Kubel takes quickly to new environment

Feb. 28, 2012

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — As would be expected with any player
relocating after seven Major League seasons with the same team, new
Diamondbacks outfielder Jason Kubel still has a few things to get used
to.
 
“It hasn’t been too tough an adjustment,” Kubel said. “It’s
obviously something new, but everyone’s made it really easy for me
coming over here.”

The routine of spring training in Arizona
hasn’t been much different from Florida yet, save the humidity and rain
that comes with the Grapefruit League, but there’s one welcome
adjustment coming this weekend when the D-backs open their Cactus League
schedule: travel.

While the longest “road trip” in the Cactus
League is less than 50 miles, the average trip in the Grapefruit League
can be more than 100 miles.

Kubel says he’s looking forward to short bus rides and less traffic on state highways.

“The
travel is really bad in Florida,” Kubel said. “You kind of wait around
forever. Those games take awhile, and then there’s a two- or three-hour
bus ride back. It’s going to be a lot better here.”

The
facilities, too, have been a welcome change. Salt River Fields is the
Cactus League’s newest training facility and offers sprawling amenities
now considered Arizona’s best.

“The facilities and stadium here
are quite a bit nicer,” Kubel said. “This place out here is awesome.
There’s nothing like this in Florida.”

The other big adjustment
will be the weather once the real season starts, but that’s another easy
one. No humidity, hardly any rain and no early season chills. Typical
Opening Day temperatures in Phoenix fall in the 70s. In Minneapolis? Low
40s.

“It will definitely be better starting the year here than
starting in Minnesota,” Kubel said. “As far as that, it’s a hundred
times better.”

Opening Day for Kubel might also be the time the full impact of his relocation hits him.

“I’m
really looking forward to just getting that feel and seeing what kind
of fans we have out here,” Kubel said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

–Tyler Lockman