Ah the trading deadline, what a fun time during the season that is. Every baseball fan believes themselves to be a General Manager as they assess their favorite team and suggest scenarios that will bring the missing piece to the ball club that will catapult the team into the play-offs. Starting just before all-star break those inside and outside of baseball try to determine which teams will be selling off talent and which teams will be looking to acquire someone. For the shrewd General Managers it is possible to help their teams either this year or for years to come. The Arizona Diamondbacks always seem to be involved in one way or another in some kind of trade deadline deal. In 1998 they unloaded pitcher Willie Blair and catcher Jorge Fabregas in exchange for Bernard Gilkey (I said involved I didn’t necessarily mean their trades were successful). The question was, what deals would go down in 2007?


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The Arizona Diamondbacks have set off on a very important six-game road trip through the National League West where they will face the two teams closest to them in the standings. After a day off today they begin a three game series against the San Diego Padres followed by a three game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Before we get wrapped up in the hoop-la of this road trip, let’s look back on this past home stand as I provide you with my feedback in my regular State of the Home Stand Address.


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Being Brave

The Arizona Diamondbacks quite literally limped into the All-Star break having lost 7 of their final 8 games before the mid-summer classic. It looked as though youth and inexperience was taking its toll on the team and many baseball insiders began to write off the team and suggested that they begin looking at 2008. When games resumed for the second half of the season their assessment seemed sound as the Diamondbacks lost 5 of their first 8 games. But that seemed to change in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field on July 21. With a solid pitching performance by Juan Cruz, Tony Pena, and Jose Valverde the Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs. This one game seemed fairly ordinary but it was a jumping off point for Arizona’s young team.


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An Odd Bobble

When the promotional schedule for the 2007 season was announced my kids gathered around to pick their favorite giveaway. I found it kind of sad that they were basing their game attendance upon what cool things they could get as they entered the stadium. My theory was to get them to the game regardless of the reasoning and maybe, just maybe they would become more knowledgeable baseball fans. The kids were extremely animated to find that there were so many bobble head games. I have to admit, I am partial to a good bobble head too so I was just about as excited. If for no other reason than to try and even out the number of Sedona Red versus purple and teal bobble heads that adorn the top of my desk. I have every bobble head that the Diamondbacks have ever given as a stadium giveaway and proudly display them in our living room (much to the chagrin of Trina I might add). She has gotten to the point where she tolerates them but has not yet accepted the bobble head as an appropriate interior decorating accessory. Give me enough time and enough bobble heads and I think I can get her to change her mind. With that confidence I was looking forward to tonight’s game as it meant my bobble head posse would be growing by one.


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In a 1964 episode of the Flintstones, aliens land on earth and decide to clone an earthling releasing androids to attempt to take over the planet. The earthling they choose is Fred Flintstone and soon 10 exact replicas of “Fred” are running around Bedrock causing all kinds of havoc. The alien plans don’t work out as they can’t seem to figure out the bizarre behavior of the human species and end up abandoning their plan. As the aliens leave Earth Fred is left to try and explain to everyone in the town why he has been acting so strangely. It was a classic episode as the viewer quickly comes to the realization that Fred Flintstone was probably the worst example of a human being that they could have chosen and their plans were doomed from the beginning. We could learn a lot from animated cartoons if we would only listen. Unfortunately the Diamondbacks chose not to listen.


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For the majority of the 2007 season scoring runs has been a real challenge for the Arizona Diamondbacks especially at Chase Field. Through 103 games which would include last night’s game the Diamondbacks had averaged just over 4 runs per game. On the surface this average doesn’t seem too bad but the numbers are somewhat skewed due to the fact that Arizona has scored 9 runs on Tuesday and 7 runs last night. This should come as much of a surprise considering that only one position player in last night’s line-up had a batting average over .300 (Eric Byrnes leads the team with a .308 average). This woeful set of statistics is one of the reasons that contributed to the dismissal of Kevin Sietzer as hitting coach. Personally I don’t feel like Sietzer was given a fair enough chance but with expectations set so highly for this team I understand the team felt some change was required. While the Diamondbacks struggles at the plate have accounted for their recent slide in the standings, it has had an even larger impact on the fan base and is quickly reaching critical mass.


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Going to a Diamondbacks game is always an interesting proposition. You never quite know what is going to happen or who you are going to meet. For the most part the seats that are around us in Section 132 are made up of Season Ticket holders so after a few games you begin to see a pattern of who you will be sitting next to. What is somewhat surprising to me is the number of these season ticket holders who share their seats among a group of people. This is an extremely foreign concept to me as I have never really experienced anything like that before. I am usually lamenting to Trina that my season tickets only include 81 regular season games plus 2 Spring Training games. I cannot even imagine willfully giving any of these up and not attend. If anything I am usually looking for ways that I can somehow ADD games rather than subtract. Of course if I add any it would result in transportation and lodging costs since it would require me to go on the road with the Diamondbacks, an idea that after 9 plus years Trina is still not budging on. She always asks, “What is it about being at a Diamondbacks game that is so interesting?”


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