SnakeBytes: The First of Spring

The Arizona sun rises on the first day of Spring Training. - @Dbacks, via Twitter

And we're off! The first day of spring training is in the books. Not much action, of course, but a lot of chatting.

Spring in the air

  • [FOX Sports] It's 'go time' for D-backs - Said Brandon McCarthy, "You're done with the offseason, you're sick of your loved ones, you want to get out of your house. You want to get back into a competitive outlet. Now it turns real."
  • [dbacks.com] Bond between Gibson, Towers grows stronger - "I think that kind of thing would add to anyone's comfort level," Gibson said about the extension. "At the same time, if it didn't happen, I'd feel the same today. I have confidence in myself, I have confidence in the organization, in my teammates... You evaluate and you try to learn from your successes, mistakes and failures, your relationships. I scour constantly to try and be better and wonder how I can be better and make the team be better. "
  • [ArizonaSports] Gibson will not rush to name a closer - "I don't really want them to come out here and try to impress me because they want to be the closer... We're going to take our time and be patient with that. We'll all give them an opportunity through games. I want them to get comfortable and I want them to throw the ball the way they're capable of throwing it and have confidence. Once they do that I think it's probably an appropriate question to ask me."
  • [AZ Central] D-Backs' Chase Field roof gets scrub - "Armed with brushes, water and more than a little nerve, cleaning crews are in the middle of a month-long effort to scrub a layer of brownish grime off the roof of Chase Field and return it to its natural white. The project will wrap up Feb. 15 so the retractable roof can be opened to let in sunlight for resodding of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ field."
  • [dbacks.com] First team to open Spring Training, D-backs intent on return to playoffs - More from McCarthy: "This year I think it's there. There's a group of guys that know exactly what they want and it's just from Day 1 you either buy in or you're left behind. And if the right guys are there doing it, implementing it and they have that mentality every day, people will just join in. I think that's how you create a solid team that can do good things."

Other D-backs stuff

  • [AZ Central] Bradley confident he’s ready for big leagues - "I think I put more pressure and expectations on myself than what (others) do," he said. "My goal isn’t to win the fifth spot, it’s to make them, every day when they go into meetings, have to think, ‘Hey, he’s doing everything he can. He’s putting pressure on us.’ "
  • [ArizonaSports] Cody Ross could be back by Opening Day - Kirk Gibson told KTAR, "Cody's doing well. Optimistically, let's say he'll be ready for the start of the regular season "I think the one thing we don't want to do with him is get him so close and then try to cut that last corner. If you remember last year, he had kind of a strained calf. he was way behind everybody, then he came back early and got hurt again."
  • Oh, yes. We are so there for this...
  • [AZ Central] Should the Diamondbacks pursue Bronson Arroyo? - "Of course, it’s not crazy to be on the more optimistic side of things. Corbin, now having gone through a full season, could be stronger in the second half this year. Cahill could return to his 2012 form. McCarthy could post results more in line with his peripheral stats. Delgado could have just been unlucky with the long ball. And Bradley could quickly become a dominant force, taking a cue from Jose Fernandez, Michael Wacha and Sonny Gray. Still, it’s worth noting that neither Towers nor CEO Derrick Hall shot down the rumors when given a chance to do so on Monday."

Non-Dbacks news

  • [WSJ] Ralph Kiner, Voice of Mets, Was a New York Baseball Hero - Ralph Kiner was that rarest of New York baseball heroes: a beloved figure who never played a game in a New York uniform. Kiner, who died Thursday at age 91 at his home in Rancho Mirage, was a reliable spouter of malapropisms, called "Kinerisms" by some. They included: "The Mets didn't do well in the month of Atlanta," and "All of his saves have come in relief appearances."
  • [CBS] Famous Babe Ruth baseball up for auction - "When Babe Ruth got the baseball, he promised to knock a homer," said Lilley. "And he wrote it on the ball." The Babe delivered and in a big way. He hit three home-runs that day and just like that, Sylvester started to get better.
  • [Star Telegram[ Rangers’ aide wants more school, less baseball for Dominicans - "Since retiring in 2001 [Tony Fernandez] has dedicated much of his time to mentoring young ballplayers, calling it his duty as a former major-leaguer. As he gazed toward a tryout game for players eligible to sign with big-league clubs beginning July 2, Fernandez was concerned about Dominican children putting too much emphasis on baseball as their only path to a better life. "These kids should be in school," he said."
  • [ESPN] Former NBA star Tracy McGrady to try baseball - "The retired seven-time NBA All-Star is aiming to become a baseball player, and plans to try pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. "Just having a tryout for a minor league team is more fulfilling than anything I can imagine as far as baseball," McGrady told ESPN.com by phone Tuesday. "I'm just going to train as hard as I can and pursue my dream. Where this takes me, I don't know."
  • [Lebanon Democrat] Analytics: Going behind the numbers in baseball - "One carries degrees from MIT and Stanford. The other from the University of Illinois. One grew up a Boston Red Sox fan. The other cheered for the Chicago Cubs. These are not facts about players competing for a spot in a starting rotation or even top prospects in a minor-league system. Yet, their mathematical abilities might be just as valuable to the Indians."
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