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Snake Bytes, 3/29: Opening Day

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Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond Speaks At The SNP Annual Conference Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Team news

[AZ Central] Lovullo eases regret by rewarding Patrick Corbin - The Diamondbacks were swept in three games and as much as that still stings to Lovullo, keeping Corbin off the mound grinds at him almost daily. “There’s about three or four things that I keep going back to about the playoff series and that’s one of them. It was one of the first (things) I (did) in the offseason, to apologize to him, to let him know I was sorry that it didn’t happen. It hurt. It really hurt because he’s one of our catalysts on the mound. We had some things in play. There was an opportunity for him to pitch out of the bullpen and his versatility in that situation probably pushed him back to the No. 4 spot and that’s not fair to him.”

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks believe in a changing bullpen philosophy - Is the rest of MLB trending in the direction of the Diamondbacks, who no longer believe in distinguishing setup men from closers in terms of value? Hazen believes so. “I think the market is clearly valuing this appropriately over the course of multi-year deals for significant amounts of money for quote-unquote middle relievers to non-save type relievers,” Hazen said. “I think that shift has clearly started in the free agent market. What happens in the arbitration market, I don’t know.”

[AP] Rockies, D-backs return to scene of crazy wild-card game - Both teams believe they are good enough to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. Lovullo was named NL manager of the year last season, his first as a big-league skipper, as Arizona went 93-69 to earn the league's top wild card berth and first postseason appearance since 2011. The Diamondbacks return nearly everybody this year. "We have to embrace these new expectations," Lovullo said. "We're in new territory now. We might have an `x' on our back. But I want us to have that underdog mentality to go out and say we're a tough, smart baseball team and we're going to earn it every single night."

[AZ Central] Bradley embraces leadership spotlight - “It’s not a secret that our superstars aren’t huge personality guys,” Bradley said. “That’s not a knock on them. They lead and contribute and do their things in their own way. For me, I am a vocal guy. I get a lot of crap for it. But that’s OK. I can take it, I can wear it.” Said infielder Daniel Descalso: “Goldy is a leader by example, but he’s not Archie’s personality. I think Archie probably had been searching for that breakout season where he could be himself more. I’m sure he had to temper it down a little bit where he was starting and struggling. You can’t really be that guy when things aren’t going well.”

[] Rox, D-backs WC rematch rife with anticipation - The last time the Rockies and D-backs met at Chase Field, it was October in a win-or-go-home National League Wild Card Game in which Arizona prevailed, 11-8. The stakes will be a bit lower on Thursday night when the teams meet for Opening Day, but maybe not the anticipation. Sure, it will be just the first of a 162-game marathon and one of 19 times the teams will meet over the course of the regular season. But with both teams expected to contend for a postseason berth, every head-to-head game takes on added significance. "Every division game is going to be important," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "We have a really tough division."

[The Athletic] David Peralta is now playing America’s pastime as an American citizen - The process took nearly a year. In February of 2017, David had to leave spring training to return to the couple’s Florida home for a biometric screening, where he was fingerprinted and photographed. A few months later, his application was accepted and an appointment made for his citizenship test and interview. Like all applicants, he was provided with 100 questions to study. “He literally would just sit every night for a half hour or 45 minutes and go through all the questions,” Jordan said.

And elsewhere...

[MLB] Red-Nationals Opening Day game postponed - The Nationals will have to wait another day for Opening Day, after impending inclement weather postponed the season opener against the Reds until Friday at 4:10 p.m. ET at Great American Ball Park. The forecast had called for rain all week in Cincinnati, and it had yet to clear up before the Reds made the decision to postpone the game on Wednesday afternoon. An off-day was scheduled for Friday for this very reason. [So much for all 30 teams having the same Opening Day. Trust Cincinnati to spoil EVERYTHING...]

[ESPN] Ranking the MLB teams ahead of the 2018 season - 12. Arizona Diamondbacks. 2018 projected record: 86-76 (second in NL West). World Series odds: 30-1. Best case: With this rotation, the Diamondbacks can think big, like World Series big. Robbie Ray had a breakout 2017, and Zack Godley and Taijuan Walker could become household names in 2018. Paul Goldschmidt has two MVP runner-up finishes and was third last year. This is the year he wins it. The Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers to win the NL West and avoid that wild-card trickery.

[Forbes] Why The Beer Foam Pictures Of Yankees Players Were Blocked By MLB - Maybe the technology that really gets the sports fan at the ballpark going is the idea that you can now put pictures in the foam of the beer you purchase. This is a fun idea. The concessionaire for the New York Yankees sure thought so and showed off beer featuring the Yankees logo, or pictures of sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, as part of an event ahead of the start of the season. It’s the latter that presented some problems. Major League Baseball had to inform the Yankees that they had to stop with the player likeness in the foamy beverages.