Wednesday night sees the unveiling of the Diamondbacks' new uniforms, in the new shades of Sedona Red and Sonoran Sand. Here's the official promo:
And the good news is, AZ SnakePit will be there, to bring you the first, in-depth report on the night. Well, unless those cocktails they mention get the better of me, in which case you'll get a few sentences and a couple of blurred pics, whenever the hangover wears off. ;-) No, actually, since getting this media pass is the first "official" recognition of our existence, I am going to be on my absolute best behaviour: clean, shaved, and being extremely polite to people. Basically, unrecognisable - though my evil twin does like the idea of pulling a Bruno. [By the way: go see Borat, unquestionably the funniest film of the year.]
Another interesting paragraph explains the rational behind the changes (emphasis added): "The landmark event will introduce new branding for the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise to their loyal and passionate fans; celebrating the evolution to new colors that represent the passion of the team and the personality of Arizona, while at the same time recognizing the tradition and success of the franchise to date." Hmmm, I'm not quite sure how that last part works, given the almost entire re-working, from the colour schemes through to the logos. I guess the "A" logo being retained in a slightly modified form is a vague nod to the previous scheme. Though the Brit in me is compelled to point out that only in America could something less than ten years old be claimed to have any "tradition"!
Should be a lot of fun, though I wonder if Eric Byrnes will be part of the show? Part of me doubts it; getting Byrnes to sit still long enough to have his "hair and make up styled by Rolf's Salon" would pose a big enough challenge. And I pity any model chosen to accompany him: I remember the poor kid left trailing in his wake at Chase on "Take the field with the Diamondbacks" day. Byrnesie does not slow down for anyone, it would appear - he'd be the one sprinting full-length down the runway before sliding, headlong, off the end. Besides, using Eric Byrnes as a fashion mannequin is cruel and unnatural; he should be roaming the wild [the theme from Born Free swells majestically in the background at this point], on his skateboard, not caged for our entertainment. And you know what? I wouldn't have him any other way, personally.
So, who on the current roster would make a good model? Kinda hard to say; don't know much about their dress sense, since I only see them on the field, so the following should be filed under "Entirely baseless speculation". If I had to pick one guy, it'd be Juan Cruz. He's listed at 6'2" and 155 lbs on the official D'backs site; in the world of baseball that's as close as you'll get to a model's willowy figure - I trust, without the associated eating disorder or coke habit! Kinda get the feeling he'd be a smooth operator, and very popular with the laideez. Though if he's married, apologies to Mrs. Cruz for that last sentence.
Also ranked in the top five contenders for Arizona's Next Top Model: Orlando Hudson, Stephen Drew, Robby Hammock and Alberto Callaspo. But basically, anyone under 30, less than two hundred pounds, and not from Montana should clean up nicely. ;-) Though apologies also to Toronto manager John Gibbons and Marlins reliever Taylor Tankersley, the two active major-leaguers born in that state. I'm sure it's really very nice, and was picked solely because only Alaska has produced fewer major-leaguers - hell, Australia has produced more than Montana - so this way I offend the fewest people. [Sigh. Ever notice how jokes aren't funny when you have to apologize for them?] Random note: Curt Schilling was born in Anchorage.
As another aside, Cruz is among the most "model-like" (tall and thin) players in all baseball. Along with him, here are the others currently on 40-man rosters who, according to USA Today, come in at 155 lbs or less: in case you're wondering, David Eckstein is 165 lbs. The list is sorted first by lowest weight, then tallest height.
- Odalis Perez (KC) Starting Pitcher: 6'0", 150 lbs***
- Oswaldo Navarro (SEA) Shortstop: 6'0", 150
- Saul Rivera (WAS) Relief Pitcher: 5'11", 150
- Fabio Castro (PHI), Relief Pitcher: 5'8", 150
- Juan Cruz (ARI) Relief Pitcher: 6'2", 155
- Winston Abreu (BAL) Relief Pitcher: 6'2", 155
- Ray Olmedo (CIN) Second Baseman: 5'11", 155
- Oscar Robles (LAD) Second Baseman: 5'11", 155
- Davis Romero (TOR) Relief Pitcher: 5'10", 155
- Andres Blanco (KC) Shortstop: 5'10", 155
- Maicer Izturis (ANA) Third Baseman: 5'8", 155
Relief pitchers and middle-infielders dominate the list. Cruz, along with Winston Abreu from Baltimore, is the tallest player on the list, which may be part of the reason he has been consigned to the bullpen. True or not, he doesn't look like the kind of guy who could give you seven innings - paging Hernandez v2.0, the same height as Cruz, but ninety pounds heavier. Still, Odalis Perez*** proves you don't need to eclipse most of center-field in order to be a decent starter.
*** = The figure for Odalis Perez seems to be seriously in doubt, even though he is listed at 150 lbs in several respectable sources, such as BaseballReference.com. See the comments for more on this topic.
You've probably already noticed, but by popular request (okay, one person!), a countdown clock has been added to the top of the page. This will eventually tick over to show the time remaining until Opening Day next year, but not until all the 2006 awards - in particular, the National League Cy Young - have been announced. Then, we can properly draw a line under the season as complete, and begin looking forward towards 2007 in earnest...