August 31, 2006
On Sunday August 27 Comair Flight 5191 was due to take off at Blue Grass airport in Lexington Kentucky. The flight was scheduled to go to Atlanta but never made it. The crash is still under investigation but initial reports state that the plane took an incorrect taxi route leaving it on the wrong runway and causing the plane to run out of space. The crash took the lives of 49 passengers and crew members. It was the worst plane disaster in the United States since 2001. Before the Arizona Diamondbacks game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday the teams requested a moment of silence prior to the singing of the national anthem. It was a tragic accident but we wondered, what did this have to do with baseball? It was very soon that we had an answer to that question
Continue reading ‘When Baseball Doesn’t Matter’ »
August 30, 2006
The Diamondbacks ended their brief 6 game home stand today with an afternoon game against the San Diego Padres. The game was scheduled to being at 3:40 PM local Arizona time. There are not too many afternoon games in a season especially during the week so they are all kind of special. An afternoon game is not without its troubles. First there is the fact that you have to leave work early to get there. This wasn’t too bad today as I began work very early today so that I was finished before three o’clock. Second, you have to deal with traffic approaching rush hour. This too wasn’t too much of a hassle since I have mapped our route out to a science so I utilized my back street traffic patterns to get to the ballpark going the back way. Finally it is hard to find someone to go with me. Most of the kids are still in school when the game was ready to start. Dakota though was home for early release so he was the leading candidate.
Continue reading ‘Are You New?’ »
August 29, 2006
As part of the 2000 season the Arizona Diamondbacks introduced something they called the Golden Gloves. A Golden Glove is an elderly person dressed in a full Diamondbacks uniform whose responsibility it is to retrieve foul balls along the first base and third base line. Before I get a bunch of email complaining about my use of the word elderly let me explain that to me, if you are in your later sixties or older then to me you are elderly. In fact, if you can remember when gasoline was less than a dollar and you were driving at the time you are probably elderly. Anyway, these Golden Glove participants are introduced before each game and tip their hats to the cheering fans. Cheering fans in this case are those who are right behind the Golden Glove and are either trying to get on the JumboTron during the introduction or are trying to suck up to the Golden Glove in hopes that they will throw you a ball. You see the Golden Glove is allowed to give the foul ball to a fan in the stands once he has retrieved it. It therefore becomes a fight to see who can garner the attention of the Golden Glove and get a game ball.
Continue reading ‘Golden Gloves’ »
August 28, 2006
Starting in 1999, the Arizona Diamondbacks began a fan loyalty program. Originally the Diamondbackers program would reward fans for game attendance. It was a great program. Every time you went to a game you would scan your membership card and points would be accumulated. Along the way you would win prizes for your attendance. For those who attended over a certain level (usually 70 games) there would be a special prize. The first year was an autographed bat by a player. Trina won a Greg Colbrun bat while I received a Luis Gonzalez autograph. The problem was that there were members who took advantage of the program. I would see a single member with a stack of membership cards that they would scan at each game. The Diamondbackers program evolved where you soon had to swipe your membership card and your game ticket. At least now there would have to be a one-to-one relationship of cards to tickets. Still there were people who found a way around the system. This year the Diamondbacks are trying a new program called the MVP Rewards program.
Continue reading ‘MVP Rewards’ »
August 27, 2006
Each team that comes into Chase Field is a different fan dynamic. Most of the opposing teams fans are pretty well behaved and good natured. The St. Louis Cardinals fans are always well informed and just enjoy a good clean game. The Cubs fans are diehards but they are so accustomed to losing that they are just glad when their team shows up for the game. The Mets fans are pretty obnoxious and opinionated and I’ve yet to go to a game when New York was playing that there was not at least one fight in the stands. The Dodger fans are quickly becoming similarly painful to bear. It is one thing to come to the game with your face painted Dodger blue wearing a blue and white afro wig and a Steve Garvey jersey but when you start booing the home team player introductions you start to cross the line. I’m all for fans expressing their thoughts but that’s kind of low class. The Diamondbacks fans put up with this for two games, and then on Sunday we released a weapon that I don’t think any of us even realized we had. We brought in the screamer.
Continue reading ‘The Screamer’ »
August 26, 2006
Each season before day of game tickets go on sale the Arizona Diamondbacks release the schedule of games. This is usually a time of great excitement as I scour the calendar to see which team will be coming to Chase Field. I also try to imagine how the season will be unfolding for each series. Will the Diamondbacks be battling for first place in the division? When this opponent comes to town will it be a potential play-off match-up? Which games will be more crowded than others? All of these thoughts race through my mind as I look at how the season will play out. Along with the schedule, the Diamondbacks also release the promotional schedule. This is usually a list of free giveaways that you receive if you are one of the first X number of people to go through the turnstile. My kids approach that with all of the zeal of kids at Christmas. I guess they figure that if they are going to have to put up with dad dragging them to the ballpark for 81 regular season games that they should somehow be rewarded. So the immediately begin looking for which freebies they are going to be able to snag.
Continue reading ‘Princesa Bobblehead Night’ »
August 25, 2006
After what seems like forever, the Diamondbacks are back in town. The recent road trip was a nightmare as the Diamondbacks saw themselves dropping down the standings like a rock in a river. This home stand doesn’t look to make it any easier. Arizona continues its National League West portion of the schedule as the Los Angeles Dodgers come in for three games then the San Diego Padres come to down for three. Both teams are ahead of the Diamondbacks in the standings so these games become paramount. Tonight’s game has Claudio Vargas pitching for Arizona while the Dodgers counter with future hall-of-fame pitcher Greg Maddux. At first glance this match up would definitely favor the Dodgers but if you look beyond the fact that Maddux has won 318 games you will find that the Diamondbacks are the one team that holds a winning record over him. Maddux is 1-9 lifetime against the snakes with a 5.35 ERA. He is 0-5 at Chase Field so this should have been an interesting match-up.
Continue reading ‘My Own Personal Chase Field Sleep Over’ »
August 24, 2006
Major League Baseball began a promotion last month where they are looking for hometown heroes for each franchise. They have identified five players from each franchise which they believe epitomize the best that team has offered in the history of each franchise. This of course has sparked huge amounts of controversy as fans around the country debate each of the players on the ballot. Some nominees make perfect since being on the list such as Babe Ruth for the Yankees or Ted Williams for the Red Sox while others just leave you scratching your head wondering what they were thinking. This is especially the case when you begin to review the lists accumulated for teams who have not been in existence but for a short time. I challenge anyone outside of the Tampa Bay area to name their most valuable player for each of the eight seasons they have been in existence. Looking over the list as a whole you have to wonder how these selections were even made from the hundreds of players who have played for a franchise during their history. According to Major League Baseball, the players were selected based on their contributions to their franchise history including on-field performance, leadership qualities, and character value. Each team was given an opportunity to select the nominees. In some cases the teams deferred to Major League Baseball to make the selections for them. The Arizona Diamondbacks five nominees are: Jay Bell, Luis Gonzalez, Randy Johnson, Todd Stottlemyre, and Matt Williams.
Continue reading ‘Hometown Heroes’ »
August 23, 2006
It had been rumored for weeks that Shawn Green was on the trading block. His contract for 2007 is to pay him $7.5 million. There is an option that has a $2 million buy-out that would take effect for 2008. That contact made a trade seem unlikely as Green was beginning to show signs of decreasing skills. Shawn still played a serviceable right field and as has been the case for most of his career his hitting got hotter as the temperatures rose. In order to trade Green would take some creativity by the Diamondbacks. Just before yesterday’s game in San Francisco that creativity came to fruition with Shawn Green being traded to the New York Mets in exchange for AAA left handed pitcher Evan MacLane.
Continue reading ‘In a New York Minute’ »