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