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Snake Bytes, 4/3: Open Sesame

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[AZ Central] Torey Lovullo enjoys memorable win in Diamondbacks debut - Minutes earlier in the clubhouse, Lovullo had been doused in beer by his players – although he jokingly would not confirm nor deny the liquid that got into his eyes. "I don’t know what it was," he said. "It wasn’t Gatorade, that’s for sure. It’s still burning. You talk about grinding it out – right now I’m grinding out this interview... It was emotional, I’m not going to lie. I miss my dad, but my family is here. They loved me and supported me today and yesterday in a very intimate way. I felt everybody’s presence. It couldn’t have been scripted any better for me."

[Arizona Sports] D-backs survive wild Opening Day with walk-off win over Giants - Perfect game, no-hitter and shutout. They all ended for Bumgarner over three consecutive at-bats in the sixth inning. Jeff Mathis hit a one-out triple down the left field line, Nick Ahmed followed with a base hit to right and then scored on A.J. Pollock’s two-run home run that tied the game at 3. Pollock, who hit just .143 in spring training with one homer, lifted a 92-mph fastball on an 0-1 count just over the fence in left field. The three-run inning put new life into the stadium.

[] D-backs' A.J. Pollock has big Opening Day - "That home run he hit to tie the game right there was awesome," D-backs shortstop Chris Owings said. "Making plays out there in center field, having good at-bats, running the bases hard. He's a guy that can steal bases and change the game on the basepaths, at the plate and in the field." "You saw it today," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "I don't think we realized how much we missed him. He's a huge part of this team. He's a great leader and a great player. He does a lot of great things."

[Fanrag] D-backs show they’re not last year’s team - With every chance to crumble, the D-backs didn’t. Facing two outs in the ninth against new $62 million closer Mark Melancon, Mathis doubled, Daniel Descalso singled in pinch-runner Jeremy Hazelbaker, A.J. Pollock singled Descalso to third and Owings — who came to the plate with three strikeouts on the day — singled the D-backs to a win. "I think just that whole mentality of that game was don’t quit," Owings said. "I think we’ve had that mentality the past couple years that I’ve been here. It might not have paid off the past couple years, but if we can keep sticking with it I think it’s gonna help us out."

Team news

[AZ Central] New era gets the perfect beginning - Derrick Hall reiterated that the club has asked Major League Baseball for a favor in the coming years, namely the opportunity to open a season on the road. The transition from their spring training headquarters to Chase Field is a journey that only covers 21 miles, and Hall believes the team has difficulty shaking their Cactus League mindset. Winning on Opening Day with a sturdy show of heart and conviction is not a bad alternative. "You can’t beat Opening Day," Owings said. "You really can’t." Not when 49,016 fans go home happy, eager to believe in a new era of baseball.

[Arizona Sports] Opening Day win a really good start for D-backs - Sure it’s one game, but most of that sold-out crowd walked away feeling really good about their team. And getting that first one out of the way had to feel awfully good, and the way they won it certainly helps build camaraderie. So sure, there are 161 games left and this team is likely not a playoff team. But for a team that lost more games at home (33-48) last season than on the road (36-45), getting a big win over a perennial powerhouse with one of the best pitchers in the game on the mound at home is a really, really good start. Nothing more and nothing less.

[] D-backs' Lovullo gets 'emotional' first win - The D-backs have had eight managers in their short history, but Lovullo now makes four of them since Bob Melvin was fired early in the 2009 season. For various reasons, A.J. Hinch, Kurt Gibson and Chip Hale didn't last in Arizona, but one senses that Lovullo has a real chance. Lovullo is charming and obviously cares about other people. At the end of his interim stint in Boston, there were managerial openings around baseball and the well-regarded Lovullo was constantly mentioned. Instead, he chose to remain with the Red Sox to support Farrell, a close friend.

[ESPN[ Behind the scenes at the Arizona Diamondbacks' home opener - What does it take to start a new season? Darren Rovell takes you inside the Arizona Diamondbacks' organization on Opening Day. Get a behind-the-scenes look at everything from filling out the official lineup card to opening the gates at Chase Field to -- of course -- tasting the new food offerings.

[SI] Rays, Diamondbacks will be season's surprise teams thanks to rotation depth -  The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke coming back from an uncharacteristically high 4.37 ERA and well-regarded options like Robbie Ray, Patrick Corbin, Shelby Miller, Braden Shipley and Archie Bradley. Add in new arrival Taijuan Walker, who enjoyed a strong spring after December surgery to remove 10 bone spurs in his right foot, and this bunch—which to start the year will likely have Bradley in the bullpen and Shipley back at Triple A—is too talented to struggle the way last year's 93-loss club did.

And, elsewhere

[ESPN] Opening Day win fuels Cardinals' aim to close gap on Cubs in 2017 - Everywhere the Cubs go this season, teams are going to give them their best efforts. They certainly should expect nothing less from the Cardinals, who are used to being the alpha males in the National League Central and to pummeling the Cubs throughout the generations. One game isn’t going to sway the course of what could be a changing of the guard. It will be about the usual things -- health, luck, the shape of players’ growth curves -- but the Cardinals are intent on showing last year wasn’t the start of things to come. So, yeah, consider this opening night an early statement.

[New Yorker] The Dream Chasers of Pro Baseball - When I was in the minor leagues, our base-running instructor, Joe Tanner, told me, "You have to give up the best years of your life to play this game." He was right. To even see a return on investment requires years on the road: buses and middle seats; dozing drivers and bad food. Along the way, the gods must smile on you with perfect health and impeccable timing, the divine fortune of a job opening becoming available exactly when you are ready to take it. Denial allows many minor leaguers to ignore the possibility—the probability—of falling short, at least until it becomes inescapably clear that they have done so.

[CBS News] Man takes photo of baseball with every Hall of Famer, living or deceased - Most Hall of Famers are deceased, so Carhart drove to Boise, Idaho, to find Harmen Killibrew"s gravesite. Babe Ruth took him to Hawthorne, New York. Ted Williams’ picture: at the cryogenics lab where William’s head is preserved. "Not every interaction with the living guys is great," Carhart tells CBS News. "Some of them just don’t understand why I would do such a thing."