- [Fox Sports] Hill (and his giant head) the talk of pro-am - This, I trust, explains the picture above. "Aaron Hill wasn't the most famous athlete or celebrity at the Waste Management Phoenix Open Pro-Am on Wednesday, but by the end of the day, he might have been the most recognizable -- and it had nothing to do with his play. Hill and playing partner Billy Horschel were greeted at TPC Scottsdale by teammates Josh Collmenter, Patrick Corbin, Eric Chavez and Charles Brewer as well as some very large, very conspicuous Aaron Hill Fathead-style signs."
- [thetelegraph.com.au] Rowland-Smith pumped for Arizona v LA Dodgers at SCG - "To play Major League Baseball in Australia is such a special thing. For me to be able to play MLB in my own backyard is bizarre to be honest with you. To be able to put my American life and Australian life together will be pretty special... I think it's going to be huge for baseball in Australia." Even if he doesn't make the 25-man roster, he will probably be on the Aussie team which plays us in a warm-up a couple of days before.
- [AZ Central] Diamondbacks might look to Archie Bradley to bolster rotation - "You never know with prospects, particularly pitchers, many of whom disappoint. But, obviously, if Bradley lives up expectations he will be a hugely valuable commodity, someone the Diamondbacks will want to have in their organization for as long as possible. And the best way to maximize club control and stave off free agency is to not have him on the Opening Day roster."
- [ESPN] Ten breakout players to watch for 2014 - Some love for Didi Gregorius. "He’s never going to be an offensive star, but he puts the ball in play, and if he can improve against left-handers, his numbers will look pretty good for a shortstop. If his defensive proves to be as strong as Towers sold us on them (the defensive runs saved metric had him at minus-1 run in 2013), he has a chance to be a very good player. His fantasy value may be limited by his lack of offensive skills, but I believe Gregorius can turn into a championship-caliber shortstop. "
- [Examiner] Arizona Diamondbacks sign a Beach Bum - I really just like the headline. It's pitcher Johnny Omahen, who was with the indie league Traverse City Beach Bums, and was a 35th-round pick by the Marlins in 2011. "Omahen is coming off of a very solid first year in independent baseball. In 21 starts, he went 8-9 with a 3.37 ERA. His 115 innings pitched are a personal best. To go along with his 78 strikeouts, also a personal best, Omahen only surrendered two home runs (.02 HR/9). "
Somewhat D-backs related
- [Chicago Tribune] Cubs' new Arizona park is state of the art - Your [well, Mesa's] tax dollars at work. "The new Cubs Park has comfortable seats with wide aisles, concessions and restrooms at every turn, easy access off two nearby major highways on Mesa's west edge, six parking lots with a total of 5,000 spaces and a tailgating zone, and a high-definition video board 28 feet by 88 feet.... The latest addition to the Phoenix area's booming Major League Baseball spring scene already compares favorably with impressive Salt River Fields at Talking Stick."
- [USA Today] MLB approves protective caps; Brandon McCarthy won't wear it - McCarthy tweeted the caps are, "Headed in the right direction but not game ready." He cited snugness, weight displacement and heat retention as potential issues, all suggestions he's made to isoBLOX, the manufacturer.
- [CSN Chicago] White Sox Adam Eaton: Right team, wrong number - Adam Eaton was a key part to one of the biggest trades in baseball this off-season, but one of the last people to learn about the trade was Adam Eaton himself. The White Sox and Diamondbacks were calling the wrong number. They were dialing the cell phone of Diamondbacks outfielder Tony Campana instead. "They called Tony a bunch of times," Eaton said laughing. "I never got a call from anywhere."
- [CBS LA] Vin Scully To Travel To Australia To Call Dodgers-Diamondback - Quite a trip, considering he pretty much refuses to go east of the Rockies these days. Whatever your opinion on whether Scully should still be calling games, he's a legend.
- [AZStarNet] Tucson shut out of spring training this year - "For the first time since the Diamondbacks, Rockies and White Sox exited spring training in Tucson, there will not be a single game here this spring. "
Not very D-backs related
- [SI.com] Baseball's State of the Union: Some ways to improve the game - Very interesting article by Verducci, wondering if the pendulum has swing to far from offense. "Baseball has seen a perfect storm develop for run prevention. There are more good pitchers than ever before while average velocity is increasing and while the increase in information and data, because of how it affects scouting and the alignment of defenders, heavily favors defense. The net result is more games with more pitching changes and more strikeouts and fewer runs. Translation: it takes longer for less to happen."
- [Reuters] Cuba back in Caribbean Series of baseball after 54-year absence - "Cuba returns to the Caribbean Series of baseball for the first time in 54 years this weekend at a time of time of high interest in Cuban talent... The Cuban team Villa Clara, reinforced with some of the best players from other teams in the Cuban league, will compete on the Venezuelan island of Margarita starting on Saturday against winter league champions from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico."
- [TravelersToday] 9 reasons why cricket is better than baseball - "The following list has been written and compiled by an Australian who has spent 12 months in the US and has been to approximately three baseball games and countless cricket matches." That kinda shows, but as an ex-cricketer myself, I can see where they're coming from...
- [Beyond the Box Score] What's Next for the Australian Baseball League? - Major League Baseball has a controlling interest in the Australian Baseball League, but although it has several options, what MLB should do next with the ABL is not so clear.