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I'm feeling particularly technically accomplished today, having just installed a wireless router. Mrs. SnakePit got a laptop for Christmas, which was fine, but somewhat limited in its use until this piece of technology was added, so it can now access the Internet. I suspect the laptop may be getting hijacked once baseball season starts, however, as it will allow me to post in-game comments on the Gameday threads from the comfort of the living-room sofa, rather than having to run through to the office every half-inning! Hmmm, did I hear somewhere that Chase Field is now wireless-enabled too? That'd be really cool: live blogging from the ballpark... Take the digital camera and I could do in-game photos too!

The installation was pretty simple: basically, plug the router between the cable modem and SnakePit Jr's computer. I did hit some trouble trying to set up the security, as the computer then denied the existence of the router. But we can configure that later; I was dead happy to get as far as we did without needing to call someone else's technical support [my patience for that has become nil, since I started working in the area!]. Now, we just have to wait and see if SnakePit Jr notices - he was whining at the prospect of losing any of his World of Warcrack bandwidth, so we did a Watergate-style secret install, and have stuffed the router down the back of his desk.

Couple of pieces of news regarding the Diamondbacks today. Two of our bullpen signed agreements for 2007, avoiding arbitration: Cruz will get, $1,437,500, more than double the $575K he made last year, while Julio gets $3.6m, up from $2.525m in 2006. That still leaves five Diamondbacks currently heading towards arbitration: Eric Byrnes, Hudson, Doug Davis, Lyon and Valverde. This deal probably means Julio will indeed be starting the season as a member of the Diamondbacks, likely as the set-up man for Valverde, though it could be argued this new cost-certainty makes him more attractive to potential trade partners.

Interesting article in the Republic, where team president Derrick Hall says the roof at Chase Field is going to be open more:

We've given this a lot of thought. And I want it open as much as possible. If it's iffy, if the weather is on the fence, I'm going to push to have it open. We're never going to please everybody. In the past, we'd have people calling up and complaining. And I understand on days the roof is open, people can get fried on the first base side. But a lot of people don't come to the park because they don't like the environment there. Who's to say we wouldn't attract more fans if we kept the roof open a little more?

I think it's likely that recent criticism over the Cardinals roof out in Glendale, has caused the Diamondbacks to make a pre-emptive strike on the topic. Me, I'm generally in favour of the roof being open: baseball is an outdoor sport, and should played that way wherever possible. I've sweltered in the sun and slapped on the PF40 lotion at Scottsdale Stadium during Spring Training; it doesn't seem too much to expect a few fans to bring their sunglasses to the park. Obviously, for much of the year, it will be simply too warm - it's the price we pay for living in Arizona - but at the start and end of the season, it's got to be done, at any level short of third-degree sunburn.

Mind you, I don't sit in those sections, so I can afford to be callous and unfeeling. But I do feel that if the sun in those areas got too much to bear, we could provide the spectators in those seats with convex mirrors, and instructions to focus the sun's rays on D.Baxter. If it was good enough for Archimedes, it would be good enough to take care of our flea-bitten mascot. The sight of him dashing across the infield in flames, would more than make up for a fair level of discomfort, as far as I was concerned. Hey, Baxter: don't worry, it's a dry heat.

The article also goes on to describe the new Diamond Club in the outfield pavillion, "an upscale nightclub-like environment with trendy furniture, a pool table and flat-screen televisions." Yeah, a pool table and a disco: that's why I go to the ballpark. Pardon my sarcasm there: in the long run, I'll support anything that helps keep the people who don't really want to watch the game out of my section. The rest of the stadium is also getting tidied-up. The displays "will be changed to reflect only Diamondbacks history...and there will be far less clutter when walking around the ballpark." Not quite sure what they mean by "clutter": what gets in my way most tend to be other fans, so this may be a pessimistic comment on the expected attendance during 2007.