The Diamondbacks game against the San Francisco Giants on May 12th may as well have been redefined as Ryan Roberts appreciation day. The first 20,000 fans entering the gates prior to the game received a Ryan Roberts Tattoo Sleeve courtesy of Sanderson Ford.
Roberts who earned the nickname “Tatman” last season while playing for the Diamondbacks has quickly become a fan favorite partly because of his success on the field but more importantly because of his gritty blue-collar attitude that helped define the D-backs in their assentation to the 2011 National League Western Division Championship. Today’s game was not just about a fun giveaway though. The Diamondbacks also tied into Tatman’s popularity by featuring him at the team’s second annual “Tweetup”.
When Spring Training started there was a lot of talk around baseball at the depth of the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system particularly in starting pitching. For the past few seasons the team has been stockpiling young arms that would continually feed their need for pitching for years to come.
For long time Diamondbacks fans the hype around the minor league pitching was similar to 1998 when Arizona had three studs in the farm system that was touted as the cornerstones of the franchise. Closer Gregg Olson dubbed them the “three phenoms” who were first ever draft pick Nick Bierbrodt, John Patterson, and a sixth round draft pick Brad Penny.
Today is one of those strange scheduling anomalies that occur every so often in the baseball season that simply leave a hollow feeling in your stomach. It is the off day in the middle of a home stand.
Normally when the Arizona Diamondbacks have an off day it either comes during a road trip or at the conclusion of a home stand. In those cases the sense of loss doesn’t feel that bad. The team was out of town anyways so the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” helps you to deal with no Diamondbacks baseball.
Last season the Arizona Diamondbacks held what they referred to as “The First Annual Tweetup”. It was an event where the team brought together several local and national social media personalities for a panel discussion on how social media was transforming sports. Among the illustrious speakers that included Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall, Diamondbacks Insider Editor Josh Greene, Diamondbacks Social Media Director John Prewitt, Fox Sports personality Todd Walsh and Fox Sports Arizona writer Jack Magruder, MLB.com reporter Steve Gilbert, and AZ Snakepit Blogger Jim McLennan to name a few there was one panelist that didn’t quit fit – your truly.