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Doug: The joy of being a fan

When you’re a fan of the worst team in Major League Baseball (I don’t consider the Nats “Major League”), it’s easy to forget the guys under the hats.

This is not a blog about the problems of the D-backs or the mistakes of the past. I’m on vacation and I don’t want to take the time to write a blog that long.

Tuesday night I went to the D-backs game. When I told D-backs team president Derrick Hall I was going to the game, he offered me tickets. Little did I know I’d be sitting directly behind AJ Hinch. Yes, the D-backs won and played well (since I’m on vacation, I won’t comment on the decision to send CY home against one of the best outfield arms in baseball), but there’s more to it sitting that close.

There was a girl under-going chemo in the section next to us. Her family yelled at Chris Snyder for a ball using the young ladies bald head as bait. Chris never turned around or acknowledged their presence. Then, around 3 outs later, a ball was tossed from underneath the dugout that rolled along the room to it’s intended target. The bald girl was now a texting freak telling all her friends about the ball. I told her the man’s name was Chris Snyder so she’d know.

We had 10 people in our party and four kids. After every strike-out that ended an inning, Montero would see one of the kids and flip us a ball. All four kids got a ball. The last toss by Montero knocked over my cousin’s drink and he apologized on his way down the steps.

D-backs hit B-2-B HR’s with Haren hitting the second. The fun of sitting next to the dugout and seeing the guys have that much fun was a thrill. Mark Reynolds pretended to throw Haren’s HR ball at me to make Dan think he was going to lose the ball. I’ve never been that close to see jubilation from millionaire to millionaire with Haren’s HR.

Tuesday night reminded me of why the game is great and why it’s wonderful to have good human beings as players on our team. When I get back, I’ll go right back to being critical and unapologetic about my expectations for this team. There’s a lot to be upset about as a fan. For me, it was nice to be a fan and see the guys in a different light.

A friend of mine who played 11 years with one NFL franchise told me once, “Make plays, not friends.” He wasn’t a jerk. He wasn’t saying he didn’t have friends but he never let friendships get in the way of what his job was. I completely agree with him and I won’t excuse the players for their play. Watching them Tuesday night though, made me also realize these guys would be good to have as friends too.