Being Prepared

Today marks day eleven of the 2008 Major League Baseball regular season. Today also marks the second off day for the Arizona Diamondbacks this season. I’m still scratching my head over that one. I could definitely see this being the first off day of the season but the second? Especially when you consider that their first day without games occurred on April 1 a whole day after the season began. I guess the scheduling geniuses at Major League Baseball don’t put too much credence in the strength and stamina regimes that most franchises utilize during Spring Training. No need tiring the players out. Two days off in the first week and a half of the season coupled with an afternoon getaway game between two teams that have the next day off and are only 90 minutes away via air travel makes you wonder if perhaps the Commissioner’s office needs to extend the drug testing to include employees responsible for developing the schedules. I recognize that over the course of 162 games it is necessary for teams to have a day off periodically but the schedulers need to understand that as a fan I have been waiting since October 15 for baseball to resume for the Arizona Diamondbacks so taking 2 days off this early is not exactly what I was hoping for out of the 2008 season. If anything I was hoping that we would get a doubleheader in the first couple of weeks of the season to make up for being without baseball for 167 days 13 hours and 48 minutes. But that isn’t going to happen so for the second time in this young season I am left to ponder, “What am I supposed to do on a day without Diamondbacks baseball?”

In my youth I was a member of the Boy Scouts of America; well I was a member until I found out that there were no Boy Scout/Girl Scout combined camp-outs then my interest kind of waned. During my tenure as a scout I was indoctrinated with several important principles which included committing to memory the scout motto which is “Be Prepared”. I am not exactly sure what a 12 year old boy was supposed to be prepared for but it seemed to be pretty important; so important that the motto has stuck with me through all these years. I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast or where I left my car keys but I can remember “Be Prepared”. So when I first realized I was going to be schedule-challenged I began to make a list of things that I could do during this baseball black-out. My scoutmaster once told me that we should have a 72-hour kit that could keep us alive for 3 days in case of an emergency. His theory was that rescue and support personnel could be deployed within 3 days so if we could somehow survive until they got there then life on this planet would not become extinct. I’m not sure which team he followed so I can’t really comment on their scheduling dilemma. Outside of the All-Star break I don’t think the Diamondbacks are off that many consecutive days so 72-hours may be overkill. I mean even during the All-Star break there is the All-Star game and every team must be represented so technically I guess you could say the Diamondbacks were playing meaning at most I have to deal with a 2-day outage. In this scout 72-hour kit we had granola bars, dried fruit, beef jerky, a candy bar and a bottle of water. We also had a change of clothes (including underwear), a rain coat, an emergency blanket, a flashlight, batteries, waterproof matches, a candle, a can opener, an axe, a shovel, a rope a book, a radio, and a pocket knife. I am not exactly sure what they thought we would be doing during those 3 days of emergency. Looking over that packing list it looked more like a list of game pieces for the board game “Clue” than it did an emergency preparedness kit. But considering it was the only list I had to go from I decided I’d improvise and try to create my own baseball 48-hour emergency kit. Instead of a granola bar I figured I would use a bag of Hoody’s salted peanut. A candy bar and beef jerky are pretty much universal so those two can stay in the kit. Since I take a bottle of water to the game I’ll leave that in the kit too. I am not sure what I was supposed to do with dried fruit unless I was supposed to soak it in the bottle of water. I decided to substitute a package of Juicy Fruit gum. It had “fruit” in the title so I figured I was probably safe. I think I have the food portion of the kit nailed down so it was time to focus on the non-food items. I’m not exactly sure why it is important that we wear clean clothes and fresh underwear during an emergency but I assumed there must be a good reason for that. I went to my closet and picked out my best “I’m having an emergency” Diamondbacks T-Shirt and packed it in the kit. I even included an extra set of underwear just in case. The list said I needed a rain coat; I have no idea why. We live in the desert. It rains like once a year. Over the course of 813 games at Chase Field since 1998 we have never had a game rained out. I made a few calls and I could not find one store that carried Arizona Diamondbacks rain gear. I decided that the kit needed to be adjusted to local climate so I tossed in a bottle of sun tan lotion. Next on the list was an emergency blanket. I have a fleece Arizona Diamondbacks blanket that I got a few years back as a promotional item when we went to a game. I know if I can’t find that blanket it is kind of an emergency so I tossed that in the kit. I had no idea what to do with the next set of items; a flashlight, waterproof matches, candle, can opener, axe, shovel, rope? Of all those things about the closest I could come up with was an Arizona Diamondbacks chip clip for the top of a bag of potato chips and a pair of Arizona Diamondbacks shoelaces that had the purple and teal logo on them so I threw them in the kit. The other two items on the list, a book and a radio, seemed pretty important. I went and got the 2008 Arizona Diamondbacks Media Guide and my XM radio (tuned to MLB Home Plate channel 175) and tossed them in the kit as well. I threw all these items in Arizona Diamondbacks backpack I bought last season at the team shop and I was ready. My combat Boy Scout training had come in handy for this emergency. I took my Diamondbacks backpack 48-hour baseball emergency kit and went down to the family room to try and weather this storm. I hope that scoutmaster was right; I am counting on being rescued and getting back to a game before my supplies run out.

1 Comment

  1. Glynnjamin

    They actually build in those days off to make up potentially rained/snowed out games. Since they keep playing games in Colorado and Cleveland in early April, they need to have some space so that they can play double-headers and make-up games.

    Im trying to figure out why we had a day game Sat, Sun at home and a day game on Tues and Wed in San Fran. What are we, the Cubs?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *