Four Choruses Singing the Blues

At the end of yesterday’s game I was making my way back up the walkway towards the exit. The Diamondbacks had just beaten the Baltimore Orioles and in the process they scored eight runs meaning all fans in attendance would receive a coupon for a free chalupa at Taco Bell. Life was good and so were the Diamondbacks. A third of the way up in section 133 stood two fans wearing Los Angeles Dodgers jerseys and hats. They were standing there pointing at the Diamondbacks fans and heckling them about how the Dodgers were going to crush Arizona during the next series. Uh, hello, that series hasn’t started yet. In the back of my mind I had to wonder, were these guys so anxious for the series with the Dodgers to begin that they came a day early or were they so stupid that they didn’t realize that the National League West series didn’t start for another 24 hours? From the sounds of these two, I was guessing it was the latter. This did act as a reminder of what I should expect over the course of the next four games.

Mixing Arizona and Los Angeles fans is like mixing oil and vinegar. If you pour them into the same stadium there are decisive lines of demarcation drawn. It is only after shaking them violently that these two substances will co-exist; even then if left to sit for very long the two will separate into distinct entities again. It doesn’t seem to matter what sport you are talking about either. These two fan groups simply don’t get along. In basketball there is always a heated rivalry between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. Before long there will be loud and boisterous chants of “Beat LA”. In football when LA was home to the Raiders you could always expect at least a few altercations between LA fans and Arizona fans. Now in baseball that same feeling permeates. Early in the Diamondbacks existence fans were handed cards as they entered the stadium with the slogan “Beat LA” emblazoned across them. Given the number of transplants from California to Arizona there is a large contingent of Dodgers fans who will be in attendance. While not as obnoxious as Boston fans, they are still high on the annoyance meter. And with the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers separated by only 1.5 games this series has a lot of implications to the standings. Then of course there is the latest in the “return of Gonzo” saga where fan favorite Luis Gonzalez returns to the stadium he called home for 8 years. It will be interesting to see whether Gonzalez will receive the same preferential treatment that he was awarded the first time he came back to Arizona. While I appreciate the effort that Gonzo showed as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks; my loyalty goes to the 2007 Diamondbacks. Eric Byrnes has been the most consistent player on the team this year and his play in left field should quickly remind fans of how important a strong arm is in the outfield. Yeah this 4 game series may just produce more fireworks than what we saw at Chase Field after Saturday’s game.

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