In Deference to Gonzo

Almost as soon as I entered the gates at Chase Field I began hearing fans talking about the pre-game festivities for tonight’s game. Tonight marked the retirement of number 20 by the Diamondbacks to celebrate the career of Luis Gonzalez.

At some point in these conversations the subject of the Legends Races would come up with fans almost unanimously expecting Luis Gonzalez to win the race to celebrate the evening. If any other Legend won it would be an upset greater than the Diamondbacks beating the New York Yankees in the 2001 World Series.

Before the game the Legends once again walked the field checking on race conditions. All that is except Gonzalez. He was suspiciously absent before the game. Was the Gonzo Legend feeling the pressure of the evening? Was he so nervous that he would not be able to race? Could Grace somehow sneak in and win in the absence of the favorite?

All of these questions remained to be answered when the fifth inning ended. As I looked out into the Padres bullpen I initially saw just three racers, no Gonzalez. When the race started all four Legends emerged and made their way towards home plate.

As they made their way towards the San Diego dugout, Mark Grace, Randy Johnson, and Matt Williams were all bunched up while Gonzalez was a distant fourth. Perhaps all of the attention was just too much for poor Gonzalez.

The front-runners rounded the final corner. It looked as though the finishing order would be Johnson, Williams, Grace and finally Gonzalez. Then just before the finish line the other three racers stopped and made a path for Gonzalez.

They stood in a line clapping and paying tribute to Luis Gonzalez the player and the Legend. Gonzalez came across the finish line in victory. The sellout crowd at Chase Field cheered wildly as the racers left the playing surface.

Just to keep Grace honest, Joe Garagiola Senior held up a sign in the television booth that simply said, “Even I could beat Mark Grace”. We shall see tomorrow whether that dig will motivate Grace or crush what confidence he has left. As for now the streak remains 0-23.

About Jeff Summers

Just a guy from Section 132 Row 9 Seat 9 trying to understand the metaphysics of baseball and whether the knuckleball defies Newton's first law of motion.
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2 Responses to In Deference to Gonzo

  1. Stan Levine says:

    Grace & Sutton: What jerks! The DBacks finally kicked that idiot Trabor under the bus & Thom knew he was hooked up with a bunch of losers & left. Joe Sr.: His only claim to fame is growing up with Yoggi…he has made a career out of it. Sutton’s only claim to fame is being lucky enough to being Don’s son, who by the way is one of my all time favorites. Aside from his baseball greatness, he cold cocked that milk and cookies Garvey in the Dodger’s locker room.
    Gonzo night…you gotta be kidding!!!! The best ball player in Diamondback history…kick him down the road over money, bring him back & retire his #. AZ sports teams tend to do that. Check out the Sun’s Barkley. Give me a break.
    Today’s game…The team was still in the game when Reynolds, who should have been in bed resting, started a Padre’s rally. Less than 2 outs, a man on third he makes a feeble attempt to catch a pop foul going away from the plate, interferring with the right fielder who was running toward the plate and probably would have made the catch and hold the guy on 3rd. This one play characterizes the teams management and them leading the major leagues in most meaningful negative statistics.
    That’s it for now…I’ll be back.

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