Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.
Okay, the winter is official over! This week we roll out MLB 2012 and the timing is perfect. There are a lot great openers, but none better than the Giants and Diamondback kicking off the season in Phoenix! It does not get any better than Tim Lincecum vs. Ian Kennedy. College rivals at Washington and USC respectively, these two are competitors on competitive teams! Both teams are well managed with outstanding coaching staffs, both teams have active front office experts and both teams are beloved in their own home towns! Credit San Francisco management with going out in the off season to get some offense to go with their incredible pitching staff, but never count Mr. Kevin Towers out of working with Kirk Gibson to fortify the D-Backs roster with aggressive moves! The fact that the season opener for the Giants and D-Backs is on Good Friday and continues through Easter weekend is the most significant reminder about keeping baseball in perspective. With the highest priorities being God, family, community and country we are ready to enjoy the blessing of Major League Baseball 2012!
Take a look! It is mid-August and carefully note who is on top in the National League West! Apparently, even according SF Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow, those snakes are not going away anytime soon. The brand of baseball being played down in the desert is just plain fun to watch. It is hardball at its finest. The management, on and off the field, continues to set a paradigm consistent with winning baseball. Play on the field demonstrates bulldog, hardcore toughness. Kurt Gibson and staff continue to provoke an aggressive, intelligent style. A descriptive moment, overlooked by many, took place during rookie Paul Goldschmidt’s first major league game. A simple look at Goldschmidt’s first day in “the Show” demonstrates the Diamondback paradigm. First, it was a courageous “call up” from AA ball in Mobile. Second, in the heat of a pennant race on the road against the division team to beat, the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants, Gibson courageously place the rookie in the starting line up on his first night in a Diamondback varsity uniform. Number 44 responds in his first AB by lining a frozen rope base hit to right field! In his next AB Goldschmidt drove a ball to dead centerfield that was run down and caught at the base of the fence at AT&T. Mark Grace had it right when he noted on the broadcast that the ball Goldschmidt hit would have been a triple in the minors, but major league outfielders cover a whole lot more ground! Paul’s next AB was the most reflective of the D-Back style. By his third AB Giant pitcher Matt Cain figured out that the young first baseman was not a good candidate to give a steady diet of fastballs. So in AB number three Cain fed Goldschmidt off speed, slider and even a 2-0 curve until the count climbed to 3 balls and no strikes. Amazingly, but consistent with Arizona aggressiveness, the rookie was given the ultimate managerial vote of confidence by being given the “green light” on the 3-0 pitch. He ripped at the fastball, fouling it straight back and barely missing another line drive! The next night in San Francisco, overlooked by absolutely no one, was the fact that Paul Goldschmidt hit his first major league homerun off double Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum putting the D-Backs ahead 2-1 while providing the margin of victory elevating the Arizona crew into a tie for 1st place in the West. This a reason why the D-Backs are not going away soon: they play hard, they play as a team and they play without fear.
The Diamondbacks have made it official: status quo don’t go with Mr. Towers, Mr. Gibson and the best staff of truly professional baseball coaches in the game! “Coming close” and “moral victories” were not enough. Following a tough road trip with too many one run loses and a total fiasco of a home game on a Monday night, the D-Backs were treated to a brief lesson from Kirk Gibson on how to play the game correctly. The result has been a string of tough, hard-fought team victories. Kevin Towers did his job with this bull pen and they are really doing their job! Ryan Roberts is the perfect example of gutsy, tough-minded, hard-core baseball. If we want our sons to play the game the way it is supposed to be played, then focus on Ryan “Tatman” Roberts. Intensity, passion and diligent work habits pay off! As other members of the D-Backs are buying into the Gibson, Towers way of playing baseball, the Arizona pack is turning it around!