July 31st 4 PM Eastern Time should come circled in red on every baseball fan’s calendar; for Diamondbacks fans that would be Sedona Red. This is the day where every fan’s hopes and dreams collide with the reality of what management thinks of their team’s chances of reaching the post season. This is the “non-waiver trade deadline” in Major League Baseball. A lot of people simply refer to this as the trading deadline but that is not necessarily accurate. A team is capable of making a trade through the month of August; it is just much harder to do so. Let me try to explain it for those readers who may not understand the nuances that are Major League Baseball.


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I am not sure the electrons even cooled from my post yesterday when I got a text message to go and check out Major League Baseball’s web site. The late breaking story announced that Atlanta Braves first baseman Mark Teixeira had been traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for Angels first baseman Casey Kotchman and pitching prospect Stephen Marek. Just like that the discussion we had yesterday regarding Chad Tracy potentially going to Atlanta alone with Micah Owings became academic.

Micah Owings was not completely out of the woods though. He was involved in a player transaction; it just happened to include a one-way plane ticket to Tucson. Owings was demoted to Triple-A to work on his command and pitch location. Hopefully he will be able to straighten out the problems he is having and will rejoin the team showing the form he had in April.

You would think that all of these moves and transactions would have been the big story for the day. Those stories would pale when compared to what would happen later.


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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, when Charles Dickens wrote that line in 1859 he probably had no inclination that he would be quoted in a baseball blog. Well that’s probably a given since I am not sure Charles Dickens even a baseball fan and he definitely had no clue what a blog was. Still, there was never a more apropos quote to describe this time of the baseball season. We are now less than two days away from the non-waiver trading deadline and around baseball teams are trying to determine whether they are buyers or sellers and evaluating their team’s assets to decide what they need in order to make a run for the 2008 post season. Some franchises view their chances as miniscule to make the play-offs and will be sellers trading away today’s players in exchange for building blocks for a future contender. Others will see themselves as being very close needed just 1 or 2 pieces to get themselves over the bubble and make an appearance in October.


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Yesterday’s game against the San Francisco Giants was an interesting match-up. For the Giants you had Barry Zito who was the marquee pitcher from the free agent class two years ago. Much was made of Mr. Zito and how he would be the staff ace of whatever team he ended up going to. His agent was demanding massive amounts of money and years in order to sign him. At the time there were many Diamondbacks fans who were vocal with their opinions that Arizona should go after Barry Zito. Instead the Diamondbacks chose to go a different direction and traded for Doug Davis who was then with the Milwaukee Brewers. Fans were left scratching their heads. Members of the Diamondbacks front office I talked to went on and on how Davis’ statistics were a mirror image of those of Zito and that the team was able to slide him into the rotation for a fraction of the cost that Zito was asking for. Turn ahead the clock to 2008 and let’s look at their comparative stats.


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This is always a great weekend to be a baseball fan. Not only are all the teams playing and games are going on at all hours of the day but there is also this little get together in New York that reminds us all of what these players and coaches are doing this for. No I am not talking about the Yankees and Red Sox series (which incidentally is being played in Boston not New York). No I am of course speaking of the events in Cooperstown. Today marks the induction ceremonies of the 2008 class to the Hall of Fame. This year there were several varied appointments to the Hall of Fame. From the most hated man in Brooklyn (who is also the most loved baseball man in Los Angeles) Walter O’Malley to Dave Niehaus as the Ford C. Frick Award winner to Larry Whiteside who was posthumously awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for excellence in baseball writing to former commissioner Bowie Kuhn and manager Billy Southworth. The most emotional moment for me was the unveiling of the Buck O’Neill statue on Friday in front of the Hall of Fame entrance. Buck O’Neill was given the first lifetime achievement award that bears his name but the former Negro League player has yet to earn admittance based on his playing credentials which I still think is one of the greatest travesties in the game. For all that Buck O’Neill had done as a player he deserves to have his bust displayed in the player’s wing of the hall like the other immortals of the game. Most of the focus of this weekend though was focused on the two recipients that were voted into the Hall of Fame.


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The Arizona Diamondbacks are currently celebrating their tenth anniversary as a franchise. I know, I know, this is the 11th season they have played but no one would believe me. They kept saying 1998-2008 means 10 years. No one takes the time to stop and count. I am not here to debate whether that is right or wrong; I am just going to remind myself of the first rule of scuba diving, “1. Don’t forget to breathe.” As part of the celebration of baseball in the desert, Fox Sports Arizona is recognizing the 50 greatest moments in Arizona Diamondbacks history. Beginning with the July 19 game, the network began showing these moments as they make their way to the most memorable moment in team history.


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The Arizona Diamondbacks have now left Chase Field and are heading to their charter flight to San Francisco where they begin a three game series against the Giants tonight. The team will be on the road for ten games as they make a west coast swing that will see them play the Giants then the San Diego Padres and finally a four game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium before returning to Phoenix the first week in August. With the Diamondbacks leaving town it can mean just one thing, it is time for another episode of the “State of the Home Stand Address” where I attempt to give a fan’s perspective on the home series that just completed. This recap will cover the three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the three games with the Chicago Cubs. As always, the opinions expressed within this post and this blog are my own and in no way indicative of how others see the games or the series. So let’s get started.


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