As part of the continuing segment State of the Home Stand Address this entry will cover the Arizona Diamondbacks home stand from April 18 through April 22. After a brief three game road trip the Diamondbacks returned to Chase Field for five games consisting of a three game series followed by a two game series. What is the deal with two game series? They just seem too short to be meaningful. Just when you get used to seeing an opponent they are heading out of town. The first three games of this home stand saw the return of the San Diego Padres who made their 2008 Chase Field debut.


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Earth Day

Happy Earth Day everyone! I am not exactly sure why Earth gets its own holiday. None of the other planets get their own holiday. I mean when was the last time that you celebrated Mercury Day or the ever popular Uranus Day? Fact of the matter is that Pluto not only didn’t get its own day but they voted it off the planet island. That’s completely messed up if you ask me. So I am not so sure I want earth feeling all that special. If lawmakers were so hip on creating another holiday my vote still goes for Opening Day. My arguments for Opening Day being a national holiday are well documented so I won’t go through them again. Suffice it to say that baseball is a lot more important than celebrating the birth of a planet. Oh sure there will be some environmentalist that will argue that without a planet there could be no baseball but I would have to counter that without baseball what would be the point of having a planet. Take Saturn for example. Oh sure it has cool rings and everything but exactly how many people do you know that want to go to Saturn? A quick poll of my neighborhood found zero people planned a trip to Saturn this year. I then asked how many people planned on going to a baseball game. I had one family that anticipated going to 72 regular season games and 2 spring training games which is substantially more than those planning to go to Saturn. Ok, I’ll admit it that was my family but there were other people in the neighborhood that we considering going to a game so the argument is still valid.


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For several days I have lamented the fact that Trina had coerced me into giving up my Sunday Diamondbacks tickets. Yesterday I felt like a child standing in front of the candy store. On the other side of the glass were all the sugary wonders and I was standing outside with a hole in my pocket and not a penny to my name. I was forced instead to watch the game on television where I was continually taunted by the sites of happy people enjoying the Chase Field experience. Although the Diamondbacks ended up losing, I would still have given about anything to be there in person. But I committed to Trina that I would go to church with her and the kids and I am a man of my word so I had to live with my decision. Andre for his part was trying to be helpful and sent me text messages from the game letting me know what I was missing and expressing how awesome the seats are in Section 112 Row 8. There was also a lengthy discussion on Ketchup after he pulled off a miraculous win for the second time since I called him out. Trina was not particularly thrilled that I was texting at church but technically she couldn’t say anything because I was there and not at the game. Nowhere in our agreement did it say that I couldn’t get game updates from church. Based upon the number of people who approached me, game updates at church seem to be a good thing. I was happy to provide this service and briefly considered contacting the Diamondbacks to see if they would be interested in some kind of ticker tape service to all major religions so that people could continue to follow the Diamondbacks even when their families forced them to miss a Sunday game. Still it was painful not being at the game. My friend Mitch tried to console me by saying that “God will bless you for giving up your Sunday tickets.” At the time I was a little less confident. In my mind God was a Yankees fan and was doing this just to drive me crazy. I mean if God really was in my corner then Rally Sally would suffer a career ending flag injury and be confined to her seat with a case of laryngitis. Little did I realize how prophetic the words of Mitch would be.


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For the second time in three days Ketchup has mocked my assessment that he is over-the-hill. I am not about to change my mind after a couple of lucky race results. I’ve seen condiments get hot before then fade away like mold on Jell-O. I’m only going to be impressed when Ketchup is able to continue his success over the course of several weeks or months. It is a long season and you can’t get too excited this early at the success a few players are having. It did seem somewhat appropriate that Ketchup picked today to pull out a victory. I’ve written on numerous occasions how I felt that Ketchup was too old to be an everyday condiment. His best days are over and he is now in the waning moments of his career. Ketchup may be able to hang on for a few more seasons but only if he moves over to the American League where he doesn’t have to play the field. The question is, what AL teams are looking for a Designated Condiment? Chances are Ketchup will have to adjust his expectations and come to grips that he is no longer the condiment ace. That is not to say that he shouldn’t be playing, just that Ketchup may not be suited to going the whole distance in a condiment race. He is obviously a liability on the base paths and it is sad to see that happen to someone you admired for so long. So why did I say that it was appropriate for Ketchup to get the win today?


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Before I get started, I just wanted to comment on last night’s game. I had a suspicion that once I wrote about Ketchup he would somehow find a way to pull out a victory. This goes to the root of the problem. Just because Ketchup came out ahead in one race does not mean I am not going to continue to ride him all season. I think it is clear that he is just mailing in these condiment races and I think he is making a mockery of being a professional condiment racer. I think the fans pay good money to be at the game and they should expect each and every condiment to do their very best regardless of how they feel. I have a hard time faulting the little children who are dressed up as their favorite hot dog; they are doing their best to cheer on their favorite condiments. I just think it is wrong that a condiment roster spot is being taken up by a non-competitive hot dog topping. I don’t want to dwell on this though, not when there are so many other more positive things to be written about.


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After all the drama yesterday I was really hoping for a nice and quiet day. I survived a day without Diamondbacks baseball and I even managed not to get myself killed so that’s a good thing. The San Diego Padres make their 2008 debut at Chase Field tonight in a continuation of NL West Month for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Padres are always tough. Their pitching staff is amazing and I am always worried that a game with San Diego will result in a no-hitter and not necessarily for the good guys. My heart was warmed when the Padres locked up with the Colorado Rockies for a 22-inning marathon that ended with the Rockies winning. The only think that tempered my joy was the fact that it was the “great Troy Tulowitzki” who won the game. That’s like applauding global warming because it helps you get a great tan. At some point global warming and the “great Troy Tulowitzki” will cause all life on the planet to become extinct unless we do something about it. After a day without baseball even the “great Troy Tulowitzki” could not dampen my spirits. Before you think everything is perfect, there is one subject that we probably need to broach.


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Today has been a very traumatic day for me and one I hope that no one should ever have to face. They say that bad things happen in threes and today I would have to agree. It started off poorly and went downhill from there. There is nothing worse for an Arizona Diamondbacks fan than to wake up in the morning, leap out of bed and check the schedule only to find that the Diamondbacks have an off-day. It makes you want to crawl back into bed and pull the Sedona Red sheets up over your head and just hibernate for 24 hours until this nightmare is over. But I promised myself that I was not going to brood over there not being Diamondbacks baseball today. I was going to look for the positive side of this. The 162-game season is a long trek and there must be some days off; well that’s what they tell me anyway. Personally I don’t think 162 games are near enough since that means that there are 203 days a year without baseball; 204 if it is a leap year. That means that over half the year is sans-baseball and no good can come from that. I personally think that we could eliminate all war and solve world hunger and global warming if we would just extend baseball to be year round. That theory has not yet gotten a lot of traction but I am hoping that it will soon. So until the planets align and we reach baseball nirvana I will have to be content dealing with days like today.


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