The State of the Home Stand Address – May 27 – June 1

At the conclusion of yesterday’s game the Arizona Diamondbacks packed their bags and left Chase Field to begin a 10 game road trip to the mid-west and east coast. That means that it is time for the latest installment to the State of the Home Stand Address. This is where I try to recap each home stand at chase field to provide feedback on the team, the stadium, and the in-game entertainment. This entry will cover the home stand that began May 27 with a three game series against the National League Western Divisional rival San Francisco Giants and concluded with a weekend series against the National League Eastern Division Washington Nationals.

The Giants came into Phoenix at just the right time, if you were a San Francisco fan. The Diamondbacks had come off one of their worst road trips having gone 2-5 with a 3 game sweep by the Florida Marlins and a 2-2 split with the Atlanta Braves. The Diamondbacks offense was sputtering and runs were rarer than snow in Arizona. The series started with Dan Haren taking the mound to face Tim Lincecum. It was a classic pitcher’s duel for the first 6 innings before San Francisco broke the game open handing the Diamondbacks their seventh loss in their last ten games. The Diamondbacks fortunes continued to slide the next game when Doug Davis lost 11-3 to the Giants to give Arizona its first series loss to a National League West opponent this year. The final game of the San Francisco series saw Randy Johnson pitch a great game only to see poor defense and poor pitching by the bullpen erase his start and giving the Giants a sweep. Randy Johnson was amazing striking out 9 hitters over 7 innings leaving with a 3-2 lead. Those 9 strikeouts moved him into a tie with Roger Clemens for the all-time lead in strikeouts with 4,672 for his career.

The Washington Nationals came to town and in the first game of a three game series beat the Diamondbacks 7-4. This put the Diamondbacks on a 5-game losing streak heading into Saturday’s game. Before the season began everyone commented on the strength of the Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitching. They touted Brandon Webb as the ace and Dan Haren as the co-ace. With these two on staff it was impossible to see the Diamondbacks go on an extended losing streak. But with Webb losing his last 2 starts after starting the year 9-0 nothing was certain. Webb wanted to show that his 2 consecutive losses were an anomaly and not a trend. He went out and pitched a complete game shut-out; his second complete game of the year. The office showed sparks of life collecting 4 home runs to give the Diamondbacks a 4-0 win. Mark Reynolds hit two home runs. The first was a tape-measure shot that was estimated at 455 feet. The second could very well have hit the roof had it been closed landing (or probably more accurately reentering the atmosphere) in the second row of the left-field bleachers. I’ve never seen a ball hit that high and still reach the bleachers. The home stand ended with Haren showing why he was the co-ace throwing a shutout himself pitching 7 innings in route to a 5-0 win. Orlando Hudson was the hero of this game by hitting a 3-run home run in the bottom of the first. Chad Tracy added a home run of his own that landed in nearly the same place as Hudson’s. So while the home stand started off very poorly it ended on a good note that hopefully will carry forward to Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and New York.

The Diamondbacks continued updating Chase Field by adding several more LCD wide screen monitors around the concourse. It is expected that these will take the place of the small analog monitors above the concession stands that were installed in 1998. These new monitors are indeed an improvement over what was there before. The evolution of dbTV continues to progress. The Diamondbacks now show date of birth and stolen bases for the batter during their first at-bat. This is useful information and many of the fans I talked with were very thankful for the team including this data. They still do not show the game time until well after the game has concluded and only for a moment. Also the umpire’s names are given only at the conclusion of infield practice before the game making it difficult to get this data unless you are at the right place at the right time. It could be great if they could show this information during the game for those who may have missed it earlier. I mentioned in an earlier post that the line-up board now featured the Diamondbacks logo at the bottom of the board in left field. This home stand saw the logo replaced with an ad for So much for that improvement; I would rather have had the Diamondbacks logo.

My battle over spicy mustard continues. It is hit-and-miss whether you can find this around. There are some days when spicy mustard packets are available at the condiment stands and at the concessions and there are other days that no one seems to know anything about spicy mustard. In this home stand I was able to find it on Tuesday’s game but the other 5 games it was non-existent. My suggestion is that if you do find it, take an extra and keep it with you as you might not get it again. In a rare occurrence I received non-positive feedback on Hungry Hill. They seem to have changed the Polish Sausage and this new recipe has a more salty taste. If you are sensitive to sodium you may want to try the Italian Sausage or the Bratwurst which are still very good without the salty after taste. I still like the Polish Sausage but have to agree that it did taste like it contained more salt than I had remembered. I’m still down on the chicken tenders and fries. The fries seem to get cold way too soon and the amount of chicken you receive makes this less of a value than in times past. The Texas burger at Taste of the Majors was a pleasant surprise this home stand and may be added to the food rotation especially during long home stands. I also jumped off the dessert wagon and tried a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream. It was extremely good. I split a mint chocolate-chip and fudge concoction. It was too much for one person but splitting it was just about right. If I start exercising more I might be able to afford the calories and get one of these again. I keep telling Trina I need to try other flavors just so I can give an informed review but so far she isn’t buying that.

The team shop seems to be stagnating on their merchandise. I am not seeing quite as many new items as I have seen in the past. I keep hoping to see them carry a light-weight wind breaker or jacket but so far all I have seen is the heavier dugout jackets and hooded sweatshirts neither of which are appropriate with business attire or anything dressier than jeans. I’m not a fashion mule by any means but there are times when it would be nice to have something slightly dressier while still showing your team spirit. I failed to mention this in previous State of the Home Stand Address entries but the team shop has never stocked anything to commemorate Interleague Play. I am hoping that changes with the next round that begins with the next home stand but my confidence in that is relatively low. I’ll definitely post my observations in the next State of the Home Stand.

1 Comment

  1. Andre

    With this hot weather I would like to see Team Shop to offer shorts with Dbacks logo.

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