For most of the Christian world, Easter is a time to celebrate the religious rebirth. The images of Easter include spring flowers in bloom, the thoughts of parades, and Easter bonnets. In our house it means something much more.
Easter this year happens to fall on Opening Day Eve, the most sacred night in a baseball fan’s life. Oh sure, there will be those in Boston and New York City that will argue that today is actually Opening Day but I am a baseball purist. I refuse to recognize any game played prior to the Cincinnati Reds start time.
When Spring Training began, the Arizona Diamondbacks roster was mostly settled. There were a few spots that needed to be filled but for the most part the team had already been built through returning players and those brought in with off-season moves.
As the Cactus League season progressed more decisions were made and the roster began to be finalized. With the conclusion of the final exhibition game today, the team would have to make their cuts to get down to a 25-man roster.
For the past month baseball games have been played throughout Florida and Arizona as teams prepared for the beginning of the MLB regular season. After six grueling weeks spent doing drills and getting into shape, the Grapefruit League and Cactus League play ended yesterday.
Teams broke camp and began traveling to their destinations. There are always a few days from the end of Spring Training before Opening Day signifies the official start of baseball season. Traditionally, these days are filled with teams participating in exhibition games against various opponents.
The sport of baseball has always been tightly coupled with pranks and practical jokes. Perhaps it is spending 162 games together living in close quarters for nearly half a year or maybe it is just the fact that the flow of the game allows for the shenanigans of the clown.
Regardless of why it happens, baseball lends itself very well to the offbeat characters and tomfoolery of jokesters. Rookies are always subjected to pranks. The veterans describe it as earning your way to the big leagues.
Earlier this week the Arizona Diamondbacks announced who would be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. They have given this honor to Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner who recently retired.
Warner has been a fan favorite during his time in Arizona and led them to a Super Bowl in 2009. His departure from football will be greatly felt and for the Diamondbacks to recognize him they should be applauded. While I believe that Warner deserves the honor of throwing out a first pitch, I find myself a little disappointed in the timing of this.
I awoke this morning with a myriad of emotions. Today was the Arizona Diamondbacks final home Spring Training game at Tucson Electric Park. The final Spring Training game is usually a source of joy as it means the exhibition season is winding down and the regular season is about to begin.
This year the final game at Tucson Electric Park truly is the final game there. After 13 years of Spring Training in Tucson, that era in Arizona Diamondbacks history is coming to an end. Next February when pitchers and catchers report they will do so at the new Spring Training complex in northern Scottsdale.
After the 2007 season that saw the Arizona Diamondbacks exceed expectations and reach the National League Championship Series, the team decided to make a blockbuster trade to bring in another front line starter.
General Manager Josh Byrnes would make a trade with the Oakland Athletics that would bring Dan Haren to the desert for several top prospects. The trade was warranted and given the success Haren has had with the Diamondbacks he was worth the price.