Updated Feb 13, 2013 - 1:40 pm
Rod Barajas happy to be back with Diamondbacks
"Feels great," catcher Rod Barajas said of rejoining the team he spent his first five seasons in the big leagues with, including 2001. "(We) did something pretty special winning that World Series. (The Diamondbacks) have always held a special place in my heart. To be able to come back and be a part of it again, I'm real excited."
Of course, much has changed in the time Barajas has been gone.
The Diamondbacks no longer train in Tucson, no longer play in a stadium named Bank One Ballpark and no longer wear purple and teal, the team's original uniform colors.
"I wore the throwback uniform. Tells you how old I am," Barajas said with a smile. "They're called throwback uniforms now. Those are the ones that I wore. It's a little weird, but I love the (Sedona red and Sonoran sand trim) colors."
Aside from the cosmetic changes, Barajas looks around and still sees a number of familiar faces, whether it's former teammates Luis Gonzalez (special assistant to the President & CEO) and Matt Williams (third base coach) or bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock, who has been with the organization since the beginning.
"It's great to be around them again," Barajas said. "We had some good times."
The 37-year-old signed a minor league contract and is competing this spring with Wil Nieves to be the backup to starter Miguel Montero.
"Whatever is asked," Barajas said of his role. "I love playing this game. I feel like I have a lot of information that I can pass on to a lot of people, not just the catchers but the pitchers and the position players. I've been doing this quite awhile. Even if I'm not playing a lot, then I feel like I've got a lot of, I guess, coaching. I can work with other guys and help them prepare, help them understand the game. That's all stuff that I enjoy doing. Hopefully, I'm able to impact some of these guys and help them grow and figure out a way to help this team win."
After spending last season in Pittsburgh where he hit .206 with 11 home runs and 31 RBI in 321 at-bats, Barajas said he had other options but Arizona was "one of my top choices. I'm real happy that it worked out.
"This is just a special place for me," he continued. "It's going to be a blast."
Craig Grialou, Reporter
- Dose of Venom: Dodgers take advantage of wild Cahill, overturned calls in win over D-backs
- Dodgers' six-run inning does in Cahill, D-backs: By The Numbers
- Arizona Diamondbacks manager: Six-man rotation probably on the way
- Dose of Venom: Anderson gets roughed up again as D-backs drop series finale to Padres
- Padres take series finale from Anderson, D-backs
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 26D-backs manager Kirk Gibson discusses possible changes to a six-man rotation.
- Reggie Sanders - former Diamondbacks outfielder - Tuesday August 26Reggie Sanders discusses the Diamondbacks' alumni game coming up this Saturday.
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President & CEO - Thursday August 21Derrick Hall gives his thoughts on the new MLB commissioner.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday August 20Tim Kurkjian discusses the American League wild card race and the future of Kirk Gibson.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday August 20Kevin Towers talks about the future of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 19Kirk Gibson talks about his future with the Diamondbacks.
- Who impressed/who depressed - Monday August 18Dan and Vince look back at who impressed and depressed them over the weekend.