SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s no secret that Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley knows how to entertain a crowd.
Sporting a floral shirt on Wednesday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open’s Annexus Pro-Am, Bradley said he had a plan to endear himself to fans when he reached the famed 16th hole.
“We’ve got tickets for the opening series,” Bradley said. “I’ve got some T-shirts, I’ve got some koozies, I’ve got some putter covers. I have got a lot planned.”
Bradley wasn’t the only Diamondbacks player participating in the Pro-Am. Fellow pitcher Patrick Corbin competed in a separate foursome and was accompanied by his brother Kevin.
“When I found out I was playing, I gave him a call and told him to change his flight,” Corbin said. “He was coming out here anyway. I think he is just as excited as me.”
Corbin, whose name has recently come up in trade rumors, said he is just focused on playing for the Diamondbacks this season.
He also commented on the slow offseason, in which very few of the top free agents have agreed to deals.
“There are a lot of good players out there,” Corbin said. “J.D. (Martinez) who we played with last season and a bunch of other guys. There are a lot of teams out there that want those types of players.”
Having made the playoffs for the first time in six years, the Diamondbacks’ expectations feel a bit more elevated than in the past, especially because they haven’t made consecutive postseasons since 2001-2002.
“We try to not even think about it,” Bradley said. “I know that is a cliché answer but baseball is so hard year to year, and like I said, not knowing who we are going to have or what teammates are going to fill in what roles or who is going to be healthy when you start the season, it is so tough right now. It is just focusing on what type of team we are, the style of play we are going to have, and who is going to be the best 25 guys.”
Corbin and Bradley have golfed together several times and both said they play whenever they can. They mentioned that they are excited to have the experience of playing the TPC Scottsdale stadium course in front of the plethora of spectators.
“Today is a special moment, it’s a bucket list item for most people,” Bradley said. “To get to play in this and share it with him, it’s pretty cool.”
“I’m going to say me,” Bradley added with a smile when asked who the better golfer between the two is. “Obviously, I’m not going to say him, so I’m going to go with me.”
The left-hander Corbin was happy to start at the first hole so that his group, which included former Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely and is led by two-time Phoenix Open defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, can get a better feel for the course by the time they reach the spectator-filled holes.
“The last four holes are really special,” Corbin said. “They are the best four holes I have played. Just looking forward to that build-up there. I played the other day and everybody was joking with me that I hit a home run out of the stadium. Hopefully that doesn’t happen, I’ll change clubs, got some experience there.”
Like Corbin, Bradley is also sharing the unique experience with family. His caddie is his father, Charles.
Bradley, who is expected to serve as the Diamondbacks closer in 2018, says he feels great heading into spring training and is trying to make the most out of the rest of the offseason.
“Mentally I’m rested and ready to go,” he said. “This is the last week to enjoy some off-time, play some golf, finish up with the Super Bowl, and then ready to go.”
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