- [AZ Central] 1-on-1 with Ken Kendrick - asked about the threshold of improvement required from Towers and Gibson in 2014, he replied: "The atmosphere that we operate in is I think a real strong mutual respect that we have for them and I think that they have for our organization. They want to be here and we want them to be here. We all are measured by our performance. We don’t have any defined specifics on performance. Is the team improving? Are we becoming a better ball club? That isn’t automatically how many wins did you have. That’s a quantitative measure, but the qualitative is are we moving forward, are we getting better."
- [Instagram] Video: Matt Reynolds throws - not quite in the nineties with late movement, but it's the first time Reynolds has done it at all, since undergoing Tommy John surgery last September. Good to see, though of course, he's still a long shot to produce anything significant for us this year.
- In Syracuse, Patrick Corbin held a pitching demo for members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse, and joined national non-profit Good Sports, who donated $6,000 worth of athletic equipment and apparel to them. Corbin took photos (above), signed autographs and answered questions from the kids. The Boys & Girls Clubs had struggled to replace old and worn out equipment to keep their program going on a small budget, so this event was a big help. More evidence of the good work being done, without much fanfare, by our players.
- [MLive.com] Collmenter enjoys trip back home to Homer - They say you can't go back, but Josh Collmenter did, returning home last weekend for the 10-year reunion of the 2004 Homer High School baseball team he was on, which went undefeated and won the state championship.
- [dbacks.com] Broxton playing in Australian Baseball League - looks like we've already got a presence down under. "I wanted to work on a lot of stuff coming off the season that I had. I was willing to go to instructs. I was willing to do anything, and then [D-backs director of player development] came up with the idea of going to Australia. I was a little shocked at first, but I'm so glad I came out here."
- [MLB.com] Two Minor League players suspended - never good news. "Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League shortstop Antonio Alvarez has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for exogenous Testosterone. The suspension of Alvarez, who is currently on the roster of the rookie-level Missoula Osprey of the Pioneer League, will be effective at the start of the 2014 Pioneer League season."
- [dbacks.com] Mark Grace embracing role as coach in D-backs' system - "Coaching is difficult, it's hard, but it's also very rewarding. When you see these guys take what you're working with them on and you see them finally apply it on the field and it works -- when you see that ball get driven into the gap, it's like, 'Yes!' That's what really rekindles the fire and passion that this great game allows you to have."
Less D-backs related
- [ChicagoTribune] Chicago Cubs unveil mascot - For the first time in their modern history, the Chicago Cubs have unveiled a new mascot. Imaginatively, it's... a bear, named "Clark."
- [Sporting News] All of baseball's mascots, ranked by a 10-year-old - D.Baxter ranked 21st of 27. Mind you, the kid put Dinger higher, so taste here seems questionable.
- [Harvard Gazette] ‘Hot Stove’ simmering - "Study suggests what a baseball team soon may win by signing top Japanese pitcher, and what it probably won’t. A Harvard Business School working paper analysis looks at what matters for Major League Baseball teams trying to cash in on their Japanese star players." An interesting take on the benefits of Masahiro Tanaka.
- [Twitter] Brewers close to signing Mark Reynolds. Apparently, he's going to be their everyday first baseman. Hey, at least we'll get to see him back at Chase Field!
- [KCRA[ 14-year-old Little Leaguer sued by coach for celebrating win - "A 14-year-old Little League baseball player is being sued in Placer County Superior Court by a former coach who contends the boy injured him while celebrating a game-winning score."
- [Kickstarter] Schaumburg Zombies & the Field of Screams - "Risen to infect the baseball world the Schaumburg Zombies are accepting new brains (or a deceptive LHP) for one ghoulish night of fun!" Seems we have the likely 2014 winner for the best minor-league promotion...
- [YouTube]1984 Reds-Cubs Home Run-Foul Controversy - and finally, to mark the arrival of instant replay for the 2014 season, I present you 30 minutes of arguments over whether a ball was fair or foul, as narrated by Harry Caray.