Preparing for the Best

Do you ever have one of those nights? I was lying in bed in my Arizona Diamondbacks pajamas letting the memories of the day slowly wash away. My mind was starting to slow down and relax. I was hoping to soon be asleep. Suddenly a thought crashed into my consciousness like a bolt of lightning. I sat straight up in bed. Sleep was suddenly the farthest thing on my mind. I leapt out onto the floor and hit the ground already in full stride. I opened the bedroom and ran to the stairs. The movement woke Trina up and she rushed out the bedroom after me. As we were bounding down the stairs I heard her ask, “what’s the matter, did you hear something?”

“No, I just remembered that tomorrow is the deadline for turning in Diamondbacks seat relocation forms.” At the sound of that Trina stopped in her tracks and retreated back to the bedroom mumbling something under her breath about “mental health benefits” or some such nonsense.

I have spent the past several days scouring over maps of Chase Field and going through literally hundreds of photographs looking at sight lines from various angles in the ballpark. Beginning the last three home stands I went to the park extra early. With my camera in hand I walked around the ballpark and went to various sections where I thought I might want to sit next season. I would sit in the seat and take a picture of the field from that angle. Many people questioned what I was doing but now that Seat Relocation Day was among us those pictures were a valuable resource.

There are 48,500 seats in Chase Field. That means that there are 24,250 combinations I could create for two seats. I am a little frustrated that I don’t have pictures from every seat and I’ve made a note to talk to Trina about going to the games early next season so we can try out every seat and get a photo. I figure if we go to every game we will only need to take 585 pictures per night in order to finish by the end of the 2009 season. Of course if the Diamondbacks make the playoffs next year we might be able to cut that down to 516 pictures per game which is a big difference.

I was cursing and muttering to myself about the lack of data I had to make such an important decision. How in the world am I supposed to make an informed decision without having pictures and details about each seat location? I was going to have to make my choices based on incomplete information and that doesn’t make me very comfortable at all. Still, I had to do the best I could and so I went from computer to computer looking at the various camera angles I did have. Luckily I had both laptops and all three desktop computers fired up so I could compare the pictures side-by-side-by-side-by-side-by-side. Meticulously I went through each picture and assigned a rating to the seat location. After three hours I finally had put the pictures in order from best to worst views. Once I had that done I turned my attention to categorizing each one by field location and price range. This took another 45-60 minutes to complete. Finally I thought I had my list of alternative choices for seat relocation.

I went to my desk and retrieved the relocation forms. As l looked at the paper I came to the realization that there was a mistake on the form. There was only room for 4 choices. Four choices, how were we supposed to limit ourselves to four choices? This was just not going to happen. So I did what any geeky baseball-loving fan would do; I redesigned the relocation form to allow 15 choices. I know, 15 is cutting it close but daylight was approaching and I needed to have this ready to turn in. After 90 minutes of work, I had the forms filled out and ready to be turned in. It wasn’t as comprehensive as I would have liked but it was the best I could do. At least it was done and I would meet the deadline.



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