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Snake Bytes, 4/13: Offline edition

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We’re about to get a new modem from Cox. If you don’t hear from me over the weekend, that will be why... :)

FCC Gets Tour Of Broadband Over Powerline Technology Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Team news

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks pitching carrying the load early during hot start - These Diamondbacks are as much about run prevention as run scoring. That was the case last season. The numbers bear this out even more through the first two weeks of this season. Their 2.72 ERA as a team is the third-best mark in the majors. Their rotation has a 3.36 ERA (10th) while the bullpen owns a minuscule 1.69 ERA (fourth). “The staff has set the tone,” Torey Lovullo said. “The staff is leading us and giving us chances to win games. The staff’s not only setting the tone, but they shape the game. When they pitch well, everything falls into place. When they don’t, you see what happens to the game. We count on them and they do a great job.”

[dbacks.com] Shipley, Brito off to fast starts in Minor Leagues - In his first start of the year for the Aces, Shipley held visiting Fresno to one run over 5 1/3 innings, then gave up two runs in six frames at Sacramento. "He looks great," D-backs vice president of player development Mike Bell said. "He threw the ball well in Reno, and we all know what kind of place that can be to pitch in. The key for him, I think, is commanding his fastball, being able to use his fastball down in the zone, elevate with purpose and intention and be able to command all those pitches. I think his changeup is a key for him, and so far, he's had a good feel for that."

[Arizona Sports] Salas, De La Rosa first pair of Mexican teammates on D-backs since 2004
- It’s noteworthy that last season only 1 percent of players on Opening Day rosters were Mexican. This makes it particularly uncommon for Mexican players to be teammates. For both De La Rosa and Salas, this makes playing together all the more meaningful. “It’s really fun because I knew Jorge before here,” Salas said. “He’s helped me because he knows how everything goes.” “This is the first time I’ve played with a Mexican player in the big leagues,” De La Rosa said. “I’m really excited to have one, specifically Fernando, because of the kind of person he is. I think it’s an honor for me to play with him.”

[The Athletic] The many swings of Ketel Marte - Despite those differences, Marte’s two swings more or less aped each other until recently. Keeping his swings consistent from one side to the other might seem obvious. It’s what many hitting coaches counsel their switch-hitters to do. “I know if I was a switch-hitter, I’d want to use the same setup and everything I do from one side to the next, just for consistency and to keep me sane,” Magadan said. But Marte might be a good argument against such wisdom. After all, motor skills do not switch over with ease. You can’t just tell one hand to do what the other has been doing so long and expect the same result – just try writing or throwing with your non-dominant hand.

[Arizona Sports] Forbes: Diamondbacks grew 5 percent in value year-over-year
- The Arizona Diamondbacks grew 5 percent in year-over-year value and are worth $1.21 billion, according to Forbes’ 2018 baseball team values report. That ranks as the 20th most valuable team in Major League Baseball. Arizona posted a revenue of $258 million and an operating income of $34 million, the latter of which ranks 11th in MLB. League averages were $315 million and $29 million, respectively. From 2016 to 2017, the Diamondbacks’ value grew by 24 percent to surpass the $1 billion mark in overall value and were worth $1.15 billion, according to last year’s Forbes report.

[The Athletic] Q&A: Zack Greinke on being overly aggressive, first-pitch strategies and much more - [A graph] shows Greinke's Game Scores over his career against his strike to ball ratio. It's not something definitive, but you'll notice that the best-fit line (in gray, behind, the line that best represents the relationship between how he fared in the game and how many strikes he threw per ball) is a parabola. That suggests that that there are, indeed, diminishing returns on his strike to ball ratio. The highlighted game was his last, when he gave up five runs to the Cardinals, and it's right around the place where the line begins to slow down and more strikes aren't necessarily the best approach for him.

[Reno Gazette Journal] Reno singer turns down gig to belt out national anthem because she can't bring gun - It's not the high notes of the Star Spangled Banner that has Alishia Wolcott turning down a spot to sing at a Reno Aces baseball game this summer. The 2016 University of Nevada, Reno graduate said no to her chance to sing the national anthem at Greater Nevada Field, the downtown Reno stadium where the Aces minor league baseball team plays, because she can't bring her gun. Wolcott declined to sing or ever attend another baseball game in a letter to the team after learning of the stadium’s new policy where everyone will be checked with hand held metal detectors before entering the stadium.

[FanGraphs] Job Posting: Diamondbacks Baseball Systems Developer |
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Description The purpose of this position is to play a significant role in designing and developing new functionality and maintaining existing applications within the Baseball Information Systems umbrella.

And, elsewhere...

[SI.com] Miami had smaller crowd than Double A team - The team drew 6,150 fans Wednesday, while its Double A affiliate, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, drew 6,960 fans for its home opener. In Miami's three-game home series against the Mets, the team drew 19,669 fans total. All three losses were night games. But although the numbers are low, The Sun Sentinel reports its because of the way attendance is being recorded under the new ownership group. This year, crowd counts reflect tickets actually sold, not counting giveaways or deep discounts.

[ESPN] Bryce Harper of Washington Nationals signs hair product endorsement - Bryce Harper finally has the most natural endorsement: a hair product deal. The Washington Nationals slugger, known for his thick hair and groomed beard, has signed a deal with Blind Barber, a network of six barbershops where customers can get a cut, have a drink and buy one of the brand's variety of hair care products for retail. As part of the deal, Harper will help create and sell the brand's hair strong hold styling clay, which the company says helps take dirt out of hair, a beard balm and dry shampoo.

[USA Today] Why MLB will continue to have bench-clearing brawls - The NBA, NHL and NFL have rules in place forbidding bench players from joining in fights, with the first two leagues discouraging such actions not only with fines but also suspensions. A story in the New York Times 20 years ago pondered why baseball, with its myriad rules, doesn’t have one that might limit how many participants get involved in a fight. Since then, MLB leadership and the union have discussed the topic during negotiations but failed to reach an agreement. “Such a rule would need to be collectively bargained,’’ MLB told USA TODAY Sports via email. The players association declined to comment.

[SB Nation] Someone at Major League Baseball at least thought about a mercy rule, and I’m mad on the internet - One of the ideas that was floated has stuck in my head for three years, and it’s become a real dental-plan-Lisa-needs-braces over the last 24 hours. This would be the idea of a mercy rule. It is, without question, the dumbest proposed change on the list. To be entirely fair, all we have is this list from years ago. Rob Manfred has floated a lot of ideas over the last three years — from limiting relievers to banning the shift — and I’m guessing he did it because it was cheaper than getting a few focus groups together.