Planning a Road Trip

A sure sign that baseball is nearly ready to begin is the frequency in which I hear from the Arizona Diamondbacks. During the dark off-season there may be weeks or months between communications with the team. With each passing day counting down the time when pitchers and catchers report, I hear from the team more and more often whether it be via e-mail or postal mail. Take today for example, I actually received both an email and a letter. The email arrived in my inbox to let me know that the Diamondbacks on-line team shop was having a sale on batting practice jerseys and hats. This was extremely important since the Diamondbacks batting practice jersey is also their Spring Training jersey. Any fan worth their weight in peanuts and Crackerjack is going to want to be dressed appropriately when attending a Cactus League game. I already have one of the Cool Base jerseys and I love it. It is soft and very comfortable. So comfortable that I made it my pajama top. There is just something comforting about putting on a Diamondbacks jersey before sliding into bed. You are pretty much guaranteed a night filled with great dreams about post season success and World Series championships. I initially tried using a batting practice hat as a sleeping attire accessory but Trina complained that when I rolled over the bill of my cap kept smacking her in the head. It didn’t wake me up so I wasn’t exactly sure what the problem was but after yet another ultimatum by my wife and a lecture about how I love the Diamondbacks more than her, I relented and now take the hat off prior to her coming to bed.

The second communication I received from the team was actually a lot more exciting to me. This came in the form of a letter complete with a Sedona Red accented envelope. [Note to self: I really need to get myself some of those envelopes; I may even enjoy paying the bills knowing I get to stuff each payment in a Sedona Red envelope.] It’s funny, when I get a letter from a Major League Baseball franchise especially the Diamondbacks my mind races with thoughts about what the letter may contain. The odds of that envelope actually containing an invitation to Spring Training or the team asking if I would like to participate in the 10th anniversary festivities is probably pretty remote but it is always fun to imagine something like that being inside. I opened the letter and gently removed the contents. Trina always comments that I remove the letter inside a Diamondbacks envelope as if I were handling an original copy of the Declaration of Independence. I keep telling her the content of this envelope is much more important than that. At that point she usually just shakes her head and wanders off. Today’s letter actually was closer to my fantasy dream (we don’t use the “F” word any more until I attend “F” camp). The letter was indeed an invitation to Spring Training. The one caveat was that the invitation was not as a non-roster invitee but rather as a non-roster season ticket holder. The Diamondbacks are offering an excursion to Tucson to see the Arizona Diamondbacks begin their 2008 Cactus League campaign. The excursion includes round-trip transportation from Phoenix to Tucson via a luxury motor coach which I have since learned means we get to ride a bus. Once at Tucson Electric Park you are given an all-you-can-eat lunch consisting of hot dogs, hamburgers, sides, and non-alcoholic beverages. You are then given reserved seats in the stands where we will watch the first Spring Training game of the season. What an awesome idea! I started yelling and running around the house looking for Trina and the kids. Everyone came out of their rooms carrying what looked like 72-hour emergency kits. I guess they thought the house was on fire. I explained that was not the case, this was much more important than that. I read the paper to the kids and waited for their excited response to this great opportunity. Instead they all just returned to their rooms resuming whatever activity I had interrupted. Did these people not understand what I had just offered them? Whitney my bookworm summed up their attitude with her fading comment, “Dad, it is just baseball and these games don’t even count.” What the heck? We have been without baseball for nearly 5 months and now we are given a golden opportunity to go down and see the first game of Spring Training and all they can say is that the games don’t even count? This is so messed up. I am beginning to think I was adopted; my real family would be excited about this. Trina could sense I was more than slightly disappointed. “It could be fun. If you think the kids would be ok, I would go with you.” Ah, that is why I love this woman so much so that I am giving her Diamondbacks dinnerware for Valentine’s Day. This is going to be awesome. Maybe I need to go back to my in-box and get that link to the Diamondbacks on-line team shop. I might need to pick up another pajama top so I have something to wear on the bus.

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