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Grialou’s D-backs notebook: Opening Day, ceremonial first pitch

It is the first of 162 and the first of 81 at Chase Field.
“It is another game but it is special,” said manager Kirk
Gibson about Opening Day.

“We want to pick up where we left off last year,” he
continued. “We want to finish what we started last year.”

The start to this season will begin against the San
Francisco Giants.

“They are a totally different team” from a season ago
according to Gibson.

The second-year manager surprised many with his first
lineup of 2012, placing Chris Young second. Young did not
hit from the two-hole at all during spring and only once
last season.

“Well, I’m not going to tell you exactly why I did it that
way,” said Gibson, because maybe I have some things in
mind that I would like to do within the game.”

Gibson though did mention Young’s hot-hitting spring plus
his speed; and Gibson likes Ryan Roberts and Aaron Hill
towards the bottom of the order.

Should be an interesting ceremonial first pitch. Friends
and now rival head coaches Todd Graham (ASU) and Rich
Rodriguez (UA) will do the honors.

“I’m an old ballplayer. I don’t need to practice,”
explained Graham who added he plans on throwing a fastball
up to the plate.

“I just hope I don’t hurt anybody. That’s what I hope.”

This will be Graham’s second big league ceremonial first
pitch. He performed the honor once for the Houston Astros
when he was the head coach at Rice.