02 April 2011

Accidents Will Happen

The most ignominious way for an online baseball fan to get ostracized isnt viciously trolling arch rival forums. It's carelessly mentioning anything about one's fantasy team.

I wont jeopardize the burgeoning, hip community spirit of Diamondhacks with that, other than to say this is the first year in several I'm not playing. It's not that it wasnt fun. It's just that when you reach a certain level of proficiency, the daily effort to maintain that mimics multiple strains of mental illness. So I'll have more time on my hands, to read, pay bills and look around at other stuff. Just yesterday, I discovered a wife and dog. She'd been here nineteen years. The dog ten.

Openers are a little like fantasy baseball. Painfully over analyzed, prompting over reactions and their own false sense of importance. I hesitate to even break them down, or at least not dwell on the final score or the obvious. Like the fact Arizona tatooed Ubaldo and our bullpen threw five innings without an earned run. Neither is sustainable, both teams made plenty of mistakes and either club could've won the extra inning tilt on numerous occasions.

The most important play of the game, not in terms of outcome but culture, was when Justin Upton barreled over Chris Iannetta on a grounder to short.  Iannetta made the play, but Upton made the impact.  How both teams respond today may help inform their respective seasons. The Rockies looked frustrated.  Not with the play so much, which looked clean, but just with losing their opener,  with Jimenez, to a lowly regarded visitor.

I expect them to come out aggressively today, especially on the bases. Dont be surprised if Upton or a teammate gets brushed back, hard.  I'd almost bet on it.   What's less clear, and more important, is how the Dbacks respond. Not just to the Rockies' anticipated aggression, but more generally, to Game 2 of an endless season. Will they wait for Colorado to make a statement, or initiate their will. It doesnt have to be Upton, but it's important someone on the Dbacks knock another Rockie on his ass. Lest anyone mistake Friday's freight train for an accident.

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