Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Bardo Busts Out!
April 14, 2009, 20:11
Filed under: Uncategorized

So far in this new season, the D-Backs have been rather underwhelming…it’s early yet, and I’ve every confidence that they will eventually turn things around.  Suffice it to say that their losing record (two to five) is not really a reflection of the talent on the field.  Surely it’ll get better!


Meanwhile, a number of former D-Backs (or D-Back farmhands) were in the news today because of their notable performances in games played yesterday. 


On the disappointing (but perhaps not surprising) side, former D-Back pitcher, Randy Johnson, The Big Unit, no longer looks so big as a Giant.  He’s lost both of his first two starts; the second last night in a game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.  The flip side of that same game was the notable performance by former D-Back INF, Orlando Hudson, who made Dodger history when he successfully hit for the cycle in his first game as a Dodger on his new home field.  It was, in fact, the first time any player has hit for the cycle on that field!  Good to see O-Dawg continuing to play with such strength and enthusiasm.  Bummer that he’s still in the D-Back’s division to bedevil us.


Former D-Back/Winder, Carlos Quentin, continues to play well for the Chicago White Sox:  last night he went four for four in a Sox victory.  Another former Winder, D.J. Carrasco, pitched a solid inning of no-run relief for the White Sox, too.  Q, in particular, has paid big dividends for the Sox…his major battle this year will be fighting his own potential to get frustrated.  He simply can’t afford a repeat of last season where he broke his own wrist late in the season when he was frustrated after an at-bat.  He was out for the playoffs.  I’m sure he learned a lesson there!


But for me the biggest news yesterday was the return of Brian Barden to Arizona!  It’s always a challenge knowing how to root appropriately for a former Winder who is now playing against “your” team…harder still when the opponent was Brian “Bardo” Barden.  For the first 3+ years that I worked for the Sidewinders, Brian was an integral part of the team.  Over the years we watched his playing mature…met his wife (who worked in the Ticket Office for quite awhile in the early years before and after their marriage)…met their first child…  Bardo was a constant for us.  I still wonder what might have happened a couple of years ago had Bardo not been hurt himself when Chad Tracy went on the DL.  Bardo was clearly due and ready for a promotion, but was physically unable to respond to the call that might have come for him to fill Chad’s shoes, so the D-Backs reached down and plucked Mark Reynolds up from AA Mobile and Mark never looked back.  Fate.  I can still recall how incredulous I was when the D-Backs released Bardo sometime later that same year…even more so when another team snatched him up off waivers (for the most part, the Sidewinders got back everyone the D-Back’s released).  That would have been the Cardinals organization.  For the next year and a half, we found Bardo in an opponent’s uniform on the grass at TEP.  Funny to see him going up the visitor’s tunnel…really odd to see Ashley and Averie sitting with the visiting player’s wives!   He was always cheerful about it and responded to my “Hey Brian – welcome back – we miss you” with a kind comment about how good it was to be back (though weird, too).  Brian seemed stuck at that AAA level, so I was simply beside myself when I listened to last night’s D-Back/Cardinal game and hear that Brian was on the field!  He made the Bigs!  Not only that, but our very own Bardo hit his first big-league homer at Chase Field last night – with his folks in the crowd and a big following among the old Winder faithful!  Big hit, indeed:  it was the game-winner for the Cards.  Yes, these are the times when you realize you may be a fan of a lot of individual players and not an entire team.  Way to beat ‘em Bardo!


Meanwhile, in Reno…  The new AAA affiliate for the D-Backs, the Reno Aces, are losing tonight’s game against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, but are currently leading their division with a two and two record.  The Aces have yet to play a home game as their new stadium races its way to completion before the home opener Friday night.  The latest press release from the team indicates the 22 luxury Suites are nearly completed and one assumes from the article that those are the final touches necessary before the team can take the field. 


(Disclaimer – this posting not reviewed/approved by Pima County, the City of Tucson, the Tucson Toros, the Reno Aces, Diamondbacks, PCL, MiLB, MLB, Golden Baseball League, National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Tucson Baseball LLC, SK Baseball LLC, or any other baseball official and represents the views and biases of the author alone)


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