Diamondbacks welcome fans, expectations at FanFest

Feb 11, 2012, 11:38 PM | Updated: Feb 12, 2012, 12:29 am

The Diamondbacks had FanFest Saturday, just as they did
one year ago.

The event, which signifies the unofficial start to the
season, gives fans a chance to see the players for the
first time since the previous year.

Last time around, the mood was different. Last time
around, the Diamondbacks were coming off a couple of poor
seasons, filled with bad baseball and managerial changes.
Looking for little more than a fresh start, fans hoped the team
would simply be competitive and fun to watch while the
players wanted to learn how to win once again.

Last time around, the Diamondbacks weren’t the defending
NL West champs. This time around, they are the team
everyone is trying to catch.

They’ll take it.

“Given the choice, I think being a champion is something
you strive to be so defending is fun,” D-backs Managing
Partner Ken Kendrick said.

The last time the team was in a similar position was 2008,
when they followed up a postseason appearance by trading
away half the farm system to get Oakland’s Dan Haren.
Arizona followed a torrid April by tanking, essentially,
the next three seasons, and it took until last year to
finally turn things around.

But they’ve done it.

Though there is no official number to say how many fans
were at Chase Field Saturday, there is little doubt it was
a record turnout. Plenty of Sedona Red — and even a little
Milwaukee Brewers Blue and Gold, apparently — could be
found, with both young and old excited to see a team they
expect great things from in 2012.

Expectations? Sure, but once again, it’s better than the

“We have all the players basically back from a year ago
when the team was a division champ and we’ve added some
players,” Kendrick said. “That’s OK, that’s what sports

But then Kendrick said the words that should make even the
most ardent D-backs fan just a bit cautious heading into
the season.

“Repeating is tougher than winning the first time.”

Kendrick knows the Diamondbacks won’t catch anyone by
surprise this year — be it opposing teams or the team’s
own fanbase — and is comfortable with the roster after an
offseason that most “experts” say was a very productive

Though Arizona is returning the bulk of a roster that won
94 games last season, GM Kevin Towers went into the
offseason looking to improve. The D-backs went out and
added a front-line starter in Trevor Cahill, picked up
relievers Craig Breslow and Takashi Saito to bolster an
already solid bullpen, and brought in a big bat in the
form of outfielder Jason Kubel who, while a surprise
addition, could prove to be huge for the team.

One year ago the Arizona Diamondbacks were a team looking
for nothing more than a fresh start, but as they say, what
a difference a year can make.

Penguin Air

Adam Green

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke adjusts his cap between pitches against the Colorado Rock...
Adam Green

Concerned about Zack Greinke? Yes, I am

It's early, yes, but Zack Greinke's struggles this season are unexpected and concerning.
6 years ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones, who was acquired in a trade with the New England Patri...
Adam Green

Chandler Jones is the most exciting addition in Arizona Cardinals history

The Cardinals added Chandler Jones not to make them good, but to get them to the Super Bowl.
6 years ago
Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin (46) prepare to hit during a spring t...
Adam Green

Money, expectations change the game for Diamondbacks

If the Diamondbacks are concerned about big heads due to being "offseason winners," they need look no further than to a division rival as a cautionary tale.
6 years ago
Phoenix Suns' P.J. Tucker (17) and Devin Booker (1) react to a foul call during the second half of ...
Adam Green

Who knew the Suns bottoming out could feel so terrible?

While the Phoenix Suns being bad may actually be a very good thing, the way they have hit the bottom is difficult to stomach.
6 years ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians watches during the second half of an NFL football game ag...
Adam Green

Trust leads to Arians’ aggressive approach with Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals had just coughed up a 14-point fourth quarter lead and had the ball at their own 16 with just 58 seconds left in a tied game.
7 years ago
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, greets Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palm...
Adam Green

Cardinals show road to NFC West title goes through Glendale

Prior to the game there was plenty of talk about how the Cardinals had yet to beat a winning team and were not nearly as good as their record may have indicated.
7 years ago
Diamondbacks welcome fans, expectations at FanFest