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SnakeBytes, 4/12: Off-Day Sadness

I don't know how we made it past yesterday but we did, so pat yourself on the back and go buy yourself a jersey or something; you've earned it. Plenty of interesting analysis on the D-backs front today with the season 1/18th of the way done as Brandon McCarthy shows his cerebral side, Don Baylor reminisces on growing up in a less accepting time, and A.J. Pollock describes how he stays focused when everything around him is constantly changing.

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Don Baylor was one of first three African-American students at his school in Austin, Texas.
Don Baylor was one of first three African-American students at his school in Austin, Texas.

Quotient Quotables

Things will trend back. All I ever care about coming out of an outing is, I want to win – you always want to get results and throw well – and have everything feel right. I don’t mean health-wise, but if you feel like you’re able to do everything you want to do, then it becomes just simple sequencing and putting it all back into place.

-- Brandon McCarthy

You were walking into an all-white school. The teachers were just as tough as maybe the students were. Kids are going to be kids. Kids in the seventh grade are going to call you names. Call you the ‘N’ word. See how far they could push you. I was going to take on anybody’s challenge, so I had to calm down.

-- Don Baylor

Someone will bring it up. That’s what they do. They think ahead. But when you are a baseball player and you are in the thick of things during a season, there is a game today, and when that is done, there is another. If you are in there you are going to compete. When you are not, you are going to be the best bench player you can. That’s all you can do.

-- A.J. Pollock


D-backs take their shot at Kershaw -
After opening with NL Central teams St. Louis, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, the Diamondbacks will begin a three-game series against big-spending NL West rival the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on Friday.

Pollock, Marte giving D-backs tough decision -
In about a week, or whenever Cody Ross returns from the disabled list, the Diamondbacks likely will be forced to return either A.J. Pollock or Alfredo Marte to the minor leagues. It is the curse of the young and optionable on a deep, veteran team.

Arizona Diamondbacks: What we know so far -
azcentral Sports D-Backs insider Nick Piecoro discusses the good and bad from the first 3 series of the season.

Jackie Robinson's lessons served Baylor well
I know I quoted this above, but this article from Jack Magruder is absolutely beautiful. Jackie Robinson's courage and dignity helped pave the way for Don Baylor's journey through segregated society.

D-Backs ranked 17th in MLB team payrolls - One is the Loneliest Number
On Wednesday, the Arizona Republic released a list of all 30 teams and their payrolls for the 2013 season. The D-Backs came in 17th just behind the Atlanta Braves with a total payroll of $89.1 million.

D-backs have top prospects all over field -
While once it was clear that pitching was the strength -- with some talent on the corners and a lack of depth up the middle -- the D-backs now have prospects scattered throughout the diamond, including the premium positions up the middle.

Today in Baseball

Presidential First Pitch Rankings! | fastball/changeup
Every season, I eagerly await the time when baseball decides to incorporate politicians. Whether it be a first pitch or the Congressional Baseball Game, nothing is as comfortable as the edge of my seat. At some point during the summer, the President will stroll from the dugout to the mound to make the first pitch. While the President is probably just doing it for PR, I can’t help for rooting for the man leading the country to demonstrate his power on the mound. Regardless of party, I want the President to succeed. For America.

Dotel shows young kids the importance of fundamentals as he knocks the ball down anyway he can.

42 - Rotten Tomatoes
Though it might be a little too safe and old-fashioned for some, 42 is an earnest, inspirational, and respectfully told biography of an influential American sports icon.

At least we're not stuck with Raul Ibanez