November 30, 2006
Yesterday Major League Baseball announced that the Milwaukee Brewers had agreed to a contract with former Arizona Diamondback Craig Counsell. This marks the second trip to Milwaukee for Counsell. He was dealt from the Diamondbacks to the Brewers in the 2003 off-season as part of the ill-advised trade that brought Richie Sexon to the Diamondbacks for his 3 week vacation. Counsell is originally from the Milwaukee area having gone to high school there. He should feel right at home as a Brewer since several of his teammates from Arizona have become Brewers including catcher Johnny Estrada and pitchers Greg Aquino and Claudio Vargas. The contract terms have Counsell earning $2.8 million in 2007 and 2008. The Brewers hold an option for 2009 valued at $3.4 million with a $400,000 buy-out.
Continue reading ‘Counsell Retreads’ »
November 29, 2006
It was just two short weeks ago that I received “the envelope” from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Of course I am talking about the Season Ticket Renewal package. Since that time I have been consumed with thoughts of the 2007 season and more importantly where I am going to sit. There was the open house where I had the opportunity to check the vantage points and sight lines followed by the trip to Best Buy to have copies of the digital pictures made. For the next 11 days I had Excel Spreadsheets, Adobe Photoshop files, Mozilla FireFox Browser windows, and scorebooks laid out around the house to analyze things like vendor traffic patterns, number and frequency of foul balls, views of various parts of the field, and potential for future upgrade paths. All of these artifacts would form the basis of my decision and according to the timeline today was the day to make that decision final.
Continue reading ‘Seat Relocation D-Day’ »
November 28, 2006
As expected, Diamondbacks infielder Andy Green requested a release from his contract so that he could sign a deal in Japan. The Arizona Diamondbacks have been working with the Nippon Ham Fighters to negotiate the rights for Green to sign a contact. While not finalized, it is a foregone conclusion that the deal will get done. Sources close to the negotiations have stated that Green will sign a 2 year contract with the Ham Fighters that will pay him $660,000 for 2007 and $850,000 for 2008. The 2008 contract may be at the team’s option at which case Green would be compensated if the Ham Fighters decline the option. Incentives built into the deal could bring the total compensation to approximately $2 million over the two year period. The Ham Fighters won the Japanese League championship last season and are coached by Trey Hillman who was interviewed for the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, and San Diego Padres manager openings this off season.
Continue reading ‘Green Eggs On Ham Fighters’ »
November 27, 2006
To a lot of people, talk of voting ended nearly 3 weeks ago with the mid-term elections held on November 7 but what they didn’t understand was that was just a precursor to the important vote. Today Major League Baseball announced that the Hall of Fame ballots were officially sent out to the baseball writers. This is an important day to a lot of players as they attempt to be selected to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York. It will be a banner year for candidates but also marks the first vote affecting players whose careers included the steroids scandals. It will be interesting to see how that impacts the voters and whether a player’s chances are impacted by implications of performance enhancement drugs. Regardless of the controversy, there are some very deserving players who are eligible for the first time this year.
Continue reading ‘Election Time is Upon Us’ »
November 26, 2006
It has been 56 days since the last home game for the Arizona Diamondbacks which is almost 2 months without baseball. The Diamondbacks are more than likely not going to be factors in the free agent market and other than the trade with the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday, they are probably not going to make many deals this off season. All of this adds up to a very long winter without much to get excited about. All that changed with the announcement that the Cactus League schedule was being released. Finally something to look forward to! I rushed out to the www.cactusleague.com to begin planning my spring training trip to see the Diamondbacks.
Continue reading ‘Sedona Red Letter Day’ »
November 25, 2006
After the 2003 season the Arizona Diamondbacks were looking to rebuild by bringing in a middle of the order hitter. They went to the Milwaukee to attempt to trade for first baseman Richie Sexon. The Brewers were more than willing to deal given that Sexon would be a free agent at the end of 2004. The two teams agreed to a blockbuster deal involving 9 players. The Diamondbacks would receive Sexon, relief pitcher Shane Nance and a player to be named later. The Milwaukee Brewers would receive infielders Craig Counsell, Junior Spivey, and Lyle Overbay; catcher Chad Moeller; and pitchers Chris Capuano and Jorge De La Rosa. This deal had major implications but the fans were assured that the Diamondbacks were working hard to sign Sexon to a long-term contract that would keep him a Diamondback for the foreseeable future. Instead, Sexon lasted 23 games before going down to a season ending injury in late April. He would leave the Diamondbacks to sign a lucrative contract with the Seattle Mariners. Today the Diamondbacks announced they had made a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers involving six players. You’ll have to excuse the Diamondbacks fans if they cringe a little; it is an involuntary reflex based on past experience.
Continue reading ‘Another Brewer Bonanza’ »
November 24, 2006
The day after Thanksgiving has long been referred to as Black Friday as it marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. The term began as a way to mark the day where sales outdistanced costs meaning the merchant at least for the day was in the black. To me, Black Friday refers to the fact that the sky is still black when I get drug out of bed to go shopping with my wife. I don’t know if this is true or not but it feels like every year it gets to be earlier. This year most of the stores where Trina wanted to go opened at 5 AM which meant that we would be leaving the house at 4:30 AM at the latest. I would prefer to still be in bed sleeping off the effects of that late night turkey sandwich but I know that is not an option. Trina’s theory is that if she has to endure 81 home games at Chase Field and being a single parent from April through September then I should be willing to get up early one day a year and go shopping. She never mentions the fact that we will be shopping with the equivalent of the entire annual attendance for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Continue reading ‘Black Friday, Red Dawn’ »
November 23, 2006
Thanksgiving has as many meanings as people who celebrate the holiday. As a child in elementary school Thanksgiving meant the traditional story of the pilgrims coming to the new world to establish a colony and the friendship they created with the native American Indians. As I grew older, Thanksgiving became a metaphor for leaving that which we know for an unknown destination. The pilgrims represented youth searching to find their own way. The American Indian represented those we come in contact with who are willing to assist us in our path giving us sustenance when we need it the most helping us to survive the difficult times of our lives. Now as I have gotten older Thanksgiving gives me an opportunity to reflect on the bounty that I have received and to show my appreciation for what I have in my life. It is no longer a holiday of feasting on good food but instead is one where I can take a retrospective view of my life to understand the results of the decisions I have made. Having a roast turkey and all the trimmings just gives me another reason to be thankful. We have a tradition in our house that Trina and I started after we were married. Before blessing the food for Thanksgiving, we go around the table and allow each person to state what they are thankful for. It is a tradition that has become an important part of our holiday as it gives each of us time to express our gratitude for what we have.
Continue reading ‘What I Am Thankful For’ »
November 22, 2006
The Arizona Diamondbacks have become known for their strong farm system. They have accumulated many top-tier prospects that are reaching the point where their impact will be felt at the Major League level. This is great news for Diamondbacks fans as it means that the team will be competitive for many years while maintaining a small amount of fiscal constraint using younger players rather than more expensive free agents. There is of course a downside to having a deep farm system. Each year the Diamondbacks need to identify which of their prospects and players will be added to the 40 man roster thereby protecting their investment. Of course it is not possible to protect every prospect which means that there is a possibility of losing some to the rule 5 draft. The 2006 season was a prime example. Due to the number of players already on the Major League roster, the Diamondbacks were forced to leave Dan Uggla unprotected. The Florida Marlins made the Diamondbacks pay for this decision by selecting him during the Rule 5 draft. Uggla went on to have a banner year for Florida garnering a lot of recognition and consideration for rookie of the year honors. So with the owner’s meetings a couple of weeks away it is now time when the player development personnel get together to determine who will be added to the roster and who will not.
Continue reading ‘Roster Roulette’ »