I Take Full Responsibility

Let me preface this with the acknowledgment that I take full responsibilities for what I am about to describe. I completely deserved this as it was me yesterday who doubted the greatness that is Brandon Webb. I was jaded into believing that the Colorado Rockies would actually show up to play last night when they put their hottest pitcher on the mound. It was me who questioned the character of the Diamondbacks team and who thought that they did not possess some super power over the National League West. Maybe I read too many articles that claimed the Diamondbacks were not as good as their record. Maybe the three game sweep by the Chicago Cubs somehow channeled thoughts back to 2004 when things looked great in April before the great Richie Sexon experiment derailed an entire season. Or maybe I got purple in my eye and was temporarily blinded. Whatever the reason was, I doubted the Diamondbacks and actually suggested that perhaps last night Brandon Webb would lose a game and therefore I deserved last night.


My usual game day routine consists of loading the seat cushions, getting the partially frozen water bottles out of the freezer, tearing the tickets out of the booklet then driving to Chase Field. I usually arrive shortly after the gates open and make my way down to my seats to observe batting practice. As the final opposing hitters take their swings in the cage I will pull out my scorebook and enter the line-ups for that night. Once batting practice is over I’ll usually make my way up to the concourse to get something to eat before returning to my seat to watch the first pitch and the rest of the game. Once I get back in my seat I don’t leave until after the final out is recorded. What can I say, I am a creature of habit.

As I was getting ready for the game last night, I grabbed the seat cushion only to realize I grabbed the wrong end and that I had somehow left the zippered pocket open. Salted peanuts peppered the kitchen like machine gun shells. I spent the next several minutes having a mini Easter egg hunt looking for Hoodys peanuts that had found their way to every noon and cranny in the kitchen. I was grumbling under my breath as I got the water bottles out of the freezer to take with me. My grip slipped on the icy surface of the bottle and it fell. Luckily I broke the fall of the bottle with my big toe. I then proceeded to dance around on one leg using colorful metaphors to describe the sensations of pain I was feeling. I retrieved the tickets from the season ticket holder book and missed the perforation tearing the ticket into two pieces. I then had to search for scotch tape to put the ticket back together. One bright spot was I found another escaped peanut during my search for tape. All of this of course caused me to leave for the game later than anticipated and hence I got stuck in traffic further adding to my delay.

We got to the ballpark just as batting practice was ending. I quickly set down my seat cushion and retrieved my scorebook and began writing down the line-up. Halfway through the Rockies order my pen stopped working. I usually keep a spare pen in my bag but I remembered it too had flown across the kitchen and under the refrigerator during my earlier challenge and I didn’t take time to get it. Well, the team shop sells pens, I will just get one there. I went to the team shop to buy a pen. As long as I was there I grabbed another Diamondbacks hat and shirt (you can never have too many of those right?). When I got to the cashier I handed them my credit card. I went to give them my Season Ticket holder discount card but remembered that I left that in my seat cushion. The cashier handed my card back to me and stated that it was expired. I forgot to put my new credit card in my wallet. I set the hat and the shirt aside and rummaged through my pocket to find some cash for the pen. With pen in hand I ran back to my seat deciding I would forgo getting a Hungry Hill Sausage since it was almost time for the game to start. When I got to the top of my section a new usher stopped me and asked for my ticket. My ticket of course was in my seat cushion down at my seat. The usher didn’t want to let me down there without a ticket. I was caught in a circular loop here. What was worse was this same usher and I have had this discussion 3 times at 3 different games so she knows me and that I am a season ticket holder. I gave up and went down another aisle to get to my seat.

When I arrived at our row I found that I had neighbors sitting next to me. On both sides were two couples who combined weighed the equivalent of my car. I’m not a small guy myself but I was dwarfed in comparison to these people. I slid into my seat and began to once again work on my scorebook. Two rows behind me entered 4 Colorado Rockies fans that began chanting Rockies cheers from the moment they entered the stadium and did not stop until the final out was recorded. The woman to my right found them hysterical and thought her boyfriend’s comments back to them were even funnier. Her laugh was a combination of a cackle and an asthma attack. The woman to my left had this nervous habit of bouncing her leg at about 500 bounces per minute. I was beginning to worry about potential fire hazard as that much friction on a pair of polyester pants could cause them to ignite. Being smashed in my seat her bouncing made keeping score kind of like trying to write a novel in a moving car on a gravel road. At one point I looked down and thought I had written that the starting Diamondbacks pitcher was Plescott Bohemian.

By the fourth inning there was still no one sitting in front of us and I considered moving down a row (something I never do as I like my seats). Just as I had talked myself into that; along came 2 young couples arriving to the game. The one girl was wearing a towel that I think was supposed to be a dress. The other looked like a poster child for future Hooters girls of America. Towel girl was seriously drunk and her three friends were attempting to just get her sat down without her falling to the bottom of the section. Hooters girl had a boyfriend that somehow had mistaken Chase Field for a room at Motel 6. They of course sat directly in front of me. For the next 4 innings I was treated to equal parts of the new millennium’s version of a 1970’s porn flick and discussions of whether it would be better to throw up here or go back up to the top of the section and throw up there. I was beginning to smell smoldering polyester and cackle girl was in need of a breathing treatment. I kept telling myself, “Focus on the game, focus on the game.” For a time that worked as the Diamondbacks were able to score 8 runs and it looked as though victory was in the bag. Of course this was tempered by the fact that Diamondbacks fielders committed 4 errors nearly handing the game back to the Rockies. Mercifully the game ended with Brandon Webb Lyon getting Matt Holliday to ground out to Mark Reynolds. I have definitely learned my lesson. Never again will I ever suggest that Brandon Webb won’t win or predict the Diamondbacks will lose.


6 Comments

  1. Andre

    I don’t think Webb pitched complete game that day.

  2. Until your comment, I didn’t notice that I wrote Brandon Webb got Matt Holliday out when it was Brandon Lyon who recorded the final out for the save. The Diamondbacks have way too many Brandons. There should be a Brandon cap placed on all franchises that would allow only one per team per position.

  3. Andre

    This could happen by this Friday when Dbacks are planning on activating Doug Davis from disable list.

  4. I think you might be right. With the Diamondbacks stating that they would like to keep Max Scherzer in the bullpen once Doug Davis is activated they may be forced to make a move. Both Edgar Gonzalez and Brandon Medders are the likely candidates to be displaced. Since both are out of minor league options this could necessitate a trade since it is doubtful either would clear waivers. Of the two I think Edgar Gonzalez gives you more flexibility since he can start, do long relieve and when pressed do a little short relief as well. He is also pitching better as of late than Medders has. The question is, would any other team see enough value in Brandon Medders to warrant a trade?

  5. Andre

    What do you think is the best for Max development? Is it spending time in the pen or would it be better for his development to go to Tuscon? What about the team is Max better option than Medders or Gonzales? So lets say you spend the night at Holiday Express and you are GM of Dbacks what is your move is the future now or sometime down the road?

  6. While I like Max Scherzer a lot, I still have a lot of open questions and concerns about him. Let’s start with the simple points. This is only his second season as a professional. Couple that with the fact that he did not sign until the last moments before the draft and you realize that he does not have a lot of experience pitching the number of innings required. I think the Diamondbacks need to be very careful as to how many innings they allow him to pitch otherwise it could result in overuse or even worse injury. For that reason they need to monitor his work this year and probably next year to make sure he gradually builds up to the point where he needs to be. That kind of work is best suited to the minor leagues. The temptation is just too great to overwork Max by bringing him into games that are necessary for a play-off push which may contradict what is best for Max’s arm. Among major league scouts and even within the Diamondbacks organization there is still a lot of questions as to where Max Scherzer fits on the pitching staff. Is is going to remain a starter or is he better suited to becoming a closer? I don’t think anyone has made up their mind yet. He has looked good starting so far (other than getting little run support and even worse defensive support) but I think his success is more a product of no one having seen him than that his stuff is truly unhittable. I would rate his fastball at above average both from a speed and movement perspective. His breaking ball and off-speed stuff is still below average. If he is going to be a successful starter he is going to need at least 2 pitches and probably 3 if he is going to have success going through the line-up 3-4 times during a game. Without that he is only going to be good for 5-6 innings before hitters start to figure him out. As a reliever you can get by coming into a game and blowing it by a hitter for an inning or two. This is another reason why the minors might be what is best for him the remainder of this season until September call-ups. Let him go down there and continue to work with the coaches in developing his secondary pitches more fully so that they can be used as a strike-out pitch not just to set up his fastball. I’ve heard Randy Johnson say that he would be interested in coming back one more season with the Diamondbacks if for no other reason than to mentor Max Scherzer. That says a lot and no doubt if Max stayed on the Major League roster he could learn a lot from Randy. I just think that leaving him at this level could stunt his growth and that he would be better off pitching in the starting rotation in Tucson where he can get regular work. As to whether Max is a better option in the bullpen than Edgar Gonzalez or Brandon Medders; I would rather have Edgar down there than Max. Edgar has gone through the tough times and learned to get major league hitters out. Am I 100% confident when he enters a game? Not at all but I do think you are going to get more good than bad. We haven’t yet seen what happens to Max when he goes into a funk. Not a Barry Zito “I have no idea where the strike zone is” kind of funk but more of a “I can’t seem to buy a break” kind of funk. I’d like to think he wouldn’t flake out but we just don’t know. That is not the kind of risk I want to take when trying to make a play-off run for the NL West crown. So in this case I would take experience over talent at this point in time.

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