Spring is in the Air

Although the calendar shows mid-January, it definitely feels like spring is in the air. Ignore the fact that the thermometer shows 42 degrees or the fact that it is cloudy with a chance to rain; this is definitely spring. How you ask could I say that? It’s simple; today Spring Training tickets for the Arizona Diamondbacks go on sale. I have been anticipating this day for the past three months. I have two whiteboards at work, one whiteboard at home, and a notebook filled with papers identifying which games are of interest to me. I started off by making a list of all the games that looked good. I presented that list to Trina of potential games I wanted to attend. She then compared that list against the calendar to see whether they might be a conflict. She immediately handed the list back to me stating that just copying the schedule for the Arizona Diamondbacks did not constitute a list. I assured her that there were not any extraneous games on my list but I could tell from her stern look that I was going to have to revise my list. I therefore took out the weekend games but she then reminded me that most of the games were afternoon affairs and that my employer may have an issue with me being gone every afternoon at 1:00 PM. That’s a good point that I had not taken into consideration. Trina also reminded me that I had made a New Years resolution that I would only go to one game per week. I reminded her that I had already crossed out that resolution as unobtainable so we were at a stalemate. I finally got her to agree to a schedule where I would be able to see every team in the Cactus League but her criteria was that I could not go to any stadium to see the same team more than one once.

That may have sounded like a good compromise but what I found was it was harder than I thought. For 2007 there are 12 teams in the Cactus League and there are 9 stadiums (the Diamondbacks and the White Sox share Tucson Electric Park, the Royals and Rangers share Surprise stadium, and the Padres and Mariners share Peoria Sports Complex) that have to be accounted for. After several hours of preparation I realized I probably should have paid more attention during my Discrete Mathematics class in college. There was probably a really easy formula that would have given me the answer but instead I did it the old fashioned way, by brute force. I had 3×5 index cards, calendars, calculators, post-it notes, and Microsoft Excel. This was not a problem that was going to get the best of me. In the end, I gave Trina a list of 9 games then I went on line and reserved tickets for 15 games. If Trina asks, the additional six games are contingency plans in case something comes up.

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