All Packed and No Where to Go

There are two things that are a passion in my life. The first is baseball which should not come as much of a surprise to anyone who ventures to Diary of a Diehard. The second would be Disney and in particular Walt Disney World. Since 2000 I have gone to the Disney park in Florida nearly a dozen times. During that time I have been to Disneyland twice. That would at first seem somewhat odd given that we are only a 5 hour drive from Disneyland but an 8 hour flight (with time changes) to Orlando. The reason is quite simple, Walt Disney World offers so much more to do and the experiences are so diverse that I find myself gravitate towards Florida. When we go to Walt Disney World we typically stay at the Swan or Dolphin hotels. These are walking distance to both Disney MGM Studios and my favorite park Epcot. It also helps that I have a dear friend who manages the Swan and Dolphin who takes very good care of me and my family whenever we go. Whenever I go to Walt Disney World I am always dressed in my Diamondbacks jersey, hat or polo shirt. This becomes quite a conversation starter when in line for the rides as people ask if we are from Arizona or if I happen to work for the Diamondbacks. I explain that my role is mostly that of fan evangelist whose sole purpose is to get others excited about baseball and in particular the Arizona Diamondbacks. For the past 9 years my hobbies of baseball and Disney have been intertwined feeding off each other. These two are also a source of contention. Take this year for example. It was my 25th Wedding Anniversary and my family scheduled a trip to Walt Disney World to celebrate this momentous occasion. Unfortunately they did not check the schedule and our trip landed on a home stand with the Los Angeles Angels. There were several heated arguments when I suggested that perhaps we cut our trip short to be back for the games. It was not a pretty sight.

Each year during December, Major League Baseball holds their winter meetings. Usually it is some sort of odd location such as Nashville, New York, or Palm Springs. This year though MLB chose Orlando as its destination and in particular they chose the Swan and Dolphin hotels. For me this was like the perfect storm. It was like the alignment of all the planets where there would be 4 days of nothing but baseball and Disney. This was the equivalent of the baseball Gods beckoning to a baseball Moses to lead his people out of captivity to the Promised Land. There was only one problem with all of this, I was not going. How could baseball have this kind of party and not invite me? It was obviously an oversight and one I could rectify myself. I immediately went to Trina to express my desire to go to Orlando.

“Trina, I think I need to go to Orlando this week.”

“Do you have a business trip to Florida that you didn’t tell me about?” she asked

“Well sort of” I said as I looked down at the floor.

“Yeah I think I have heard that answer before. You used that when I asked if you had planned a trip to Tropicana Field during our vacation to see the Diamondbacks on the road. Or there was the time you used that answer when you bought all of our Christmas gifts at the Bank One Ballpark team shop. Or come to think about it, that was what you said when I asked if you planned to go to the ballgame before we left for my grandmother’s funeral.” She countered.

“Hey, the grandma thing was not my fault. I had the tickets before she passed away so technically I was here first. Besides, we made the funeral didn’t we?” I asked

“Yes, we drove all night and got there just before the services started. My mother still reminds me that it was the first time she ever saw anyone attend a funeral in a baseball jersey.” She said.

It always seems to go back to the grandma thing. You would think after 7 years she would let that go but I guess not. I never get credit for keeping the kids from doing the wave during the eulogy nor do I get accolades for the nice dinner I got us at Bank One Ballpark for our anniversary dinner. Now’s probably not the time to get into that though. I’m trying to negotiate a trip to Orlando.

Major League Baseball is holding their Winter Meetings at the Swan and Dolphin hotels in Orlando. I could go check out the baseball thing then go to the parks. I could do some Christmas shopping while I am there if it helps. Trina asked what exactly the Winter Meetings were and I had to admit, I have no idea. I know that agents and general managers try to work out deals and that there are a lot of meetings between the GMs on trades but obviously that’s not something I am going to get to be involved with. There’s the Rule 5 Draft but I have no idea if that is even open to the public. It would be cool to go to that and root for the draft picks but again I doubt that is something that would hold most people’s interest for more than about 15 minutes. There’s a job fair for minor league baseball. I have a job so I am not sure that would be that interesting. After all, if I got a job with a minor league team that may mean I have to move and what impact would that have on my season tickets. Yeah maybe a winter meetings trip might not be the best. I just think if I could get Diamondbacks General Manager Josh Byrnes and Mark Mulder’s agent Gregg Clifton on Mission Space at Epcot and tell them that neither of them are getting off the thrill ride until a deal is done, we would have another quality starting pitcher on Opening Day. Hey, 5 days on Tower of Terror with Florida Marlins General Manager Larry Beinfest and Dontrelle Willis could be a Diamondback. I may have to throw in a FastPass to Soarin’ to get the GMs to the front of the line for that popular ride but it would be worth it.

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