November 30, 2007
Salary arbitration is always a weird subject. It is one of those things that is rarely understood by the average baseball fan and one of those quirky things that always seems to be part of the collective bargaining agreement each time it is signed. The origin of salary arbitration started out simple enough. Owners were becoming frustrated when players would hold out at Spring Training because they felt they were being undervalued. The players on the other hand were frustrated that their only leverage for demanding fair compensation was their failure to show up for work. A compromise was therefore necessary that would allow players an opportunity to escalate their earnings especially following a break-out season. Owners would have the opportunity to counter with an offer that made fiscal sense while ensuring that the player would continue coming to work. From these beginnings stemmed other nuances that would have many implications in the game.
Continue reading ‘The Game of Arbitration’ »
November 29, 2007
Prior to the 2007 season the Arizona Diamondbacks were marketing and showcasing their plethora of young talent that would make up their team. The future looked so bright with a core of young players who had come up through the minor leagues together and were now ready to show their stuff at the Major League level. The Diamondbacks web site echoed this by featuring several players in the heading. There was Cy Young award winner Brandon Webb and first baseman Conor Jackson. There were photos of Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Young and shortstop Stephen Drew. And there was Right Fielder Carlos Quentin who had been branded with someone who possessed unlimited potential.
Continue reading ‘Odd Man Out’ »
November 28, 2007
The latest name to be pursing the lips of eager Arizona Diamondbacks fans is Hiroki Kuroda. Wait what was that name again? Hiroki Kuroda. Like most Americans I tied my tongue in a knot that would have made many a Boy Scout proud as I attempted to pronounce his name. And as like many people from the United States, if I can’t speak a foreign language and can’t seem to get the pronunciation correct; I just speak louder. THE ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS ARE INTERESTED IN SIGNING HIROKI KURODA. There now I am sure I got it right. If you are like most fans I have talked to in the last couple of days you are sitting there scratching your head wondering what the heck a Hiroki Kuroda is and how he fits into the plans of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Continue reading ‘Mr. Complete Game’ »
November 27, 2007
“You should look into this.” Whenever I get an email that starts with that sentence; I know I am about to get involved in something that probably will result in no good. Emails like this come into my in-box more often than I care to remember. Some of them are from friends that really would love to hear my take on a story; others are from people who are just trying to get me in trouble with my wife which is something I seem to be completely capable of doing without anyone’s help. In this particular case the email contained a link to a URL. I know I am not supposed to click on links within email messages; my antivirus software constantly reminds me of that fact. I swear Norton nags me more than my wife and my mother combined. Oh wait I didn’t mean nag I meant gently remind me in a loving manner (you never know when your wife or your mother may be reading your blog). Like any small child I believe I know more than my parent/wife/antivirus vendor so I gleefully click on the links within email messages. It’s a lot like Christmas. You never know whether the package contains a Nintendo Wii or the street address of that homeless guy who stole the only good shopping cart at the grocery store.
Continue reading ‘Rally-Back Wanna-Be’ »
November 26, 2007
For the past few weeks we have all begun to hear more and more about the upcoming election. The candidates are beginning to line up their supporters and while the mudslinging has not been too painful to endure yet it is bound to get more and more fierce as the election draws near. There will be questions of whether a particular candidate can handle the stress of the election trail. And while the voters would love to deal with nothing but the issues we are all guaranteed that each candidate’s character will be brought up and any skeletons will be shaken from the closets and closely examined. I guess when an election is as important and historical as this we should be appreciative that people are taking these things so seriously. Still, I am not quite sure I am ready to be engulfed in another election. I’m still reeling from the outcome of the last election just a little upset because my candidate did not win. I know I should not take these things personally but it’s hard to do when you are devoted to the issues the way I am.
Continue reading ‘It’s Ballot Time’ »
November 25, 2007
The last time we saw Chad Tracy it was during the player introductions of the 2007 divisional play-offs. He was introduced and made his way out to the third base line to take his place with his teammates. Tracy had just recently undergone microfracture surgery on his right knee and he was on crutches as he hobbled towards the base path amid the cheers of the fans. The prognosis for Tracy’s return is Opening Day as the best case scenario. Going into the off-season this news puts the Diamondbacks in a difficult situation.
Continue reading ‘The Hanging Chad’ »
November 24, 2007
Late last season after the trading deadline the Arizona Diamondbacks put in a waiver request on pitcher Joe Kennedy. At the time the move was partially one to keep one of the other National League Western Division teams from picking up Kennedy from the Oakland Athletics and partially because General Manager Josh Byrnes thought Kennedy could help the Diamondbacks in their push to the post season. Kennedy joined the Diamondbacks on August 4 and pitched out of the bullpen for Arizona. He made three appearances for the Diamondbacks pitching a total of 2.2 innings where he allowed 7 runs on 4 hits. On August 15 Arizona parted ways with Kennedy designating the left-hander for assignment thereby ending one of the shortest tenures of any player in franchise history. Kennedy would end up catching on with the Toronto Blue Jays where he would play the remainder of the season. That in itself would not be very noteworthy.
Continue reading ‘A Sad Day in Baseball’ »
November 23, 2007
The day after Thanksgiving is typically referred to as Black Friday. This designation is in reference to the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Historically it is one of the most profitable days of the year for most merchants as people begin to purchase their gifts. In our household it is about as close to a national holiday as there is. Beginning on Thanksgiving night Trina will sit down begin to map out a plan of action. She will retrieve the newspaper and begin categorizing each advertisement. One stack will contain all of the “door buster specials”. These are the items that are on extreme sale and are usually time sensitive. One stack will be based upon type of gift. These are made up of merchandise categories such as electronics or clothing. Clothing is a special category because these are stores that may require trying something on which in turn reduces shopping time efficiency. The final list of ads are made up of items that might be gift related but also could just be something fun to have. These shopping stops are more fact finding than anything else. Trina may see something that she would like to use as a future gift and therefore we should check it out to see how feasible it would be.
Continue reading ‘Black Friday?’ »
November 22, 2007
Today in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving. From what I remember from my days in elementary school, the holiday commemorates a feast between the pilgrims and the Native American Indians to celebrate the bountiful harvest and new found friendship found in the new world. This of course all happened before the settlers began stealing the land from the Native Americans who in turn would gain gambling rights on their reservations whereby they would take back all the money that the settlers had taken plus interest at their casinos. It just goes to show that what goes around comes around. According to the Butterball company, this is the time of year when we all partake of the goodness of turkey and feast ourselves on such delicacies as green beans with mushroom soup poured over fried onion crunchy sticks and countless helpings of multi-colored Jell-O in fancy glasses topped with Cool Whip and other man-made dairy cream products. But this holiday is not only just about food; it is also about sports and in particular football.
Continue reading ‘What I’m Thankful For’ »