The upcoming four game home series that concludes the 2006 regular season has all the makings of a three-ring circus. It should have something for everyone. It will mark the final games in a Diamondbacks uniform for Luis Gonzalez and probably Craig Counsell. There are rumors swirling that this may be the only season that catcher Johnny Estrada will have with the Diamondbacks and Miguel Batista will be a free-agent meaning he too may not return. The end of the season marks the end of the Rich Dozer era as Diamondbacks president closing another chapter that began when the team was formed in 1995. Sunday’s game will also be the final game the Diamondbacks play wearing purple, turquoise and copper before the team changes to Sedona red, black, and sand next year. This series will also be Brandon Webb’s last game to show the baseball writers why he should be considered the leading candidate for the National League Cy Young and will be the final four games for Orlando Hudson to make a case of why he deserves consideration for a Gold Glove. Sunday’s game will also be the first game that Jerry Colangelo will attend since he was ousted as General Partner meaning there may be fireworks as well. Oh and by the way the San Diego Padres are in town and fighting for a play-off spot in case anyone is interested in that.
As much as I hate to admit it, the season is almost over. I have but four games remaining to what has been a magical year. Sure I would have loved to be dreaming of pitching match-ups in the National League Divisional Series and worrying which player may not make the post season roster but overall it has been great. Not because the Diamondbacks will finish with a losing record but great because it has given me an opportunity to spend 83 games with my wife and my kids taking each of them to a game each night and sharing the thoughts and sounds of baseball.
When the gates open at 4:30 PM I plan on being there with my daughter making our way to our seats watching batting practice and soaking up all of the atmosphere of the ballpark. In four short days all we will have from the 2006 season are memories and I want to cherish each and every one. I have my seat cushion packed with a water bottle, my score book, and a bag of peanuts. I’ll also take my camera so I can document everything around me. In the deep of winter I can retrieve these images and match them to the memories I have tucked away in my mind. I can also compare the pictures with those take in years past to remind me of how baseball and the team has evolved.
I’m also looking forward to the team being back in town so that I can begin my own personal seat relocation process. Over the next four days I plan on visiting several sections within the ballpark and checking on seat locations so that when November 1, 2006 rolls around I have the necessary information to make a decision of where I want to spend 83 days of my life next year. Trina of course hates this as it means I will drag her or one of the kids with me and make them sit in countless seats and ask them about site lines, foul ball potential, and the probability that vendors or other fans may block our view of the field of play. But my theory this is a much more important decision than buying a car or a house. After all, we are talking about baseball here.
Finally I’ll be venturing into the team shop over the next four days buying things that will remind me of not just the 2006 season but also of the purple, turquoise, and copper era in Diamondbacks history. I think I am going to miss purple. I just can’t see myself in Sedona red. With all the excitement of the next four games, I am afraid that the actual games are going to get lost in the commotion. Thankfully I’ll have my scorebook to remind me that the season isn’t over just yet.