It is amazing what a difference a couple of years makes. Going into the 2006 season Luis Gonzalez was the longest tenured Arizona Diamondbacks player on the roster. He was one of the few players left from the 2001 World Championship team that defeated the New York Yankees. For all intents and purposes Gonzalez was the face of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was by far the most popular player in the history of the franchise. Many casual fans would have believed that Gonzalez would finish his career clad in the purple and teal of the Diamondbacks. They would have of course been wrong on two levels. First the team would bid farewell to their left field mainstay in what some thought was an unceremonious bon voyage where Gonzo was told over breakfast that his services would not be required past the end of the season. Secondly the Diamondbacks would break with the past and eliminate the purple and teal color scheme replacing it with Sedona Red, Sonoran Sand, and Black (notice that once a color reaches team association it rises to a capitalized format. That is something not even Crayola does so in that sense I think my treatment of color is more friendly than the crayon company).


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I thought after last season when the Arizona Diamondbacks fielded one of the youngest teams in Major League Baseball that we had finally seen an end to the youth movement. As is normally the case, I thought wrong. The team announced through a press release that they had signed on with yet another rookie. With as much fanfare as can be mustered in a press clipping the Diamondbacks announced an agreement with Chez Reavie. Wait, who did you say? Let me repeat, the Diamondbacks announced they had reached an agreement with rookie Chez Reavie. With that news I stopped reading the press release and immediately leapt to a browser window and surfed over to Baseball Reference since I had no idea who Chez Reavie was or what position he may be vying for.


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Ever since the 2007 regular season ended there has been rumors that the Minnesota Twins would attempt to trade two-time American League Cy Young award winner Johan Santana. The 2008 season would mark the final year of Santana’s current contract and the Twins did not appear willing or able to absorb the type of contract necessary to retain the services of their ace pitcher. This meant that the time was probably appropriate for a trade to take place. One major sticking point was the fact that Santana owned a full non-trade clause meaning he would have to agree to whatever deal necessarily in order to waive his rights to block the trade. This of course put the Twins at a disadvantage because if Santana didn’t want to go he could nix any trade. Not exactly a position of power to be in from a negotiating perspective. For the longest time it appeared that Santana would be headed for one of the two teams that probably needed his services the least, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. The Twins asking price seemed a bit steep and trade talks slowed to a crawl. Santana’s representatives stepped in and added further pressure to the situation by announcing that once Spring Training started the window would be closed meaning that his client would not accept any trade during the season putting a very hard deadline on the negotiations. In the end, one team blinked and another opened its checkbook and a deal was done.


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I tend to enjoy the everyday advantages of living in the United States. I like the idea that I have fast food available at every corner and in many cases multiple fast food options on every corner. I like the idea of having inexpensive and what to me at least looks like unlimited energy. After all when did any of us really question whether a light would actually go on if we flipped the switch? We just take for granted that if we need electricity, gas, or any other energy source it will just be available and for less than many portions of the world pay for that same energy. The types and quantities of entertainment available to us on any given day also seems limitless. If I want to go to a movie I can probably find that movie playing on any number of theater screens around the valley. You have to admit we have things pretty well and you would be hard pressed to find something complain about with one noted exception.


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Tie One On

I am definitely not a slave to fashion. Trina refers to my tastes in clothing as “Team Shop Chic”. I once asked her what that meant and her response was that basically my clothing choices came down to whatever was new at the team shop at a given home stand. I once tried to argue that wasn’t the case but I was quickly confronted by 10 Diamondbacks T-Shirts, 4 personalized Diamondbacks jerseys, and 15 Diamondbacks hats. I tried to justify that by stating that I had to get new clothes because the team changed their colors. That statement led to a fairly large box in the garage that contained a treasure chest of Diamondbacks Classic apparel of purple and teal. About the only portion of my wardrobe that is not dictated by the team shop merchandise is my dress clothes. At least that is what we thought until recently.


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One of my worst nightmares came a couple of weeks ago when I went into my beloved Chase Field and found that the green well manicured outfield and perfectly groomed base paths had been replaced by large berms of dirt piled up by front loaders that were parked in the Diamondbacks bullpen. You may as well painted a graffiti moustache on the Statue of Liberty to look like my aunt Ethel before the waxing. This was one of those sights that leaves you speechless and in serious need of psychotherapy sessions by professions. I’m talking about the dirt berms on Chase Field not the thoughts of Aunt Ethel’s moustache or waxing techniques although either one of those will wake you from a dead sleep screaming in fear. I seriously thought there was nothing more frightening that what I had seen that night but I now stand corrected.


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They say that everyone has a price it is just a matter of finding out what that price is. For the longest time I took the ethical high road told myself that the quote was a fallacy. It was possible to maintain your value system and not deviate from it no matter what the consequences. Sure there have been times when I have thought that I may be willing to sacrifice my beliefs for the right price but then after moments of contemplation I would evaluate myself and realize that the level of guilt that I would feel as a result of selling out was too much of a price to pay. After all there is nothing in my life that I want enough to justify trading in my values and my conscious for it. And then in just one 24-hour period I did the unthinkable, I sold out and all in the name of Arizona Diamondbacks fantasy camp.


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