Sleeping Over

With the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles for a critical three game series against the Dodgers you would have thought it would be quiet down at the ballpark. That was not the case though. It was time for the second annual Chase Field Sleepover. Here fans had an opportunity to roll out their sleeping bags and camp out where players like Eric Brynes, Chris Young, and Carlos Quentin roam. At first glance it seems like kind of an odd promotion. Why in the world would anyone leave their comfortable homes to spend the night sprawled out on the grass at Chase Field? And even more to the point why in the world would head groundskeeper Grant Trenbeath allow anyone to lay out on the outfield? The field is already showing some serious wear in right and left field where Byrnes patrols and has been patched so this off week for the field was the perfect time to let it recover without planting a bunch of sleepy fans on it. No matter what the reasons why, the promotion was scheduled. The question was, what exactly do you do at a sleepover at a baseball field?

According to the literature describing the event, campers would be allowed to hang out at Chase Field and sleep under the stars (weather permitting which didn’t seem likely given all of the rain and wind that has been occurring lately). Prior to bedtime fans in attendance could play catch on the field. The pool area would also be open for anyone wanting to experience that unique facility. The Diamondbacks would provide dinner on Friday and breakfast on Saturday for all of the campers. The Dodgers versus the Diamondbacks game would be televised on the JumboTron so fans would not miss a game. Each participant would also receive a goodie bag filled with Diamondbacks merchandise and swag. On the surface this seemed like a decent deal and a lot of fun. Personally I am not much of a camper unless we are talking fantasy camp which is a lifelong dream of mine (I guess I should specify baseball fantasy camp just so we are all clear on that. I am sure you all assumed that but you just never can be too careful on the Internet these days). There were a few stipulations on the camping. First all children must be accompanied by an adult. The question was, how were the Diamondbacks going to determine which ones were the adults? This became much more of a sticking point in my case than I had anticipated. I thought maybe Dakota and I would go down to this event but that would probably require Trina to have to go too since she doesn’t believe either Dakota nor myself would classify as an adult based on her past experiences. Boy, you do a few eruption experiments with Mentos candy and Diet Coke destroying a kitchen and you are branded for life. I suggested that this could be a romantic evening/week-end getaway but she definitely did not buy that. Something about hanging out at Chase Field when there is not a game and sleeping with a couple hundred baseball fans did not sound romantic nor a getaway so it looked like there was no way I was going to Chase Field for this baseball experience.

I felt bad for Dakota; he really should get to have the opportunity to do activities such as this. I decided to do something about it. When I decide stuff like this it usually results either in costly home repairs or trips to the emergency room so the family typically runs the other way screaming for safety when I say things like that. In this case it should be pretty harmless. I sent Trina out of the house for a little while by giving her some money to go to the scrapbook store (never a good thing I might add). While she was gone I did a little furniture rearranging. I took the sofa, chairs, and tables out of the family room leaving nothing but the big screen television, surround sound, and 2 Chase Field chairs. I then went out and got the artificial turf mat that usually goes on the patio and rolled it out on the tile floor in the family room butting it up to the big screen. I set up a 5-gallon bucket of water in what was now right field (next to the walkway to the dining room). I decorated the walls with Diamondbacks memorabilia. Ok, I didn’t really do that part because the walls already had Diamondbacks merchandise all over them which is still a spot of animated discussion whenever Trina feels the urge to bring up the subject. I got the sleeping bags out of the garage and unrolled them onto the floor. I grabbed Dakota’s mitt and my mitt and called him into the house. He was pretty excited. We spent the evening playing catch in the house. We used a Nerf ball for that. After the “Great Precious Moments Beheading of 1999” where several of Trina’s figurines gave their lives during a spirited dart gun melee all non-Nerf ammunition has been banned from indoor activities. We ate hot dogs and watched the game while dipping our feet in the waters of our 5-gallon pool bucket. It was the perfect evening at least until Trina got home. One look around her once decorated family room turned baseball stadium and her face began to turn Sedona Red. It seemed somewhat appropriate that the night ended with a fireworks show.

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