State of the Home Stand – June 18 – June 28

This marks the latest in a continuing series of posts where I review the state of Chase Field from a fans perspective. I try to do this at the end of each home stand to describe how things are going as seen from the viewpoint of a guy in section 132. This home stand saw a continuation of Interleague Play with a three game series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Baltimore Orioles and ended with a four game series against National League West rival Los Angeles Dodgers. This home stand marked the midway point of the 2007 season for home games at Chase Field. We should no longer expect things to be ramping up at the stadium but rather be executing according to plan. Anything out of the ordinary probably means something is amiss.

I was able to experience several new things at the stadium during this home stand which for someone who goes to every game is indeed surprising. I took Trina to the game on June 18. It was our wedding anniversary and I figured it might be a good idea to spend it with my wife. And since I was going to be at the game I figured maybe she should be there too. When we entered the stadium I immediately noticed that there was a new vendor ad on the left field wall. Lennar Homes now is prominently displayed just inside the foul line.

Since it was our anniversary I wanted to do something nice for Trina. I took her to the team shop and let her pick out whatever she wanted. As long as I was at it I had my authentic black jersey personalized with my name and number. As a season ticket holder I receive a discount at the team shop on most items but personalization is not included in that deal. At least that is what I have been told. The first two jerseys I had personalized I did receive the discount then when I bought a jersey for Dakota I was told that the discount did not apply. With this jersey the team shop attendant again gave me the discount. I questioned whether that was correct and offered to pay the difference but I was told that personalization was indeed included in the discount. I have no idea at this point whether season ticket holders are entitled to a discount or not for personalization so all I can suggest is that you ask before you buy.

For dinner that evening we went to the Lexus Club on the Diamond Level. Trina had rightfully assumed that we would be eating at the ballpark and while I had expected to treat her to a Hungry Hill Sausage; Trina thought we should have something a little nicer. She made reservations ahead of time for seating during batting practice. We arrived and were promptly greeted. The hostess quickly determined this was our first visit and made sure we received a tour of the establishment and explained everything to us. The Lexus Club offers a buffet called the Chef’s Table. We were led past this on our way to our seats. It looked amazing and I quickly determined that is what I would have. Trina too saw several things that she would like so the ordering process was very painless. We were seated on the balcony above the Circle K Strikeout Meter where I could watch batting practice while we ate. The food was amazing and the chef’s were great. We talked about baseball and the season so far. They also made recommendations of which items were their signature dishes that we should try. It was a very friendly atmosphere and the food was amazing. On some of the dishes the chef included 3×5 index cards containing the recipe. Trina collected a few of these so it may not be the last time I taste some of these dishes.

The series against the Devil Rays was awesome as the Diamondbacks were finally able to defeat their expansion brothers. The series ended with an afternoon game which featured the largest crowd of the series. This was due in part to 13,000 summer kids’ camp attendees. They brought a lot of energy and it was fun to see so many children in attendance. Somehow the Diamondbacks need to find more ways to get kids involved. They are the next generation of Diamondbacks fans and it’s never too early to get hooked on baseball. Attendance to the two Interleague series was mediocre at best. With the Diamondbacks battling for the divisional lead I really had hoped more people would be at the game.

The pitching staff struggled a bit during this home stand. For most of the year the starters have been the glue that kept this team together but lately they haven’t been as lights out as they were earlier. Any of the top 4 starters are capable of giving the team a quality start every night but the outings were shorter than we’ve been accustomed to. The bullpen picked up the slack but if this trend continues it could be trouble for the Diamondbacks.

Overall this home stand went pretty well with the Diamondbacks concluding with a 5-5 record. It is probably not what they had expected but still a respectable record. The team ended the month with a road trip to San Francisco and after splitting the first two games of the series the Diamondbacks ended June with a record of 14-13 for only the fourth winning percentage in their 10 year history. Winning the division is still within their grasp if they continue to play hard.

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