SnakeBytes 3/18: G'day edition

Brendon Thorne

The team have now arrived in Australia, and has already got in a spot of sightseeing, and their first practice at the Sydney Cricket Ground. We'll have some video in a bit, but here's a round-up of the news at home and abroad....

Down Under

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks arrive in Australia for season opener - Once their 14½-hour flight touched down here around 6:30 a.m. local time this morning, the Diamondbacks went into full-blown tourist mode — some visiting the majestic Sydney Opera House, others heading to one of the renowned beaches nearby. Whatever it took not to fall asleep. "I’m just going to stay standing," reliever Josh Collmenter said. "If I sit down, I’ll pass out."

[dbacks.com] Heading Down Under, season almost underway - After two days of workouts and two days of exhibition games at the famed Sydney Cricket Ground, which has been converted for baseball, Opening Series 2014 will begin in earnest, with Games 1 and 2 of the upcoming Major League season being played in front of a sellout crowd of about 45,000. "We want to win," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "That's No. 1. We're all taking a guest. We're going to have some time to enjoy Australia and enjoy the culture and the people. But at the same time, we're there for baseball."

[USA Today]: D'backs foster proper Aussie attitude - The Diamondbacks staged press conferences for five players and club executives in the morning, and the theme was exhilaration and anticipation. They're making it sound as if their 34-hour roundtrip flight is no more of an inconvenience than standing in line at the local grocery store... And as for the Dodgers? They are treating this like a day-night doubleheader of a prostate exam and root canal surgery.

[Yahoo!] Baseball is set to take its shot Down Under - The Diamondbacks went by bus to their hotel, then by bus for a tour of the city, then by bus to the Sydney Cricket Ground, where they'd hold a light workout, because the ruin of the time and distance traveler is the siren call of the nap. (They talk of naps here like they do crack in the States; one whiff and before long you're on a park bench eyeing pigeons for lunch.) That and the realization one's cell phone has no idea where it is and, furthermore, wants nothing to do with wherever it is, and in that way totally gets where the Dodgers are coming from.

[Courier-Mail] Iconic actor Paul Hogan favourite to throw out first pitch - One of Australia’s greatest ever baseballers, former Milwaukee Brewer and MLB All-Star Dave Nilsson, is seen as having a strong chance, while NSW premier Barry O’Farrell is also given a shot

Team news

[NY Daily News] Mets have plenty to trade for offense - It remains to be seen if the Diamondbacks, who have postseason aspirations in 2014, get more aggressive in trading for a pitcher if Corbin needs surgery. If so, they might go looking for an experienced starter, but depending on what they think of a Rafael Montero or a Jenrry Mejia, they might be willing to deal either Owings or Gregorius for one of them, or perhaps a package of some kind.

[USA Today] Camp confidential: D'backs bank on arms in reserve - The second opinion from orthopedist James Andrews probably will be the only change in the Corbin saga while the Diamondbacks are playing the Dodgers on another continent. No new players: Says general manager Kevin Towers. "It's going to be tough to do a lot of trade business from Sydney." No decisions on how to fill the void atop the rotation: "We'll have plenty of time to have conversations on the plane," says manager Kirk Gibson. About the only new information could be a read on how phenom Archie Bradley performs under at least semi-bright lights.

[SportingCharts.com] 2014 National League West Divisional Preview - The 2014 MLB season is nearing and we are taking a look at each division including how they will fair against pre-season predictions and which team will win the division. First up, the National League West.

And, finally - will nobody think of the children?

Elsewhere...

[SI.com] Jarrod Parker faces second Tommy John surgery, joins short list of double recipients - The A’s made it official Monday afternoon: Jarrod Parker is headed for the second Tommy John surgery of his young career, wiping out his entire 2014 season. Parker, whose first surgery was performed in October 2009, will thus add his name to a tiny, but rapidly growing list of pitchers who have had the surgery more than once, a list that now also includes the BravesKris Medlen (August 2010) and may soon add Brandon Beachy (June 2012). Those players may be gone for 2014, what are their odds of contributing in 2015 and beyond?

[Fox News] Umpire Brad Myers leaves Reds-Indians game after being struck by batted ball - Hey, there's still spring training games going on! Who knew... Anyway, Myers, a base umpire on a rotating three-man crew, was hit hard behind the pitcher's mound in the second inning on Monday. The ball hit by Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips struck the umpire in the groin area. He was down for several minutes before he left on a cart driven by Reds trainer Tomas Vera. Myers was in a sitting position on the cart.

[NY Daily News] Auction offers ticket to 1867 baseball convention that banned teams with black players Among the items up for sale by Saco River Auction Co. is a ticket to the Philadelphia baseball convention. During the convention, the National Association of Base-Ball Players' nominating committee responded to a black team's request for membership by banning teams with black players. The convention ticket, along with an 1870 Philadelphia Athletics season ticket and a painting of Cy Young in a Boston uniform believed to date to the early 1900s, will be sold Wednesday during an auction at Saco River's offices in Biddeford.

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