Strange Things are Afoot at Chase Field

Over the course of nine seasons I’ve seen my share of bizarre things occur at the ballpark. There was the time when Jay Bell hit the grand slam in 1999 that won a woman a million dollars from Shamrock Farms (by the way they are no longer a sponsor but I am not sure the two events are related). Then there was the triple play against the St. Louis Cardinals (by the way it was Mark McGwire that started the play by hitting a fly ball to Steve Finley in centerfield. The play was recorded as 8-2-6 if you’re keeping score). And there was even the ball that Matt Williams caught at ground level that went around the horn ending with Matt touching third base to record a third out (I am not even going to go into the scoring for that particular play). Not all the weirdness has been during the game. There has been a fair share of strangeness during pre-game ceremonies.


I remember the time when the Diamondbacks invited the world champion Frisbee catching dog to the ballpark and he spent 20 minutes in the outfield catching flying disks that his trainer and fans threw onto the field. I don’t think the public relations office cleared that with the grounds crew as there was a delay to the beginning of the game while they cleaned up after Fido the Flying Frisbee Hound. Then there was the guy who leapt out of the stands and ran up to Karim Garcia. I think he just needed a friend as he just stood there talking to Karim until security came and introduced him to the head lock. I think he made a lot of new friends that night and he even got to do some finger painting on the fingerprint cards. And who could forget the Diamondbacks holding the wedding at home plate? Now there is a pretty forgiving finance. I am sure that at no time when she was growing up did she stop and say, “If I ever get married, I hope it is at home plate of a Major League Baseball game so that 30,000 people can boo me for my choice of men.” So I thought I had seen everything until tonight. It was Pacific rim Asian American night at the ballpark and the festivities included singing the national anthem by children of Japanese decent all wearing “designated non-smoker” T-Shirts. Why I didn’t even know a designated non-smoker was required. I guess that is for transportation services in case you have a cigarette and begin hacking a lung as you get in the car. But that was not the weird part. Before the national anthem there was a martial arts demonstration in left field. It started that the sensei chose the portion of left field where the players warm up so that didn’t work out really well since you had Diamondbacks weaving in and out of kids dressed like Hong Kong Phooey. Instead of a traditional martial arts demonstration showing the grace and beauty of Karate, they chose to do some sort of Jackie Chan fight sequence where they fake punched each other. It was like a bad B movie as the punches missed by two to three feet. All that was lacking was some guy dressed in a Godzilla suit stomping on these little kids while bystanders screamed and their voices didn’t match the sound track. Even after the game I was still scratching my head trying to understand why that was included in tonight’s game. Whatever the reason, you can’t argue with the outcome. The Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 5-2 winning the series and inching closer to the National League Western Division lead. If that is what it takes to keep this team in first place, I’ll get one of those white outfits myself and train with Steven Segal.


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