Friday, April 1, is Opening Day around Major League Baseball and for the Arizona Diamondbacks it means one great thing -- their spring record will be wiped clean. Going into today's play the team held the worst record (.306) in either the Cactus or Grapefruit leagues. The regular season schedule begins Friday, however, and the team will be at .500 (0-0). That very well could be their high-water mark for the season.
Optimistic predictions have the team finishing with 72 wins. Odds of the team winning the World Series are 100/1 which is better only than the Pirates, Indians, and Royals. It's going to be a long, hot summer...but that's nothing new in the desert.
Unfortunately for a team that is lacking in starting rotation talent and star power in the field, the season kicks off with a pretty tough schedule in April. After a road series against the Colorado Rockies, the team heads to cold Chicago to face the Cubs, then it's back home to open the season in Phoenix against the tough Cincinnati Reds.
After that start, the team would be lucky to around .400 come May.
One big change for this season is the variable pricing program the Diamondbacks have instituted for home games this season. There are six different levels of pricing which vary based on the popularity of the opponents and the day of the week.
AZ Snakepit has the full breakdown of the new model:
Buying Diamondbacks Tickets Just Got A Little More... Complex - AZ Snake Pit
The "why" is obvious: to make more money, by trying to match supply and demand more precisely. In some ways, it makes sense, but it's not something you see much in other forms of entertainment: if you go to the movies, you don't see Harkins altering their prices based on whether you're taking in a must-see Oscar winner or (to quote someone's signature) a badly made schlock-fest with absolutely no redeeming value.
It won't make much difference to me, but then, I'm a Diamondbacks fan. I go see them play, and who the opposition are, really doesn't factor into my decision.
For the full Diamondbacks 2011 season schedule, click here. Happy Opening Day!