May 31, 2007
In June 2006 the Arizona Diamondbacks under the direction of Mike Rizzo selected Max Scherzer with the eleventh overall pick in the annual amateur draft. This began an 11 month roller coaster ride as the team attempted to negotiate with Scherzer’s agent the infamous Scott Boras. Max Scherzer who was the 2005 Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year was a talent that was not supposed to last in the draft. Signability concerns coupled with a couple of injuries left the right handed pitcher on the board when it was time for the Diamondbacks selection. Arizona has had a philosophy of selecting the best available talent regardless of how difficult it may be to negotiate a contract. Scott Boras had notified teams of contract expectations and it appears as though Rizzo and Boras were aligned. The problems began shortly afterwards when negotiations passed from Rizzo to Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes after Rizzo left the organization to accept a position with the Washington Nationals. Contract talks stalled shortly thereafter and the sides appeared deadlocked. During this time Scherzer became the only first round draft pick unsigned from the 2006 draft class. Facing a 9 PM May deadline it did not look as if the Diamondbacks and Boras could reach an agreement. If the deadline passed, Max Scherzer would re-enter next week’s draft.
Continue reading ‘Negotiating to the Max’ »
May 30, 2007
As the Arizona Diamondbacks prepared to leave the friendly confines of Chase Field with their 4-game sweep of the struggling Houston Astros my exuberance for the victory was tempered by the fact that the schedule for the next couple of weeks did not look to favor the team. They would be making their northeastern swing meaning 3 games with the suddenly hot Philadelphia Phillies followed by a 3 game set with the National League East leading New York Mets. This coupled with an upcoming home stand with the rival San Francisco Giants and an inter-league series with the Boston Red Sox could mean a dramatic swing in the loss column for a young team. I was holding out hope that the Diamondbacks could at least come home with a winning record on the road trip or at worst a record close to winning. Each game though it seems like my confidence and that of the teams is starting to swell. I have absolutely no logical explanation for how the Diamondbacks have been able to shift offensive gears over these past 7 games.
Continue reading ‘Philadelphia Freedom’ »
May 29, 2007
The Arizona Diamondbacks have now embarked on another road trip which means that another home stand has been completed. This then marks another milestone in the season and it is time for another State of the Home Stand address. Here I will look at the seven game series that began Monday May 21 and ended Sunday May 27. I’ll try to give my perspective of the team and the stadium to give a fan’s insight as the 2007 regular season continues to unfold. Without further adieu let’s talk about these seven games.
Continue reading ‘State of the Home Stand Address – May 21-27’ »
May 28, 2007
To many Americans, Memorial Day typically means an extra day off to an already shortened week-end coupled with plans for a barbeque or a trip to the beach. Oh there may be a short moment when our thoughts turn to the reason why we have today off from work but those thoughts are usually short lived and come about the time that you are busy hanging your flag from the house before setting out for a day of fun in the sun. With American troops stationed all over the globe and casualties mounting in Iraq, I think it is an important reminder of the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf.
The freedoms we enjoy every day are far from free. It takes a lot of hard work and many lives to protect what many of us take for granted. Men and women put their very existence on the line for us every day so that we have the opportunity to live in a society where it is acceptable to speak our mind or state dissenting opinions.
Those who have served our country come in many shapes and sizes and from very diverse backgrounds. From the small town farm boy in Idaho to the Major League Baseball player, soldiers have been called and have served to the best of their ability. There is a long list of immortal baseball players who were also great Americans who diligently served their country. Hall of Fame players such as Ted Williams stepped away from the prime of their careers to face the uncertainties of war. Their successful military careers meant as much or more to them than their baseball accomplishments. These are the people who should be remembered today. We all know the names of our favorite players and can recite their statistics like they are our own but how many of us know the names of those who are serving this country to keep us free and safe? So I challenge everyone to take a moment to find the name of someone who has served this country and reach out to them and thank them for their dedication and hard work. A moment of remembering their accomplishments is the least that we can do for these heroes.
May 27, 2007
You would think that after nearly 26 years of marriage that Trina would have learned that leaving me home alone (or in this case with Dakota) would be a bad idea. No good ever comes from when she does that. The last time this happened I ended up deciding that my computer was not quite good enough and needed a “minor upgrade”. By minor I mean that I kept the power cord from the old computer and replaced everything else. Trina arrived home to find a new computer sitting in the corner of the living room. Not just any new computer but rather a state-of-the-art dual core computer with over 1 terabyte of disk space and a really cool case. By really cool case I mean it was solid black with a window along the side that showed all of the cool components. The inside was lit by 5 LED fans and 4 light tubes all glowing a perfect match to Diamondbacks purple. The fans each had a custom fan guard laser cut from steel in the shape of the Diamondbacks logo. It was pretty much the coolest thing around and I was really happy with the computer; until November 8 when the computer became obsolete. Not because the processor or memory was no longer adequate but rather because the Diamondbacks changed their colors and logo. How could I possibly be expected to use a purple and teal computer in a Sedona Red, Sonoran Sand, and black society? Trina is well aware of my feelings on this which is why she made me promise not to do any “minor upgrading” of computers while she was gone. Reluctantly I agreed that I would not mess with the computers. That didn’t stop me from messing with other things though.
Continue reading ‘A Big Fan’ »
May 26, 2007
Its day 2 of boy’s weekend and Dakota and I are beginning to feel the effects of being without mom and sisters. Both Dakota and I had fully expected that we could survive without any problem for the week the girls were gone. After all, we had a weekend series with the Houston Astros so it was not like we were going to go hungry and have nothing to do. But Dakota made a very interesting observation; the Diamondbacks leave town after tomorrow night’s game and the girls would still not be back meaning we would have to fend for ourselves. That was not a situation that either of us were prepared to accept. It had been ok the first day or so since we had a box of Honey Comb cereal. Based on my calculations though, that box was going to run out if we continued to eat it 2 meals a day. Oh sure we had begun to ration the milk choosing to eat one bowl of cereal dry and save the milk to put on the cereal when we ate it for dinner; but I was not sure that would be enough. On the way to the ballgame we started talking and thinking maybe we needed to say a little prayer to the baseball gods for a win at the game and a solution to our problem.
Continue reading ‘Ballpark Survival’ »
May 25, 2007
Yesterday marked the last day of school for Trina and for the kids. That meant that today would mark the first day that we would hear that phrase, “I’m bored”. It was as predictable as a Jose Valverde fastball. Trina had somehow thought ahead anticipating this and had a solution for this dilemma at least for some of the kids. Trina, Whitney, and Tiffany set off this morning for a week at girl’s camp. I have no idea what types of activities go on at girl’s camp nor am I curious enough to ask. My theory is that my male brain is not capable of comprehending the finer nuances of the female of the species so any attempt to figure out what goes on at a camp full of women would probably be erroneous. For the record, the term “camp” in the context of girl’s camp is just a loose interpretation. While they did pack sleeping bags and hiking shoes it is hard to take it seriously when they have also packed curling irons, dresses, and other girl accessories. The camp has its own cook and there are showers on the premises. So for them to say they were going to be roughing it and camping was equivalent to me saying I would only be attending a few ballgames this season. Neither is really that believable. But for the first time in my married life, Dakota and I found that males were the majority in our house.
Continue reading ‘Boy’s Weekend’ »
May 24, 2007
This country is based upon the ability of its citizens to select their leaders through a vote where majority rules. The definition of majority sometimes differs but the process is relatively the same. The goal of voting is to allow each and every one of us the opportunity to choose the winner and let our voices be heard. In most cases the process allows one vote per registered voter. There are entire processes and policies surrounding this concept and safeguards are put in place that will monitor adherence to that rule. In some cases though, that rule is allowed to be bent and sometimes broken. Anecdotes abound about elections that were fixed through various methods. One such method is the concept of ballot box stuffing. In this scam, people will vote for themselves but may also vote pretending to be someone they are not circumventing the one person one vote parameter. There have been stories that describe voters in Chicago that voted in city and state elections some 50 or 100 years after their death; a truly phenomenal feat and prove that indeed there is life and politics after death. But what does this have to do with baseball?
Continue reading ‘Fifty Ways to Elect Your Diamondbacks’ »
May 23, 2007
Those of you who are regular readers may have noticed a slight lull in the number of posts to this blog. There were about 5 or 6 days there where posts did not appear to be published. Please rest assured that this was not a result of some technical difficulty nor was it a matter of me not keeping up with the Arizona Diamondbacks. No this was a direct result of yet another one of those weird experiences that only I seem to be able to have. It all started a few days ago when I got up to get ready to go to work. My usual routine is to check the sports page and the Internet for any Diamondbacks news then once I am confident that I haven’t somehow missed an earth shattering story that could change the complexion of the team I’ll hit the showers. On this morning everything was just as it should be and there was no indication that it would be any different than any other day. I still checked my weight before getting in the shower and still wondered whether the scale had somehow broken during the night that would explain where the extra 2 pounds of weight had come from. I still got in the shower and had an internal debate on whether this was a shave or no shave day and ultimately would decide it probably was a shave day and then mutter the whole rest of the time about how much shaving sucks. No this was a normal routine. It wasn’t until after I got out of the shower that things got interesting.
Continue reading ‘A Shocking Experience’ »