October 15, 2007 at 05:55 PM
So tonight the Diamondbacks got swept out of the 2007 NLCs. It was kind of a drag to not win a single game. At the end of their season though I have to say it's been an incredible year.
This team is going to be around for a while and it's a hell of season to start it all off. While a lot of people are talking about how they blew it and what should've been, I thought it would be a good time to write a quick note on I've really enjoyed this team and why I'm proud of them.
When the season started everyone had pretty low expectations. This was supposed to be a squad that was rebuilding. They didn't pay any attention to what they couldn't do, they just went out and played baseball. They played my favorite kind of baseball too. Get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in.
Brandon Webb, or as I prefer to call him, Brandon F'ing Webb, pitched another great season. Doug Davis really came into his own. Valverde, what a run. Bryne's while a bit flamboyant, ran as hard as he could to first base every time he put the ball in play, and that in and of itself is something you don't see enough of in the bigs. The bullpen, what can you say, Cruz and Lyon were practically automatic for the last two months. I could go on and on about each player on the team. The way Mark Robinson comes up from the minor leagues and just lights up the place. What can you say, it was a season in which the team just didn't listen to what they couldn't do and proceeded to grind out an NL West Pennant, with enough gas to be real contenders in the post-season.
I think the thing I loved the most was that they just had fun playing the best baseball they knew how to play, and it worked splendidly. It's kind of rare to have a team do this well with no real "superstars". It was the whole team, never quiting, always believing in themselves and having a great time playing the best game in the world.
The Colorado Rockies are looking pretty amazing, scary good really. They are a great team and the Diamondbacks shouldn't be embarrassed that they lost to them so utterly in the NLCS.
I've never liked the idea of being down on your team when they don't absolutely win the whole championship every year. The lessons and inspiration we take from the game is bigger than how we should have won the World Series.
I can't wait for next year. Go D-Backs!
June 11, 2007 at 01:18 PM
Yesterday, Laura was having kind of an allergy headache and needed to lay down for a while after I got back from church.
It was about 11:00 and it occurred to me that 1) David and I had no idea what to do 2) the Red Sox were in town.
There was no way that we were going to make the game though because it started at 1:40 and David goes down for his nap at 1:30 (ish).
So then I think to myself.. if we bring water, pack up a lunch and buy the worst tickets in the ballpark, we can have a nice time in the air conditioned ballpark.
So off we go and got a Brandon Webb action figure as a promotional item.
Here's a photo of me and David at the ballpark.
October 20, 2003 at 03:58 PM
Well this picture pretty much says it all..
It’s really sort of sad, that the Yankees are so easy to dislike. It’d be nice to root for them as they tend to win a lot. It’s just the winning at all costs aspect that undermines the nobler potential of the game.
I know it’s silly to get so annoyed by a team that just trying to dominate a competitive sport. I mean it is after all a competitive sport. I just hope they lose the series because
- The team they are playing has a total salary cost that’s less than the Yankee’s payment to the league for having such a ridiculously high salary. In effect they will have paid the Marlins to beat them.
- They are such terrible losers.
- I dislike them intensely.
July 26, 2003 at 04:07 PM
Laura's work had a special show they were sponsoring and Wade Boggs was a guest. So Laura asked me if I wanted to come along. I brought a baseball just in case, and my friend Chris came along too. As you might expect they protected the guests from the great unwashed at the beginning of the show. So we had no chance to get the balls autographed. The taping was, as they tend to be, quite boring. It was constantly interrupted by retakes and general production issues. Chris and I were pretty bored after we figured we weren't going to get any shot at an autograph. I took Chris home after about the first 90 minutes and came back so that I could give Laura a ride home when the whole thing was over.
When I got back, about 15 minutes from the scheduled end of taping, they were only about two thirds done. It was fairly obvious this was going to go at least 1 hour over. So Laura and I are sitting there and one of the other guests, Tiger Woods' golf instructor, came over near our section to sign autographs. Well both my father and father in law are huge golfers so I ask Laura if she thought it would be a good idea to get him to autograph something for them. She thought it would be a good idea and hands me her 'staff access' pass and says, see if he can sign that.
Well this is when the light goes off in my head. Wade Boggs is still standing around waiting for taping to end, and Laura just gave me her credentials so I can now walk right up to him. I ask Laura if she'd mind if I used her credentials to do this. She slaps her forehead, giving me permission and sharing in my embarrassment that we didn't think to do this earlier.
So now I'm standing right next to Wade Boggs, I have a Rawlings baseball in my pocket, and a black ball point pen. Here's a tip by the way, you generally want to use a black ball point pen for baseball autographs. You might thing you should use a scripto permanent marker but the baseball's leather cover will actually spread the permanent markers ink over a period of years. A ball point pen will always look nice and clean and readable. It's also easier for the ball player to sign with a ball point as it feels better on the leather.
I don't know if you've ever asked a ball player to autograph a baseball or not. I've done this a few times. It's actually quite an odd thing to do. It's especially odd if you are a grown adult. It's not that I'm shy it's just that it's very uncomfortable for me to walk up to another grown adult man, and ask him to sign a baseball. I haven't been able to figure out a way to do this without feeling embarrassed. So I usually try to come up with something to say. This preoccupies me and moves me through the process because now I have a question to ask, and oh, by the way, a baseball to sign.
I steel my courage, walk up to him and say:
Me: "So are you having a good time tonight?"
Mr. Wade Boggs: "Yes"
If you are ever in this situation, I suggest you don't ask a "yes or no" question.
Then I can't pull the ball out of my pocket, cause I'm still embarrassed, and my question didn't exactly establish a conversation within which I can casually, introduce the baseball autograph. I even start thinking, well it's pretty obvious that if I ask him to sign the ball now that I didn't really care if he was having a good time or not.
He walks a few steps away as any sane person would. I'm trying to figure out how to proceed when, to my great relief, another person on the floor walks up to him with a baseball and asks him if he would mind signing it. He happily signs it. The ice is now broken. I walk up to him again:
Me: "Mr. Boggs I'm really sorry to bother you with this, but would you please sign my baseball?"
Mr. Wade Boggs: "Sure"
He takes my baseball and I hand him my black ball point pen. He bends over to sign the ball and I haven't removed the cap from the pen. Here's another tip if you ever ask a ball player to sign a ball, always remember to remove the cap from the pen before you hand it to them.
Me: "Sorry, I always forget to do that."
Mr. Wade Boggs: "Here you are."
Me: "Thanks very much! I really appreciate it."
I walk away and it's not till later that I notice he's not only signed the ball, but also written in the date he hit his 3,000 base hit, and the date he did it (8/7/99). I am now very excited. I went by the collectible store and got a clear case to put it in and looks great on my shelf. The great thing about getting a baseball autographed is clearly not getting the autograph, but rather, having gotten the autograph.
July 01, 2003 at 10:38 PM
It's been quite an exciting run the last couple weeks. Many of the folks I know were basically giving up on the team a month ago. I hope we can keep piling on the wins even with tonight's loss.
A friend of mine that's been enjoying the streak said something interesting. He said "I hope the big names don't screw these guys up when they get back."
Anyway it's nice that the Diamondbacks can have made a good run.
April 16, 2003 at 05:27 PM
I was on TV the other night because I was wearing my baseball cap 'rally cap' style at the Diamondbacks game. (The 4/14/03 Rockies at Dbacks game).
Too bad it didn't help. They have the worst start since their first season which is amazing when you look at the difference in the talent between the expansion team and today's organization. I keep reminding my friends it's a long season (everyone wins 50, everyone loses 50) but I sure wish they didn't have so many loses right out of the gate.
April 10, 2003 at 08:22 AM
Well yesterday Mark Prior had a wonderful outing. 12 Ks, a shutout and I think it was a complete game. I am glad he's on my Fantasy Baseball team. Not because he did so well yesterday, but so that now he can do it again when I actually have him off the bench.
So far I'm getting quite the education on the daily ritual that's required to do well in this game. I've been watching the starting lineups much more closely today.
April 05, 2003 at 01:35 AM
I'm doing the Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball league (cause A) it's free and B) It's casual and that matches up with my experience).
It went pretty well for my first time I guess. I got stuck in the bottom of the draft order so that didn't help too much (all my top top picks were snatched up before I had a chance to pick up anyone). Then for some inexplicable reason I picked Jim Thome of the Phillies as my first pick. I also missed a great opportunity in a later round by not picking Rentaria when I had the chance. On the positive side I got Gagne, Reggie Miller and a few others I like. I also picked up B. K. Kim as a relief pitcher even though he's a starting pitcher now. Strange how the folks at the Yahoo! Fantasy Sports site didn't pick that up. I decided to pick up Matt Williams just because I like him so much and I think he has a chance to have a monster season if he stays healthy.
All in all I think it went pretty well, especially considering my inexperience.
I spent quite a bit of time preparing for it and had all sorts of stats laid out within easy access so I could try to make good decisions when the obvious choices were gone. There was even a bit of drama as I spilled a half empty diet coke on my keyboard 10 minutes before the draft was to start. (There seems to be a lot of liquid/keyboard incidents in my life lately.)
We'll see how the season pans out. It's already been worthwhile though as I'm already more interested in the American League now that I have a few AL players on my team. As a side effect of preparation for my fantasy draft I'm more aware of the players to watch this season then I've ever been before. Hopefully this will make the season more fun to watch.
April 03, 2003 at 11:49 PM
Well last night I went to my first Baseball game of the season. It's the first time in the history of the Diamondbacks I didn't go to the season opener. I guess I was feeling guilty about that and decided I better at least go to a game in the opening series.
The Diamondbacks are off to a slow-ish start. They said at the beginning of the year that they wanted to run a lot more. So far that has translated into a handful of stupid base running errors.
I was sitting right next to three huge Dodgers fans so it was quite funny the banter we got going back and forth. Some people, like my wife, complain that the game is so slow. Watching it live though you really get a chance to experience it with a bunch of people and that's so much more enjoyable than any other sport. I guess you have to have the 'bug' to really get that. It's the banter, the prodding, the intentionally obscure minutia that you throw into the mix that really makes the game fun.
This is especially fun with perfect strangers. I had season tickets for a few years and it got a little annoying always sitting next to the same folks because you always knew what they were going to say. Since Laura and I discovered it's better for our marriage that I go alone, I've really enjoyed just sitting 'wherever'. (The great thing about going alone is that you can literally sit in whatever part of the park you want, there is almost always a single seat available.)
This kind of dynamic doesn't occur in Basketball or Hockey. When was the last time you were at a hockey game and had a discussion about wether or not Curtis Joseph has had more success making blocks in the 5 hole when he was with the Maple Leafs during the game. It just doesn't happen. But in baseball, for much of the game, that is discussion is the best thing that is happening. And for the record, I remain convinced that the Dodgers infield is not going to prove to be the best infield in the majors this year, but that's another topic.
I've also decided to take the plunge and try out a fantasy baseball league this summer. I'm just going with a casual league with Yahoo! so I can learn more about how this all works.
February 28, 2003 at 11:50 PM
While visiting a client today one of the guys that work there happened to ask me if I was excited about Baseball season being just around the corner. Damn right I am. Just the shear joy of talking about Randy Johnson's performance yesterday, instead of a few months ago, left me giddy with anticipation. (He pitched a scoreless inning with two K's by the way in the Dbacks spring training opener.)
Then I walked outside. Normally it doesn't rain much here in Phoenix. One of the things I enjoyed when I first got out here. Now I know my family will have no idea how, but it's actually enjoyable to me when it does rain (and we can certainly use the water). Kind of fun that we actually get weather occasionally. This week has been lots of rain. Big sudden downpours, two hour drizzles, and just good steady rain for most of the week. Today it stopped. When I walked outside it was just freaking glorious. I mean it smelled felt and looked great all afternoon.
February 27, 2003 at 06:35 PM
So I guess it’s good to know that you can get candid commentary on what happens behind the scenes in the bigs… but the admissions and candor in Wells’s autobiography is just frightening.
Wells also admits he was “half-drunk” and had a “raging, skull-rattling hangover” when he pitched his perfect game against Minnesota in May 1998, having stayed at the Saturday Night Live season-ending party until 5 a.m., eight hours before gametime.
From the linked article
He goes on to talk about how he couldn’t care less if players take uppers to improve their ability to ‘back him up’. It’s enough to make you sick.
I realize these guys are held to a higher standard then perhaps they are capable of living up to, but it’s really ridiculous that this kind of substance abuse is considered acceptable in the game.
February 19, 2003 at 12:33 PM
The Diamondbacks will be signing autographs before every home game.
February 05, 2003 at 11:50 PM
Nice to know that this welcome distraction is returning to my day again.
Hysterical entry from The Onion is worth checking out. I won't spoil the impact by telling you the headline but it's a good one.
October 04, 2002 at 01:23 AM
Been awfully hectic trying to get work done and keep up with the NL Division series between the Cardinals and the Diamondbacks. Guess which is taking precedence. Been a bit of a let down from last year as it looks like we're going to need a miracle to beat them now. Losing the first two games with Schilling and Johnson pitching at home isn't exactly a good thing to do in a five game series.
Maybe there will be some fair weather fans dumping their season tickets after all?!
September 01, 2002 at 10:38 PM
Well Dad (Laura's) and I went to see the Diamondbacks play the Giants today. It started out ugly but turned into an exciting as hell game. Laura stayed home to nurse Mom back to health as she was feeling a little ill. So I called Joel and he stepped in. I figured we would win because Joel has never been to live game in which the Diamondbacks have lost. This is astounding to me because I have taken him to at least 10 games over the last 3 years.
The only weird part is that Tony Womack had 2 home runs, 3 RBI's and a walk and didn't get player of the game?!
August 30, 2002 at 10:01 PM
So I've not been this happy to be proved wrong in a while. The Baseball owners and players were able to avoid a work stoppage today. I didn't even mind leaving six guys on base over the last two innings to lose to the SF Giants.
There's a number of good articles about the agreement that was reached between the players and the owners. Here's a reasonably objective article about it.
I'm sure as I learn more about the agreement I'll learn how it somehow screws up the game even more.. but for now it's nice to know that both sides had a chance to totally screw up the game as horribly as they could and they didn't.
August 29, 2002 at 10:16 PM
This is somewhat out of date, but still makes some good points. Especially when you consider that the A's have 17 wins in a row and the Twins are still leading their division..
Are the players really wrong?
August 29, 2002 at 09:53 PM
Let the fans take over the game?
At some point this must have been what baseball was like... must have been around 150 years ago before the 'company teams' started recruiting players and trading them for cash... I guess the real golden age of baseball, by that I mean the time it was played for fun by people that enjoyed the game, ended then.. probably around 1860.