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Snake Bytes, 4/12: Leavin' on a jet plane

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The first road-trip of the season gets under way this AFTERNOON [note that!] in Los Angeles, after yesterday's off-day.

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Let's start with this:

"So to D-back fans, and a few other teams' fans that aren't yet playing like you expected them too- Relax, shit will all work its way out... The point is, baseball is a wonderful game played out through many episodes. It's a soap-opera for men and really awesome woman! It plays itself out through the course of a year, and sometimes the season takes time to mature and get better, sometimes the episodes suck, and sometimes you want to stop watching, but eventually you come back because the episodes do get better, even if only one story line is worth following."

I trust we are all clear on that? Good.

Team news

[Arizona Sports] D-backs' Chris Owings earning praise for outfield work - By all accounts, Owings’ first week in center field has gone well. He’s caught all 11 fly balls hit in his direction, cut off balls in the gap and thrown the ball back into the infield quickly after base hits; the latter of which seemed almost too simple to Owings. "When I was throwing the ball in from center field on just like a routine base hit, I’m like, ‘this is all I have to do is just throw it into second base?’ I’m not trying to get anybody out," he said, smiling.

[SI] Zack Grienke's slow start comes with concerns - SI contributing baseball writer Jay Jaffe discusses the rumors surrounding Zack Greinke's slow start and whether the Arizona Diamondbacks should be concerned.

[FOX Sports] Matt Buschmann finally gets his chance, relishes it - The 32-year-old rookie pitched a scoreless ninth inning Sunday against the Cubs. "I don't think I could have ever prepared myself for that. It exceeded everything," Buschmann said afterward. "Because there's so many thought that can go through your head, I was through about throwing strikes and hitting the mitt and dealing with everything else later."

[AZ Central] 'Forever grateful': Matt Buschmann, 32, makes MLB debut - "The last three years," Buschmann said Friday, " ... I always believed I could pitch in the big leagues and I think you’ve got to after 10 years to continue riding buses but reality sets in. You’re married (his wife, Sara Walsh, is an ESPN anchor) and you start to realize this is a tough life. But I always said the day I felt like I couldn’t compete at the big-league level I’d be done. I never felt like that."

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks lead MLB with lowest fan costs index ranking - The Arizona Diamondbacks have the lowest Fan Cost Index in MLB for the 10th year in a row, according to Team Marketing Report’s data for 2016. The Fan Cost Index, developed by Team Marketing Report, is a representation of how much money it would cost a family of four to attend a game. For 2016, a family could enjoy a game at Chase Field for a total of $132.10, nearly $88 dollars below the MLB average of $219.53.

[Venom Strikes] Pure speculation: How long is Hale's leash? - Injuries to key players don’t seem to fit as a valid excuse for falling short of the goals that an organization has in a given time period– at least not with Williams and the Nats. They had injuries to Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Denard Span, Stephen Strasburg and Doug Fister last season. This did nothing to give a break to Williams regarding the perceived underperformance of last year’s Washington squad.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks playing some bold offense - D-backs CEO Derrick Hall is now saying the team wants Phoenix to take control of Chase Field. I’m guessing that’s not because of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s magnetic personality. No, it’s because the city has the ability to do what the Maricopa County Stadium District can’t do. Raise taxes.

[Inside the 'Zona] Prospects to Watch in AAA Reno and AA Mobile - Minor league rosters started taking shape about a week and half ago and can reveal certain clues about how the team feels about its prospects. Best of all, we get to see which players will be facing new challenges in 2016, then see how they respond. Let’s take a quick pass through two of the full season affiliates for the Diamondbacks, the Reno Aces (AAA, Pacific Coast League) and Mobile BayBears (AA, Southern League) identifying who we should keep our eyes on.

[Teal Attack] State of The Snakes: Week One - Always glad to welcome another D-backs site to the Internet. Here's Sean's review of the first week. Obviously, it could have gone better, but he finds something to cheer in our 32-year-old rookie, Matt Buschmann. "We have in a nutshell here a metaphor for the entire Diamondbacks season to come, and for the game of baseball itself, in that there is always something beautiful to be found between the lines, as long as one looks hard enough."

Around baseball

[ESPN] Hall of Fame has Trevor Story gear, but shortstop not giving up bat - Cooperstown already has Trevor Story's helmet and batting gloves after his historic seven-homer first week, but the Baseball Hall of Fame isn't getting his bat. "They asked for the bat," the shortstop said Sunday, "but I couldn't give up the bat." On Monday, Story was named NL Player of the Week. Fellow rookie Tyler White, of the Houston Astros, earned the honor in the AL. The pair are the first players to win the awards in their first week since Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers (April 6-12, 1981) and Salome Barojas of the Chicago White Sox (April 12-18, 1982).

[MLB.com] Dodgers rename street Vin Scully Avenue - "When you say, '67 years doing the same job,' I also think, 'Sure, sure -- no advancement?'" Scully mentioned that the thing he would miss the most after leaving the broadcast booth was "the roar of the crowd." "Which really is what I'm saying today," he continued. "I don't know you and I miss you. Believe me. Each and every one of you. You have been so kind and so gentle. I'm overwhelmed. Just to hear you, your enthusiasm, the voice that comes roaring out of the stands, there's nothing like it."

[SI] Killing the comeback: Dominant bullpens making late rallies rare - The ninth inning last season featured the worst OBP (.299), the lowest WHIP (1.203), the highest strikeout-to-walk rate (3.11), the second-lowest batting average (.233, behind 2012) and the third most strikeouts (behind '12 and '14) in recorded history. Why should we care? The question here is this: Is it bad for the game’s broad appeal that monster bullpens keep the ball out of play, keep runners off base and depress comebacks?