Memories, Good and Bad

The Arizona Diamondbacks began the season in Cincinnati Ohio where they were the opponent to the Reds for their home opener. After dropping two of three games to the Reds they now travel to Denver Colorado where they are the opponents to the Colorado Rockies home opener. This has to be a bittersweet homecoming of sorts for the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was on this very field on October 15 when the Snakes watched their magical 2007 season end as the Rockies swept the good guys to advance to the World Series. As if we needed any reminder of that, the Rockies and their fans wanted us to remember which team was better last year. Prior to the game starting the Rockies unveiled their 2007 League Championship banner to the ovation of a sold out Coors Field crowd. I know I should just be grateful for how far the Diamondbacks went last year but it was still hard watching this celebration and still thinking that the best team did not win that series. I don’t want to take anything away from the Colorado Rockies, I think they were a good team. I just think that NLCS saw the hotter team and not necessarily the better team win. Of course this is the same kind of thinking that has made Diamondbacks outfielder Eric Byrnes become public enemy number one in Denver Colorado.

From the moment that Eric Byrnes set foot onto the playing field until the last out was recorded the fans gave Byrnes an ovation that was even more boisterous than what we’ve grown accustomed to hear for alleged steroid user Barry Bonds. All this because Eric had the audacity to suggest that after the first two games against the Rockies that they had not outplayed the Diamondbacks, they just happened to be getting more breaks than Arizona and were taking advantage of those breaks. Personally I am not sure what the crime was for those comments that would make Byrnes such a marked man. Perhaps the rarified air at Coors Field has somehow led to anoxia among the fans clouding their thought process. Maybe it’s too many cups of the stadium namesake; or maybe the Denver fans are just so hard up for a villain that they begin inventing one. Whatever the reason, Eric Byrnes seems to be that guy. I’m guessing that Fox Sports Rocky Mountain isn’t planning on introducing the Eric Byrnes Show to the Colorado market any time soon.

So while Diamondbacks fans sat patiently watching the pre-game festivities and the unveiling of the NL Champion banner in the wrong stadium, I wondered how this would all affect today’s game. Would this be some kind of incentive to the Diamondbacks players to prove Eric Byrnes statement that the better team had not won or would they just shrug this off and move forward putting the past behind them. The right answer should have been the latter where they congratulated their NL West opponents and played 2008 as if nothing happened. Deep down I wanted it to be the former and for the Diamondbacks to make a statement letting the Colorado fans know that Eric Byrnes was right and they did just get lucky. With Micah Owings on the mound both parties got their wishes. The Diamondbacks opened the game up scoring 3 runs in the first inning and never looked back. Owings was masterful on the mound as the Diamondbacks scored early and often while letting their young pitcher dominate on the mound. By the time Micah left the game in the 7th inning he had accumulated 9 strikeouts allowing 2 hits and 1 run. The bullpen followed with another brilliant outing and as the last out was recorded the Diamondbacks found themselves winning their second game of the season by the score of 8-1. It is only the first game of this series and there are still 158 games remaining in this season but this one feels pretty good. I’d like to savor this one for a little bit. It helps to ease those cold dark memories from October last year.

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