31 March 2008

Opening (The Skies) Day

Dbacks scheduled to open in Cincinnati in less than ten hours, but a rainout looks probable; delays for sure. You can check current Cincy weather on top of the sidebar, right. Tuesday is an off day, but it's expected to rain then as well.

Also want to call your attention to the colorful widget just below that, which I expect to use quite a lot this year. If you click on the little word "schedule" (bottom left), it brings up a scrollbar calendar of the Dbacks 2008 games. Click on any future game to get a detailed preview, or a recap with box score (for completed games). The widget links to an ESPN page, which appears chock full of good game info. Let me know what you think as the season progresses.

March 31 Update 10:57 PM - Piecoro said earlier they should get the game in despite the weather, but raining kinda hard at 10:43AM

Starting Lineups (per Nick) :

Young, CF
Hudson, 2B
Byrnes, LF
Jackson, 1B
Snyder, C
Reynolds, 3B
Drew, SS
Upton, RF
Webb, P

Patterson, CF
Keppinger, SS
Griffey, RF
Phillips, 2B
Dunn, LF
Encarnacion, 3B
Hatteberg, 1B
Valentin, C
Harang, P

11:55AM -- GAMEBLOG - Player intros, sounds like delay will be about an hour. Reds 132nd opening day, Dbacks tenth. Nice pregame video and recollections from Arizona's inaugural game from Jay Bell and Ken Phelps.

Harang wearing Nuxhall jersey. Nice touch. First pitch to CY is a called strike. Caught looking.
Hudson safe on E-5, high throw from Encarnacion. To second on wild pitch to Byrnes.
Eric 6-3 on hanging breaker. CoJack RBI single up the middle on another hanger. Snyder pops to right. 1-0 Dbacks

Webby gets a weak grounder to first, and whiffs two on changeups. Webby no hits, 1 walk through two.

CY cracks 2nd deck homer to left; fastball. Byrnes follows to center. Both solos. 3-0 Backs. Harang pitch count in mid sixties after three

I know nobody's reading, and I've never been one for live blogging. It's just feels really nice to focus on the actual game again, instead of all the noise, MLB i$$ue$, etc. There is actually a game in the middle of this.

Valentin hit a double to the base of the RF wall, but he dogged it and is standing on first. Reynolds has whiffed twice, but finished the third with a solid barehand grab and throw on a dribbler.

Reds score a pair as CY misplays a groundball gapper by Phillips into a triple. Hudson sweet over the shoulder grab in short center off Hatteberg, stops the bleeding.

Harang settling in, retiring the order 1,2,3 in the 6th. Each team only has three hits. Dbacks up one, but I feel like game may come down to Dbacks bullpen. Webb's looking good, whiffed first two batters in the sixth, but his pitch count is nearing ninety.

Jeff Salazar cracks another solo, deep in the RF pen, off RP Burton. Just a few days ago, I suggested it was unreasonable to expect Dbacks to lead all MLB in pinch hit HRs again this year. Maybe I spoke too soon. 4-2 Dbacks. Mad Scientist, indeed.

Qualls and Pena hold, with thx to Oh Dawg. Lyon closes it out. Webb wins, Harang L, Lyon save.

Postgame Observations:

For all last year's talk about luck and random variation, today's opener reacquainted Arizona fans with several familiar themes:

Close Game (4-2)
Good starting pitching (Webb 6IP 2 ER 3H and 4BB )
Excellent D (CY misplayed a 2B into a 3B, but Reynolds & Hudson turned 3 likely hits into outs)
Lousy batting average (.152)
Solo homers (3, count 'em, three)
Pinch hit homer (Salazar)
Lights out bullpen (3IP 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 HBP)

Sutton and Grace got off to a good start, pointing out little things like CY laying off a couple outside breaking balls he might've whiffed on last year, or Hudson calling off an onrushing CY in the field, prompting Chris to deftly avoid Orlando with a last minute slide. Any announcer can point out Valentin loafing a double into a single, but Grace and Sutton focus on smaller details, and when they do that instead of the schtick, are actually very good. It wont last, but they were fun to listen to today.


Michael Norton said...

That widget is just too cool!

MLBlogs is still pretty hosed up. I sent an email to tech support with a rather simple question that requires nothing more than providing a configuration fact (precisely, what is the URL to use to access the XML-RPC program Moveable Type uses for remote posting). The response I got was to call their tech support line for troubleshooting!

I know what the problem is. I know how to "fix" it. All I need to know is how they've set the damn thing up. But they want me to call and spend an hour of my time on hold or trying to communicate to people who don't know as much as I do.

Think I'm kidding? Check out Boogie Down's lament...

Michael Norton - Some Clubhouse

Matt said...

I read Jay's lament and left him a note of encouragement (thx for the tip), although I took his advice to delete my counter (and deleted several other widget-y typelists on my own) and it hasnt brought any of the remaining sidebar lists up....so I dont know.

Based on past experience and current circumstances, I'm not even thinking about dealing with MLB Customer Service. I guess I'll take Mark's advice and "be patient". What do they say about enduring rape when it's inevitable? Sit back and enjoy it?

I thought I had it bad with 40 distinct typelists down the drain, but Jay has all those fancy A/V widgets. AT least most of mine were just link lists. Sheesh.

Also, blech.

(Blech is the current frontrunner to become my new signature)

J-Boogie said...

Hey fellas. Looks liek blogspot is becoming the home for wayward MLBloggers. This whole new "movable type" has been more of a hassle. I had to delete every link I had with HTML code in it to get my links to show. Not sure how far you went with it Matt.

Thanks for the suggestion on the new blog. I changed it around a little bit. I wanted to keep it Yankee colors without doing a white background. Give it a look and let me know if it's more pleasing to the eye. I apprecite the feedback.

Still not sure if I'll stay here or stick with MLBlogs. This has been pretty easy so far and I don't really see them bringing all this to MLblogs, but will see.


Russell said...

I missed the D-Backs game but it seems remarkably similar to last year. There have been,though, some very good games to start the season. Particularly exciting for me as I'm now in the right time zone!!

I also seem to have been banned from commenting on the MLBlogosphere which is kinda cool. I really am a rebel aren't I!!

Michael Norton said...

Hey, the gangs all here!

Moveable Type is a tird. I installed it on my server about a year and a half ago and worked with it for awhile. MT was the first blogging software, but in software first is not often best. The next generation gets to learn from the mistakes of the pioneer, and, moreover, is not constrained by that first prototype code base.

I'm not surprised MLBlogs chose it. Not only do they not know software, MT represented the path of least resistance. Ignorance and indolence, as you are seeing at MLBlogs, are a bad combination.

Personally I'm headed to WordPress. It doesn't have the public widgets Blogger does, but it makes for a hell of a blogging experience overall.


What really got me was the arrogance. Like I pointed out to JW (btw, try Jake W...), blogging is a tremendous commitment and MLBlogs lacks respect for that commitment. This latest is more of the same.

Matt said...

I left another long winded suggestion re blog colors, but I think it looks good now. You're a gracious guy - I almost cant believe you're from NY ;-)

Congratulations on being banned! I see Mark deleted your retort to his "This is how it works".

I've learned there's really only one reason people ban commenters - because they're afraid. Afraid of how readers might be influenced. If confronted, I'm sure Mark would try to deflect blame back at you, say you're comment wasnt constructive, but we all know why he deleted it. Because it was spot on, exposing his superficial service and desperate salesmanship as huge dissatisfiers right now. And he was afraid to let that obvious truth linger, resonate and compete with his latest deflection or gloss over in a community already at risk.

And if you dont think MLBlogs is "at risk", read the disgust in Zack Hample's voice on his recent comment. Even MLBlogs' poster boy is fuming!

So again, congratulations for really getting under Mark's skin. He deserves it.


"blogging is a tremendous commitment and MLBlogs lacks respect for that commitment. This latest is more of the same."

Bingo. I could embellish, but not say it any better than that.

You wanna be a baseball bloghost? This is how it works =>


I was surprised to learn that the SB Network just overhauled their platform as well. It's a closed network of only 30 blogs, but take a look at the link (or click on my name at the top of this comment) to get an idea of real tech support. Read the user comments and the types of "problems" SB users are having compared to MLBlogs and ask yourself who values their customers and who has contempt for them.


Thx for your comments, and sorry for my delay in responding - I appreciate your voices. Fight on.

Tracy said...

You know what really sucks? I started out on Blogger and then moved to MLBlogs. Well, I did get to meet and interact with some pretty cool people at least - Matt, Kellia and Michael.

I'm a bit disappointed, though, that MLBlogs didn't turn out to be the network I thought it would be. I almost quit once....

John Cox said...

Matt, thanks for the kind words about what turned into something of a rant of mine on the MLBlogosphere - my natural instinct was to go over to your MLBlog to leave this comment there - but apparently I don't have permission to comment - just one more problem!

For now I'm going to stick with MLBlogs, and hope that they listen to those of us who have been around for the last couple of years. But I'm not holding my breath...

John Cox

J-Boogie said...

Thanks for the additional suggestion and feedback. i like the look of the new blog too with the navy background. I think it also looks better. I like being able to customize it. MLBlogs has lost that functionality. It's too uniform now. The only thing really keeping me there is that I'd have to have everyone that links to me chnage the link and I'm sure the exosure'd be less without their "promotion." But since it's free now I imagine they'll get an influx of bloggers which will likely make any exposure minimal.

Is this going to be your new permanent home?


Matt said...


I agree with everything you said; havent put a downpayment on a "permanent" home though :-)
I'll write baseball here because, all things considered, blogspot currently provides the better environment. My MLBlog has been reduced to a tech help page basically, but as we've discussed, that could change over time.

Its' funny about the touted direct links to MLB's homepage. It's a long overdue enhancement, but I dont even wanna participate now because my site is so gutted, such a shadow of what it used to be. Here I have an opportunity at my fingertips to be seen "by millions", yet MLB has somehow turned even that slam dunk into a brick.

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