January 22, 2008
“How come I haven’t seen a blog entry on this story?” It’s funny how an email with a single line of text enclosed can ruin your day. I am pretty sure that when Andre sent me that email he knew full well that this story would make my blood pressure shoot up like Old Faithful. I count this as one of the signs of the impending apocalypse when someone like “the great Troy Tulowitzki” is rewarded with a six year extension after one year of Major League service. Perhaps the rarefied air in Colorado has finally resulted in casualties. It is obvious that general manager Dan O’Dowd has suffered some kind of brain oxygen starvation to hand this kind of money to someone like “the great Troy Tulowitzki” after only one season. To hear the Denver press talk about this guy you would think that Chicago Cubs shortstop Joe Tinker had been reincarnated. For those who may not know the name of Joe Tinker let me give you a little background. Joe Tinker played for the Cubs back when they were good. Not good like “hey what happened we made the play-offs”; no good like “hey we won the World Series and we like goats”.
Continue reading ‘A Sign of the Apocalypse’ »
January 21, 2008
In one of my more irreverent times I thought it might be interesting to take Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speeches and see if I could replace key words in the text to make it baseball specific. That entry “I have a dream” was one of the more popular entries I ever had on the blog. In a fit of laziness I briefly considered plagiarizing myself and just repeating that column. After all it is Monday and for many a holiday. Wouldn’t I much rather be hanging out with my family or playing with my motorcycle instead of writing another column? I then realized I could not possibly do that since I have no life outside of the Internet or baseball so while the kids are outside playing I sit at the computer penning yet another entry.
Continue reading ‘Civil Rights’ »
January 20, 2008
When Juan Cruz signed a one-year contract that left five Diamondbacks players left unsigned from the current roster. Friday January 18 was the deadline for teams and players to exchange arbitration figures and it appeared as though the Diamondbacks may actually be involved in an arbitration hearing. This is of course not something they wanted to do. Over the first ten years of this organization they have diligently tried to avoid arbitration. It’s a weird process that is a no win proposition for the team or the player. If the team wins an arbitration hearing the player somehow feels undervalued and if the player should win the hearing then it could have huge financial implications to the team. It is obviously much better to try and avoid that whole process if you can. So when the Diamondbacks issued a press release on Friday I fully expected it to say that the team had provided the five with salary proposals and would be awaiting the upcoming hearings. It was instead an announcement where the team had come to terms with all players on contracts.
Continue reading ‘With Five You Get Egg Roll’ »
January 19, 2008
It has been a restless 24 hours. Sleep was the farthest thing from my mind. How could anyone lie in bed and sleep when Diamondbacks Spring Training tickets go on sale in less than a day? Sometimes I just do not understand what makes people tick. So while the rest of the state of Arizona was curled up under their Arizona Diamondbacks blankets dreaming of Chase Field I was up pacing the floor checking the clock and testing its batteries to make sure that the time was correct. I must have called the number for time about every 30 seconds and I even bookmarked the web site for the atomic clock in Colorado. Sometime around 3 AM I made a note to myself to shop for a new clock as it was obvious that the one hanging on our wall did not have an atomic mechanism since time was drifting by a few seconds. I briefly considered calling the Diamondbacks ticket office at midnight and feign ignorance saying I thought 12:00 meant midnight not noon. That might have worked but I was pretty sure that no one would actually answer the phone at midnight probably because they knew some fan like me would try that stunt.
Continue reading ‘A Call to Arms’ »
January 18, 2008
According to my email, my calendar, and the postal mail I have received tomorrow Spring Training tickets for the Arizona Diamondbacks go on sale. Just the idea that within 24 hours I will be able to buy tickets to see the Diamondbacks in the Cactus League has my heart racing. Finally after what seems like an eternity I can finally see the end of the dark tunnel of the off-season. After all, if tickets are on sale then spring can’t be far behind right? According to my calculations, tomorrow when the ticket office opens it will be only 25 days until pitchers and catchers report and 39 more days until Spring Training games actually start. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first we need to get some tickets and in order to do that I need a game plan; literally.
Continue reading ‘Scheduling a Game Plan’ »
January 17, 2008
Three years ago the Arizona Diamondbacks held their inaugural fantasy camp allowing fans to take the field with some of the teams greatest former players. At the time I was recovering from my third shoulder surgery and for a solid week I moped around the house lamenting the fact that I was sitting with my arm in a sling when I should be in Tucson playing baseball with the players I had been watching for the previous seven seasons. I am sure Trina and the kids were exceedingly grateful when fantasy camp was finally over so I would quit whining about not being able to participate. I vowed that I would return from this injury and be rehabilitated to the point where I would be able to participate the following year.
Continue reading ‘A Man Without a Fantasy’ »
January 16, 2008
For the past two seasons a case could be made that one of the most valuable members of the Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen was Juan Cruz. During the 2006 season Cruz began the season as a reliever but soon found himself forced into the starting rotation. His starts were somewhat inconsistent but he did provide a solid 5 or 6 innings where in most cases the Diamondbacks were in a position to win. Last season Juan was moved back into the bullpen where he flourished as both a long reliever and as someone who could get the team to that all important seventh inning when the game could be handed over to the trio of Tony Pena, Brandon Lyon, and Jose Valverde. Cruz who is eligible for salary arbitration avoided that process when he signed a one-year contract with the Diamondbacks today.
Continue reading ‘Taking a Cruz and Finding a Fan’ »
January 15, 2008
You know you are going to have a strange day when you turn on the television and flip to ESPN then have to recheck the channel because you are positive that you fat-fingered the remote and were now watching CSPAN. For the second time in three years Major League Baseball finds itself visiting Capitol Hill to speak with Representatives and Senators about performance enhancing substances. Shortly after former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell released the Mitchell Report Congress decided it would be in the public’s best interests to bring some of baseball’s decision makers to Washington DC to discuss the report and what the next steps would be. Today was the first day of these hearings and would include guest appearances by commissioner Bud Selig, player’s union head Donald Fehr, and of course former Senator George Mitchell. This had all the makings of must-see television especially considering that this was about as close as we were going to get to seeing baseball in January. I popped a bag of popcorn and settled down into an easy chair to catch a few minutes of the proceedings.
Continue reading ‘Are you Hearings What I’m Saying?’ »
January 14, 2008
When the Arizona Diamondbacks traded closer Jose Valverde to the Houston Astros last month it left what many think is a gaping hole in the bullpen and questions around who will close games for the snakes in 2008. It is not as though Arizona is without any options, they currently have three individuals on their roster who is more than capable of filling the role as closer. For the past year I have been a proponent for Tony Pena to be given an opportunity to become the closer. His blazing fastball with late movement as well as his mental make-up seems to suggest he is the prototypical closer. Others have suggested that Chad Qualls whom the Diamondbacks received in the deal for Jose Valverde be given an opportunity to become the closer. Qualls has been very durable and consistent over the past few seasons and would seem to be a very good candidate. Another possibility and one that is looking more and more as the favorite; is to move current set-up man Brandon Lyon from his eighth inning role to become the closer.
Continue reading ‘I’d be Lyon if I Wasn’t Confused’ »