Opening day for The Northwest Arkansas Naturals is finally here. After a grueling six weeks of spring training the team is ready to take the field and show the fans they are ready to play ball.
"It's nice to get out of Arizona and have our team and do the things that you have to do throughout the season," said Manager Brian Poldberg. "It's a long grind, but it's nice to get away from everyone and get started with our team."
The Naturals have had a great deal of success since the team moved from Wichita to Sprindale in 2008. They won the North Division title in 2009. In 2010 they repeated as North Division Champions and went on to win the Texas League Title.
The 2011 season didn't turn out how the team had hoped. They finished last place in the division and didn't make the playoffs. This season the squad is looking to get back to their winning ways.
"You can't change last year, but you can change this year." said Poldberg. "You have to learn from last year and put that into making changes and adjustments this year."
Every year in Minor League Baseball new faces join and leave the team. It's important that the veterans help guide the new comers with the transition to Double A.
"Double A is a lot different from High A," said catcher Manny Pina. "You have to stay focused, come in early and always play hard. You can't be scared to ask questions if you want to know something."
The team will put all of their offseason hard work to the test April 4th. First pitch is set for 6:20pm at Arvest Ballpark.