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Melvin Mora to miss some time because of a car accident, which leads me to two random observations

Mar 7, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants Getty Images

Jack Magruder reports that Diamondbacks’ third baseman Melvin Mora was struck from behind in car accident and will miss a couple of days because of it.

This is not major news, but I pass it along so I can put up two random spring training observations I didn’t get around to making last week:

1) Some scouts hanging around the Dbacks-Giants game I went to talked about Melvin Mora fitting in on the Diamondbacks. They kept saying stuff like “he’s a ballplayer and Gibson likes ballplayers,” and “yeah, he likes to play the game. He’s a player.”  I actually was around a lot of scouts while I was down there and most of them had really insightful things to say, be it about baseball specifically or life in the game in general. I got a lot of laughs and learned some stuff from them.  Those two guys, however: not so much. I have no idea what “he’s a ballplayer” is supposed to mean.

2) Accidents happen everywhere, but I must note that while everyone tends to complain about drivers no matter where they are — people always think that where they live has “the world’s worst drivers!” — I must say that people in the Phoenix area drive quite well.  Not too fast and reckless, not too slow and pokey. People merge properly. People are generally courteous, but not so much that they back up traffic just to let you in. It’s square in the sweet spot of drivability. I’m not sure if there is a cultural geographic reason for this, but one does a lot of driving in Phoenix, and for nearly 10 days I was in constant comfort and easy on the roadways, and I can’t say that about most places I’ve been.

That is all.

  1. bloodysock - Mar 7, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Saying “he’s a ballplayer” is along the lines of your mother telling you that if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.

  2. The Common Man/www.platoonadvantage.com - Mar 7, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    I almost entirely agree, but I’ve noticed Phoenix drivers really like running red lights.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Mar 7, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    As a courteous New Jersey-trained driver, I fit right in while in Chicago, Washington and Houston. Maine and Harrisburg, not so much, so I went to Philly often. Boston scares me.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 7, 2011 at 3:04 PM

      Look out behind you, Len!!!! Jonny 5 is looking to run you down!!!!!!!

      • yankeesfanlen - Mar 7, 2011 at 3:11 PM

        That’s OK, Ut, I’ll just change the plates and let out the oil slick.

  4. Jonny 5 - Mar 7, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Sure it’s common for NJ drivers to carry 18 points on their license. Any less and you aren’t doing something right. We’re like Nascar except more interesting.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 7, 2011 at 3:09 PM

      Driving to the shore is always a treat—on both sides of the bridge.

    • The Rabbit - Mar 7, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      Those of us in South Jersey learned to drive by negotiating the dreaded Race Track, Ellisburg, and Rte. 70/73 Circles (during rush hour and before the time traffic signals were installed). If you could successfully navigate them, you could drive anywhere. Jonny, you may be too young to remember that but I’m sure your dad can tell you. My grandmother’s strategy was to shut her eyes and step on the gas.
      I missed the 75 mph traffic jams on the Surekill Crawlway, the 95’s and the Turnpike during the time I worked in Boston. To survive (especially on a motorcycle) you had to accept Greater Boston Driving Rule #1: Everyone has the right of way with particular attention to Volvos and BMW’s.
      BTW-The same rule applies in many parts of Florida if s/he is driving a Lincoln or Cadillac, the driver is wearing the required-by-law protective hat, and can’t see over the steering wheel.

  5. goldstar4robotboy - Mar 7, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    As a Valley resident, but one who has lived in CA, IA and FL, I’d have to agree with your assessment of our driving.

    A possible factor: Phoenix built its freeway system, compared to the nation, very late (like 90s into 2000s), so our drivers benefit from a state-of-the-art road infrastructure. Los Angeles, by comparison, has crumbling freeways – and I find their drivers to be mediocre.

  6. BC - Mar 7, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    I’m prejudiced so I won’t say that Connecticut has the worst drivers in the world (even though they are). I’d probably say Atlanta – you’ll be stuck on the 285 loop, behind someone going 50 mph, and three cars will whizz by you doing 110, making 3-lane lane changes without a signal. It’s insane.

  7. marshmallowsnake - Mar 7, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Craig – did you go on the highways much here? I came from Massachusetts, which is known for bad driving, and the people here are so much worse! The way they treat surface streets and highways (with speeds of 60+), run red lights because they do not want to be stuck at an intersection for 5 more minutes, if that, or the way that they weave in and out of traffic, just kills me!

    I see, on average, 1 or two accidents a week on the way to and from work. When I was back East, I saw maybe 5 a year…

    But you are right, it is not everybody here. There are some good drivers.

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