March 22, 2007
This week has been an emotional roller coaster ride. I feel like I have just finished a marathon session on Space Mountain and I thought the ride was over. There were the tremendous lows associated with my tickets not arriving last Friday, Saturday and Monday. Then there was the meteoric high when my tickets arrived on Tuesday. Then there was the low that Spring Training is nearly over followed by the high that Opening Day is only 11 days away for the Diamondbacks. Then there was the low that the Diamondbacks would open on the road against Colorado only to be countered with the high that I got my tickets to Opening Day in Denver so I would still be there. Finally there was the low that I didn’t have the appropriate clothing to wear for Opening Day. It would just be embarrassing if I showed up to the party sporting a Purple and Teal jersey that said Diamondbacks across the front. I’ve seen how brutal those announcers are along the red carpet at the Academy Awards and I didn’t want them talking about me that way. No, something had to be done and there wasn’t much time to do it. I was going to need a new jersey to take with me on this road trip and it had to be authentic. There is nothing quite like putting on an authentic jersey with the patch on the sleeve and the buttons strategically placed around the team logo on the chest. Nothing quite like sliding that shirt on and looking in the mirror to assess how you look. If I thought I could get away with it I would wear Diamondbacks jerseys every day just to remind me what its like to be at a game. Trina of course doesn’t agree with that last part. She puts her foot down whenever I suggest going to an all jersey wardrobe. That’s why her actions were so inconceivable to me today.
Continue reading ‘It’s New Jersey in Arizona’ »
March 21, 2007
A story was posted on the MLB.com web site that described an eBay auction. Normally Major League Baseball does not advertise for eBay so curiosity just got the best of me and I had to see what the story was about. The MySpace/Cliff Notes/PDA version of the story is basically that Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez has decided to sell his gas barbeque because he just doesn’t have time to use it. Wow, now that is a shock. Ramirez is home all summer every night so you would think he could make some time to go out on the back patio and fire up the grill. And it’s not like this is one of those cheesy charcoal grills that you have to mess with lighter fluid, oh no, he has one of the state of the art 5-burner propane stainless-steel grills. This is one of those like you see every time you go into Home Depot and you try to explain to your wife why you just have to have a 55,000 BTU cooking appliance in your back yard. You tell her about how you have always dreamed of putting a half a cow on the rotisserie and then use your side burners to make a delicate sauce for basting. Now I don’t blame Manny for trying to recoup some of his costs on the grill. We have all made impulse purchases that we wished we could unload so we could forget about the lapse in judgment we had when we bought it. I know personally I am saddled with a Nordic-Flex home gym system that sits mockingly off my bedroom reminding me that I will never look like Chuck Norris and the closest thing to a six-pack stomach I will ever have will be when I rest a six-pack on my stomach while I reach for my wallet at the grocery store. No, my issue is in how Manny is going about his little auction.
Continue reading ‘Manny the Grill-a’ »
March 20, 2007
Four long days and even longer nights I have been patiently waiting for the delivery of my 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks season tickets. Well maybe patiently should not be the adjective I should use. The saga began on Friday March 16 which was the date identified on the postcard the Diamondbacks sent me as to when I would receive my tickets. To be precise the postcard said Friday March 16 or Saturday March 17 so I shouldn’t have been surprised when the tickets were not delivered Friday. On Saturday I waited for the mail to arrive but again I was disappointed when the mailman came and went without delivering my tickets. I thought for sure that they would arrive on Monday which is why I developed a plan just in case they showed up while I was at the office. My day ended again in disappointment and I headed to bed very depressed. I laid there in bed counting the revolutions of the ceiling fan trying to get to sleep. Sleep though was far from my mind. I felt like one of my children had run away from home and I was helpless not knowing where they were or even if they were safe. At that moment I realized how helpless I was and that I was going to need some divine intervention to be safely reunited with the season tickets that I loved so deeply.
Continue reading ‘They’re Here! They’re Here!’ »
March 19, 2007
Day 3 of the mail marathon began the same as Day 2 which was the same as Day 1. As the first rays of sunlight cast over the horizon I sat at the window looking to see if the mail truck was coming. Trina came down the stairs rubbing the sleep from her eyes. “What time is it?” she asked. “It is 6:32 AM and the mail isn’t here yet.” I stated not moving my glance from the window. Trina mumbled something about addiction or mental health insurance or something and walked out the room leaving just me, the window, the neighbor’s cat, and that little Hispanic guy cutting the lawn across the street as the only things moving this morning. Slowly the neighborhood began to come alive; people wandering out to their driveway in their bathrobes to retrieve their newspapers or young school children snickering and pointing at the adults in their bathrobes as they walk towards their bus stops. Time and traffic seemed to inch along ever so slowly and none of the vehicles remotely resembled a mail truck. I signed deeply causing my breath to fog up the window briefly before disappearing.
Continue reading ‘The End Must Be Near’ »
March 18, 2007
If I have learned anything during the 12 years that I have followed the Diamondbacks it is this, “you never know what you may find and everybody has a story.” As I have been doing for the past month, I was again working on the Now Hitting web site trying to get things moved from the old site to the new and update those areas that had gone neglected far too long. Today I was working on the draft picks for the Diamondbacks. I began with the inaugural draft of 1996, the first ever in Diamondbacks history and continued on through the 2006 draft just last June. Each year got its own page so that visitors to the site could see a progression of draft strategy and also to see which current Diamondbacks came up through the system and where they were drafted. Each year for the past 12 I have made careful notes of who was picked in each round and other tidbits of information. Some of this data is gathered through Major League Baseball, some through Minor League Baseball, and some through the hometown newspapers and fan sites that crop up now and again about a player. The majority of these draft picks were once stars on their high school or college teams and they have very dedicated fans that provide all kinds of information. This can be interesting reading and sometimes very helpful. For example, I have a personality flaw that causes me to freak out if my data is incomplete or inaccurate. This manifest itself today when I realized that several of the sources I used for the 2006 draft had missing data specifically the weight of some of the draft picks. That sounds trivial and inconsequential and I should have just put “N/A’ in the field like others had done. I couldn’t do that though. I had know what the weight of these players were so I began what amounted to several hours of research as I went through each draft selection of the Arizona Diamondbacks that was missing a number for their weight. I didn’t think it would take me too long and I thought my search would be relatively trivial. What I didn’t expect was where this journey would take me.
Continue reading ‘Everybody Has a Story’ »
March 17, 2007
I found it very difficult to sleep last night. I must have woken up nearly every half hour. I would roll over and look at the clock only to realize that morning was still hours away. According to astrophysicists and others in the scientific community the shortest day of the year and hence the longest night of the year always occurs at the winter solstice which typically occurs in the third week of December. Given the way this night has been I would have to disagree with these scientific minds, tonight is definitely the longest night I have ever had to endure. I am thinking maybe global warming has caused the seasons and the earths orbit around the sun to somehow drift to the point where tonight is when we must endure the endless night. Of course there may be another much simpler explanation; it may just be that I am too excited to sleep knowing what lies ahead for me once daylight arrives.
Continue reading ‘The Waiting Is the Hardest Part’ »
March 16, 2007
According to most calendars, tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not Irish though but I have used Irish Spring soap before so I try to join in on the festivities however I can. In our house that means two things. First, it is the one time each year that I get to wear my green Diamondbacks hat. Back in 1999 the team sold this hat and wore it for St. Patrick’s Day during Spring Training. I of course bought one of the hats because I can’t pass up a Diamondbacks hat. I keep it neatly tucked away and bring it out once a year just for this occasion. The second thing St. Patrick’s Day means at our house is that I get to make breakfast. The kids both look forward to this event and dread it’s coming at the same time. I try to make a breakfast that will get everyone in the mood for the festivities. You may be wondering, what is it that he could possibly make to get into the spirit of the holiday? Way back in my youth I obtained a recipe from an old doctor that made the perfect breakfast for March 17 and I have diligently fixed it each year to commemorate whatever it is that St. Patrick’s Day commemorates. Our traditional mean consists of light and fluffy eggs whipped more than the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks combined with a dash of sparkling water and nine drops of McCormick’s green food coloring. These are cooked until firm and gently folded onto a plate and served with a slice of spiral cut honey-baked ham. The plate is then served at the table inside of an ornate box. My doctor friend called it “green eggs and ham”. I think he also suggested that you eat this with a good looking woman but since I have gotten married, that part of the recipe seems to have been torn off by my wife. You are probably asking why am I telling you this a day before the big holiday?
Continue reading ‘A Touch of the Green’ »
March 15, 2007
After a rare off day during Spring Training the Diamondbacks are back with a game against revived Slammin’ Sammy Sosa and the Texas Rangers. I will be one of the first to admit that I didn’t think there was any way that Sosa would be able to return to a point where he could be realistically considered for a roster spot. Instead he is proving me and all of his critics wrong putting on a display that is reminiscent to 1998 when he and Mark McGwire captured the hearts and minds of America as they chased Roger Maris and his magical number 61. It’s funny how time warps our reality. At the time baseball was struggling to return after the numerous work stoppages and labor troubles. Fans were staying away from the ballparks in droves and it looked as if baseball would lose its mystic and distinction as America’s Pastime. During these darkest times two men took the sport on their broad shoulders and carried them back to prominence. At the time we were so involved in the chase to 61 home runs and the sense of adventure that involved that we didn’t care about anything else. Television programs were interrupted to provide coverage of individual at-bats putting baseball on par with other monumental news stories. Usually when television programs are interrupted viewers get frustrated and angry that reality is intruding upon our diversions but in this case we didn’t mind. Even non baseball fans began talking about the game and about these two players.
Continue reading ‘Does It Really Matter?’ »
March 14, 2007
Usually there are one or maybe two days during Spring Training when a team does not have a game. For the Arizona Diamondbacks that anomaly occurs today. From a fan’s perspective, this is a brutal day to endure. After being without baseball for one-third of a year we are being asked to please do without it for another day. That is like asking someone to please stop breathing for one-third of the day or roughly 8 hours. Have you ever tried to hold your breath for 8 hours? I did, once. As a kid at one time or another we have threatened to hold our breath if we didn’t get our way. Little did I realize that the body just will not allow that to happen. Even if I had successfully held my breath until I passed out, my body would immediately take over to preserve life and begin breathing involuntarily while you are unconscious. It’s the same thing with baseball.
Continue reading ‘Taking the Day Off’ »