At the conclusion of yesterday’s game the Arizona Diamondbacks left Chase Field and began their first extended road trip of the season. I say extended road trip because this isn’t just a 3 game series the back home. Instead the Diamondbacks will travel to Milwaukee Wisconsin for three games against the Brewers followed by a trip to the west coast where they will face the Los Angeles Dodgers for two games before finishing the road trip with a brief two game series against the San Diego Padres. This means that the current home stand has concluded which in turn means it is time for another rendition of the “State of the Home Stand Address” where I try to recap what was the most recent home stand at Chase Field. As a reminder, the viewpoints and opinions expressed here are my own and in no way are they indicative of how others might view the team or Chase Field. This entry covers the three game series against the Colorado Rockies, the three game series against the San Francisco Giants, and the three game series with the Chicago Cubs.


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A few years ago I was feeling complacency in my life and really felt like I needed to introduce some excitement into my life. I came home one night from work and announced to my wife that I had just enrolled us in a scuba diving class that was starting the following night. I’ll never forget the look of confusion and terror that came across her face at this announcement. Looking back her reaction was probably quite normal considering I had never expressed an interest in scuba diving before and had not even mentioned that I knew what scuba diving was. This coupled with the fact that we were living in Idaho at the time which is not necessarily known as the scuba diving capital of the world probably didn’t help matters either. I have no idea why I chose scuba diving nor can I explain how I thought this change would be the solution to my feelings of complacency. I will give my wife credit, she went along with my rather unorthodox suggest and attended the classes with me.


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The one constant in the universe is nothing stays the same. In the case of the Arizona Diamondbacks 2009 season, this is probably a good thing. Over the first 19 games of the season it has not been good. If this season were a television show the networks would have already cancelled it due to viewer apathy and poor ratings. It’s unfortunate because there have been some moments that show promise and want you to tune into the next episode. The problem has been that the next episode usually ends with the good guys getting destroyed and what little hope you had is blasted away like splinters from a maple bat (sorry I was channeling Diamondbacks broadcaster Mark Grace for a second).


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This date on the calendar had long ago had a big Sedona Red circle around it. It was a day I was looking forward to and not because I had a date with the dental hygienist to have my teeth cleaned. No I was looking forward to this date despite having to go to the dentist. One of my favorite movie series has always been Back to the Future. Not only is it a cute 1980’s fun film but it also makes you stop and ponder the implications of such a series of events. Besides, who here hasn’t dreamt at one time or another of having a time machine or a DeLorean or in this case both? One of the interesting aspects of Back to the Future is the way that everything seemed to all revolve around November 5, 1955. This was the date Doc Brown came up with the idea of time travel after hitting his head and having a vision of the flux capacitor. Over the three movies that made up Back to the Future that date in 1955 seemed to continue to come up in one way or another. That’s kind of what it is like in our house on April 27.


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I remember June 14, 1998 like it was yesterday. That is one of those dates that you remember your entire life and pray to whatever deity you worship that you never have to go through that ever again. It was in the midst of the Arizona Diamondbacks inaugural season and considering that the franchise was brand new they were doing pretty well. The seats at then Bank One Ballpark were filled to near capacity. Most people were there to see what this “baseball thing” was all about or more importantly they were there to see the stadium and its retractable roof. The season was nearing the halfway point all the regulars were beginning to find their routine. I was among them. By this time I knew where I would be parking, how I would get to the stadium, what gate I would enter, and what I would do once I got to my seats. I know that sounds pathetic. After reading that I thought “I sound like the Rainman”. Still this was new territory for Major League Baseball fans in Arizona. We’d never had to do this for a whole season so we really were pretty clueless.


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I remember seeing the transaction come across the wire on January 9, 2007. It simply stated, “acquired LHP Randy Johnson and cash from the New York Yankees in exchange for RHP Luis Vizcaino, Ross Ohlendorf, Steven Jackson, and infielder Alberto Gonzalez”. That same day it was announced that the Diamondbacks had agreed to a contract extension with Johnson that would keep him in a Diamondbacks uniform through the 2008 season. This was exciting news as it most likely meant that Randy Johnson would finish his career in Arizona where he had most of his success. It also meant that he would also get his 300th win as a Diamondback. It is the one thing Randy had not yet accomplished in his storied career and would put the proper explanation point on a Hall of Fame resume. Of course all of this speculation went out the window when a back injury caused Johnson to miss much of the 2007 season.


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Last season I was adamantly opposed to the idea that San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum was the National League Cy Young award winner. I don’t have anything against Mr. Lincecum per se other than the fact that he is a San Francisco Giant but then I hold that against most every player on that team. The problem I had was the fact that the voters have no consistency when it comes to these awards. One year they will say that the winner was chosen because of wins which I believe is probably one of the worst statistics in the world for pitchers. The next year the criteria will be opponent’s batting average, strike-outs, or WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched). The lack of consistency is maddening. Baseball is foundationally based on consistency. It is what makes the game so great. When things are consistently measured it makes it possible to create comparisons between players and between generations. Without it, it makes it impossible to objectively compare.


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