Somebody Pinch Me

It’s 4 AM; I have been tossing and turning for two hours and have finally realized that I am just not going to be able to sleep. You would have thought that I would have crashed right out after not getting to bed until nearly 1 AM but that just has not been the case. My head is filled with thoughts and excitement over the events that will take place in approximately 13 hours. I have been waiting since 2001 for the Arizona Diamondbacks to return to the National League Championship Series and that day has finally arrived. I still remember how excited I was when the 2001 team made it this far. It was like a dream watching Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling dominate the Atlanta Braves taking that series in 5 games and setting up one of the greatest World Series in history. This is definitely not the 2001 team though I am still dreaming.

My dreams tonight were slightly more stressful than those I had 6 years ago. Then I was thinking of how dominating the Diamondbacks pitching staff was lead by Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson and his equally dominating side kick Curt Schilling. Now I am waking up in a cold sweat thinking about which Livan Hernandez will show up for Game 3 and if Doug Davis has fixed his mechanics problem where he was tipping his pitches. I tossed and turned in bed; my mind racing wondering whether we would see the near flawless Stephen Drew that we watched during the Divisional Series against the Chicago Cubs or would we be watching the Stephen Drew that committed 17 errors during the regular season and had a batting average of .238? How much would this team miss the gold glove of Orlando Hudson at second base? Would Chris Young and Eric Byrnes be patient enough with Rockies pitching or would they be too aggressive and get themselves out while keeping the pitch count low for Colorado pitchers? Could the Diamondbacks somehow shut down the potent offense of the Colorado Rockies and would it be possible for any of the Diamondbacks pitchers to finally figure out a way to shut down Brad Hawpe? Even more frightening, would Diamondbacks closer Jose Valverde be the dominating all-star that he has been for most of the season or would he become the reincarnation of the 2001 Byung-Hyun Kim meltdown at Yankee Stadium? With all of these questions it’s no wonder I can’t sleep. But even with all of the anxiety there is something more.

I laid there in bed staring at the ceiling but not really seeing it at all. Instead the room seemed to open up to the sights and sounds of Chase Field. I could see the warm afternoon sun glistening on the façade of the stadium as fans began to arrive. The sounds of the gates opening up filled the room. I could see the friendly faces of the Diamondbacks staff as they welcomed us to an historic event with the continuation of the impossible dream as the Arizona Diamondbacks appeared in just their second National League Championship Series. The quiet concourse erupting in excitement as fans entered the stadium to take in the sights and sounds of play-off baseball. I could see the freshly cut grass on the field and admired the NLCS logos that would be painted in front of each dugout. The Diamondbacks hitters were entering the batting cages taking their swings and preparing for game 1 of the series. I watched as the fielders glided along the outfield grass shagging balls and tossing some of them into the stands to cheering fans. The stadium was filled with the aromas of baseball. From the fresh cut grass in the outfield to the smells of grilled onions and sausages from Hungry Hill, everything seemed perfect. With all of this going on how could I possibly be expected to sleep? This is what every fan dreams of. Their team is playing in the post season for an opportunity to go to the World Series. Maybe this isn’t real. Maybe I am dreaming this whole scenario. If it is a dream I don’t want to wake up.

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