State of the Home Stand – July 13-15

In the latest installment of my State of the Home Stand I’ll discuss what’s new and my observations for the current home games of the Arizona Diamondbacks. This is a series that I have been running all season to give a fan’s perspective to how the 2007 regular season is progressing for the Arizona Diamondbacks. This home stand marks the first of the second half of the season and is a brief three games against National League Western Division foe San Diego Padres. Coming into the series the Diamondbacks had lost 5 games in a row and were in third place 3.5 games behind the league leading Padres. San Diego was not doing much better having won only 3 games in July while losing 5. This was an important series for the Diamondbacks if they hoped to keep their play-off hopes alive.

The series began with a match-up of Doug Davis versus Greg Maddux. On the surface you would immediately give the Padres the advantage with a Hall of Famer on the mound. Digging deeper though statistics show that Maddux has nothing but trouble with the Snakes. He has beaten Arizona only one time in his career and the Diamondbacks again showed their dominance over the former Brave and Cub. The Diamondbacks bats came alive for 14 hits in route to an 8-3 win.

During the all-star break Arizona made a change to their coaching staff by firing hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and replacing him with Rick Schu. The change was not completely a surprise given the struggles that the Diamondbacks young hitters have had the first half of the season. Nonetheless Seitzer should not be burdened with all of the blame. His hitting approach and philosophy seemed radical to some but I thought he was going in the right direction. I have no doubt that we will see Seitzer emerge as a strong candidate as hitting coach for another organization. Hopefully he will find success just not against the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks of course look like geniuses as the first game under the tutelage of Schu the team manages to record 14 hits in the victory. Saturday began with the Diamondbacks shut down for the first half of the game being no-hit through the early innings. The team turned the corner though and finished strongly with 10 hits and another victory. Before we get too excited the team was only able to scrape out 6 hits on Sunday and was shut out for the second time this month.

Around the stadium there were new signs at the bottom of the upper deck showing the names of all the Gila River Casinos around the state. The signs are well done in Sedona Red and black but the team is starting to look more and more like a Las Vegas billboard for gambling. This was further driven home by the fact that all of the team shops are now selling lottery tickets and there is a booth at the top of section 133 next to the concession stand where you can buy scratcher tickets for the lottery.

From a food perspective Ribbies still shows the chicken finger dinner on their menu as $8 but if you ask any of the people working the registers (I asked 3) they will tell you that the chicken and fries are $7 which is the same as it is at other concession stands. Dakota had the onion rings at Taste of the Majors and had great things to say about them. I would comment on taste and quality but he had them all eaten before I had a chance. Never get between that boy and his onion rings. From a 10 year-old’s perspective they definitely have made the grade. The kids also gave thumbs up to the Garcia’s pico chimichungas making them a family favorite when we are in the mood for Mexican at the ballpark. Trina is still seeking the elusive nachos where the vendor drizzles nacho cheese over the chips. She has tried three different locations and only gets the nacho cheese on the side. I think there must be some sort of nacho cheese secret handshake that she is not privy to but that is just me.

The team shop on the main concourse has fixed the price of the Diamondbacks practice jersey. It is now listed at $100 where it used to be priced at $210. Even at $100 it is $20 more than suggested retail or what you can get it for online at The team shop is selling the practice jersey for the same price as the personalized version online. The team shop on the upper deck still has the batting practice jersey priced at $210 so if you are in the market for the Cool Base jersey definitely go to the main concourse team shop if you are planning to purchase.

With the second half of the season now officially underway I’m looking forward to seeing how the 2007 regular season plays out. Come on out to the ballpark and see for yourself how good the experience can be.

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