Photo(s) of the Day: Things you don’t have to do very often in Arizona

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I got to Goodyear Ballpark just after 8AM this morning to find the groundscrew having to deal with a soaking wet tarp.  Note the giant pool just beyond shortstop:

Not something that happens very often in the desert I imagine.  The trick: to rip that thing off the infield fast enough so that the pool doesn’t move to the infield dirt, which would make Asdrubal Cabrera’s life difficult this afternoon.  OK men, grab some tarp and … ready … sprint!

Victory!  Now the pool is in shallow left, where drains will presumably make it go away before I hit “post.”

Last night’s rain notwithstanding, driving around Phoenix these past few days, I’ve been struck by how utterly unnatural it is for five or six million people to live in a desert. Seeing green grass at office parks or golf courses is downright disturbing. Even taking a shower makes me feel self-conscious.  This water should not be here and otherwise would not be but for the desire of human beings to live where Mother Nature made it inhospitable to do so.

I can’t decide if the existence of modern metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona is a shining testament to the human spirit or an impressive display of man’s folly.

Dodgers activate Adrian Gonzalez

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The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.

Rays activate Kevin Kiermaier

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The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.

Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.