Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Opening Night a Huge Success!
April 5, 2008, 12:49
Filed under: Uncategorized

(I apologize for the delay on this post…the server was down for maintenance yesterday when I attempted to publish the info…  😦  )

A cool evening at Tucson Electric Park on April 3rd saw the Sidewinders draw 11,765 of their closest friends for what will most likely be the final first night ever for the Tucson Sidewinders.  The 2008 team started the year facing the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, the AAA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.  And my goodness:  what a game those fans saw!  For the second consecutive year,  D-Back starter and future Hall of Famer, “The Big Unit,” Randy Johnson, took the start for the Winders.  Randy is continuing to rehab from back surgery and will likely start again for the Winders on Tuesday against the Salt Lake Bees.  Although the paper indicated Randy was disappointed with his performance, the fans loved seeing him on the mound in a Winder uniform.  The Unit might not have had all his stuff working right yet, but he managed to depart after four innings with a lead.  Of course, I was most impressed by his first inning single that scored two!  That pretty much compensated for the two runs he allowed in the top half of the first.  The game had all kinds of excitement:  home runs, muffed calls (hey, just ask the fans, and they’ll tell ya!), errors, and one phenomenal catch by our new centerfielder Trent Oeltjen that won a fan a ticket for an ExpressJet flight!  AND, in the end, the home team won, 12 to 10!  William K – linked to the left – has a nice game summary on his Baby Backs blog.  Full box score info is available off the Winder’s web site – also linked.  Check ’em out!

Opening night is always such a treat!  It’s fun to greet returning fans like part of the family!  Hugs and smiles and catching up on stories (one fan stopped round to show me that his teenaged son is now taller than him!) – a great time.  Fans may have been upset about the new paid preferred parking policy (and yes, they are very angry about this), but they were still there and they still enjoyed the game.  I was delighted by the F-16 flyover as part of the pre-game ceremonies and thought it a real touch of class that later we were introduced to the pilots of those planes.  Fans gave them a round of applause for their service and selflessness as they did a “walk by” on the field in front of the dugouts.

Of course, I have no idea who’s playing on the team right now!  Oh, that’s a mild exaggeration…  I have a roster and I recognize a few names from last year with the Little Snakes:  Jailen Peguero, Emiliano Fruto, Dustin Glant, Evan MacLane, Matt Morgan, Jamie D’Antona (hit well last night, but earned groans from the fans with an error and some rather sloppy fielding), and surprise surprise, Dave Krynzel is back in our outfield!  You may recall Krynz started with us last year but ended up taking the season off to deal with some personal issues…  Good to see him!  I’ve also heard of Trot Nixon from his old Red Sox days…  Max Scherzer is a name I recognize from the prospects list…  But that’s about it.  One disappointment was not seeing Matt Erickson back.  Don’t know what happened – because he was one of the few constants on our roster for the past month or so – but he is no longer on the roster at all.  MiLB still shows him as part of the D-Back family, but I can’t find where he’s landed for the season.  If I can find out more, I’ll share the info.

Guess what!  There’s another Sidewinders game TONIGHT!  Our team will again face the Sky Sox at 6:30pm (gates open at 5:30) – it should be PERFECT night for baseball…and there’ll be fireworks afterwards!  How can you stand to miss it?  Come on down and join us!

(Disclaimer – this posting not reviewed/approved by the Sidewinders, Diamondbacks, PCL, MiLB, MLB, National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, SK Baseball LLC, or any other baseball official and represents the views and biases of the author alone)


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