Heading Up the I-10

It’s funny how time works. If you sit at your desk and stare at the hands of an analog clock you can barely see them move yet after 30 minutes the hands are in very different positions. With a digital clock you can get the same type of experience but it just does not seem dramatic. I tried to explain that to Trina but all she did was complain that she had asked me to take out the garbage a half an hour ago and here I was sitting at my desk staring at my Arizona Diamondbacks clock. Against my better judgment I took this opportunity to mention that we really needed a new clock. First, the hands don’t appear to move unless you don’t look at them and second the clock still has the purple and teal digits on the face and how could I possibly be expected to tell time on a clock that doesn’t include Sedona Red somewhere on the face of it. As proof to my theory that the clock was busted, when I awoke after losing consciousness from being hit in the head by a glad trash bag thrown by my less than forgiving wife I found that the hands showed I was out 2 minutes where my biological clock and the bump on my head felt more like 5 minutes. My point was somehow lost in that last paragraph. I just find it interesting how the speed of time does not appear to be constant. From October 2 through February 19 time appeared to move at the speed of an Amish farmer on his way home from a barn raising while from February 20 through March 28 time accelerated to the speed of light making the past 5 weeks become a blur. It feels like only yesterday I was dancing in the living room at the thoughts that Spring Training was upon us. Wait it was only yesterday I was dancing in the living room but it was because Opening Day was nearly upon us. Today marks the last day of Spring Training in Tucson. After the completion of today’s game against the Chicago White Sox the team will begin its trek up the treacherous Interstate 10 coming home to Phoenix to finish up the final few games before the regular season opens.

Looking back over the past 5 weeks I began to ponder what if anything we learned. Well for one I learned that free does not necessarily mean free when it comes to a jersey. I learned that seat cushions can sometimes become more expensive than first anticipated. And I found that mail men get really nervous when you dance around their car in your pajamas. None of those important life lessons told me much about the Diamondbacks though. From the team’s perspective it appears evident that the players are eager and receptive to making their game better. I’ve been monitoring the batting averages and listening to descriptions of the hitters and I must say I am impressed with the early work that hitting coach Kevin Seitzer has done. The Diamondbacks hitters seem to be more patient at the plate looking for the right situation rather than hacking like they did on several occasions last season. My confidence in the offense is guardedly optimistic. While I don’t think the Diamondbacks will have anyone with over 30 home runs, I do believe they will have 3-4 who have more than 20 home runs making the attack a bit more balanced than they have had in years past. I expect to see the Diamondbacks be a little more aggressive on the base paths challenging the arms of opposing outfielders. I am disappointed that it doesn’t seem like base stealing and overall speed is going to be a weapon in the Diamondbacks arsenal. If Randy Johnson comes off the disabled list and is able to remain healthy then I have high hopes for the starting pitching that Josh Byrnes has assembled. If there are lingering injuries requiring the Diamondbacks to look to their bullpen or to Tucson for help I am going to start to get nervous. Enrique Gonzalez still seems too inconsistent to give the ball to every 5 days and Dana Eveland has seemed to falter down the stretch as competition gets stronger and outings get longer. I think Dustin Nippert needs a little bit more polish before he is quite ready and while Micah Owings has been a surprise at how well he has played when given the opportunity, I still think he would be better served with another year at Tucson. Five weeks is not a lot of time to try and assess the full nature of this club so I do not envy Bob Melvin or his staff at the task they have ahead of them to try and whittle this team down to a 25-man roster. My biggest hope is that time slows down just a little from April 2 – September 30 to allow us to enjoy all 162 games of the 2007 season.

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