillies and the subsequent series with the Houston Astros, they may look to trade away some of their veteran players such as Shawn Green, Jeff DaVanon, and Luis Gonzalez. So these next six games could have a major impact on how the team looks when it returns on August 4 for the next home stand against the Astros.

But the team’s record and the trade deadline is only part of the story going into tonight. I am more curious about what happens with one particular player, Stephen Drew. After being called up to fill the roster spot vacated when Craig Counsell went on the disabled list, Drew has shown why everyone was touting him as a major prospect in the Diamondbacks farm system. After an initial slow start at the plate he has warmed up to major league pitching and is now hitting just over .300 in his short major league career. This will be his first road trip with the team which means he will be in for the usual rookie hazing that occurs. He should anticipate that before one of the games that he will find his clothing missing from his locker replaced with a dress that he will be required to wear. In anticipation of that he probably has two choices, Nair or Gillette Venus razor. There is also a great article at MSNBC on shaving if he is so inclined.

Besides the rookie induction rituals, it will also be interesting to see how he will be embraced by the Phillies fans tonight. Stephen’s brother JD Drew was the first round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1997 as the second overall pick. Drew refused to play for Philadelphia and set out a year in contract disputes. The Phillies could not sign him losing out on a first round pick. JD ended up signing with the St. Louis Cardinals. His actions of spurning the Phillies made him a marked man in Philadelphia and to this day he is roundly booed every time he comes to town. It will be interesting to see whether this hatred of JD Drew extends to members of his family or if it is just to a single player. Nothing would surprise me. After all, Philadelphia fans booed Santa Claus during an Eagles game. I’m just hoping that tonight is not Duracell or Energizer night at the ballpark. Remember, batteries are our friends and should not be used as projectile weapons.

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