State of the Home Stand Address – April 6 – 15

Beginning with the 2007 season I instituted something I called the “State of the Home Stand Address” where I attempted to my thoughts and ideas on how the season was going both from a team perspective and also from a stadium point of view. This series became quite popular and was well received by the readers. It was therefore continued for the 2008 season and again was among the more popular posts that were done. During the off-season I was asked on numerous occasions if I would be continuing it so to show that I really do listen (despite what my wife says) I will be continuing this series for the 2009 season. As always let me reiterate; these views are my own and in no way represent the thoughts of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bud Selig, Major League Baseball, or any other san fan for that matter. Your mileage may vary, objects in the rearview mirror may be closer than they appear, and this offer is not valid in the states of Texas or Arkansas. That should pretty much cover all of the standard disclaimers. So with that let’s get started and start talking about the state of the first home stand.


The first home stand of the season was a mixed bag of positives and negatives. It was nice for a change to have a home game at Chase Field for Opening Day rather than waiting a week to celebrate the home opener after everyone has already played several games. The Diamondbacks opponent for Opening Day was the Colorado Rockies whom the Diamondbacks have faced on Opening Day for 5 of their first 11 seasons. You have to give credit to Major League Baseball; they are doing what they can to make this an annual tradition. Opening Day is always special and this one was no exception. The Diamondbacks rolled out the bunting and dressed up Chase Field for the occasion. The attendance was announced as a sell-out but there were many empty seats seen around the ballpark. I understand that attendance is counted as tickets sold rather than fans through the gates so I am ok with that.

I have to give kudos to the game day staff; no matter what area we were in, we were met with smiling and friendly Diamondbacks staff who went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The Diamondbacks tout themselves as the most fan friendly team and I would definitely have to agree with that. I watched as several challenges were presented to guest relations, the ushers, or even the cleaning staff and in each case the issue was resolved and the fan walked away happy. In times where everything is being downsized it was good to see that the customer focus has remained a priority to the Diamondbacks. Arizona won the first game and the offense really came alive against Rockies pitching. There were a lot of positives from this game but they were all minimized when D-Backs starter Brandon Webb left the game early and was later diagnosed with a sore shoulder that would keep him out of games the remainder of the home stand. Losing their ace would be a big blow to the Diamondbacks and everyone is hopeful for Webb’s quick return.

After winning the first game the Diamondbacks dropped the next two to the Rockies. The Los Angeles Dodgers next came to town and the Diamondbacks once again jumped on the opponent’s starting pitching to earn a win in the first game. But like the first series the Diamondbacks dropped the next two to again lose the series.

The final series of the home stand saw the St. Louis Cardinals arrive at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks this time did not win the first game of the series. They lost the first game 1-2 in a pitcher’s duel. The second game of the series the snakes took advantage of the Cardinals and won setting up game 3 to try and win their first series of the season. This didn’t happen when Jon Garland was shelled in route to a 7-12 loss to finish the home stand 3-6. Not exactly the quick start we saw from the Diamondbacks in 2008.

Let’s now turn our attention to the stadium. The Arizona Diamondbacks appear to be continuing their migration away from the tube televisions around the stadium and moving towards replacing them all with LCD flat screens. It is now possible to watch the game everywhere on the concourses as well as at all the concessions. Restrooms are strictly a radio audio broadcast and I am perfectly content and a little relieved at that.

The Diamondbacks have also extended their value item list to assist fans in finding good deals throughout the ballpark. This includes not only food items but also items from the team shop to make a trip to Chase Field a little more affordable for a family.

There are several new things around the ballpark and I’ll try to cover each of them over the next couple of installments of this series. The first and most notable as far as my daughter is concerned is the addition of Subway to the concessions at Chase Field. Prior to the 2008 season Blimpie had sandwich stands around the ballpark. Last year those went away and remained empty throughout the season. It was rumored that Subway would be taking their place but that didn’t happen until Opening Day this year. From the looks of the lines waiting to order this is a good thing as far as the fans are concerned.

Hungry Hill Sausages are still here and I am very grateful for that. I have been wanting one of their Italian Sausages with sauerkraut and grilled onions since last September. They are still a great value at $6.50 and one that I recommend to anyone visiting Chase Field for the first time. Alas I am still dealing with the lack of spicy mustard. I asked Hungry Hill if they had any and was told that they were to get it but through the first 9 games it was unavailable at this vendor. The frustrating part is that spicy mustard packages are available at other concession stands so the inconsistency of having it available is disturbing. Anyone who has followed this series knows the spicy mustard saga will remain an important point to me until it is fixed once and for all.

I’ll continue my stadium observations in the next segment of this series which will be posted after the Diamondbacks quick three-game road trip to San Francisco. Although seeing the Diamondbacks start off slowly was a little frustrating it was great to be back at Chase Field watching baseball. It’s a long season and with the talent the Diamondbacks have on their roster it is hard to believe that they won’t turn this around. So while the Diamondbacks head out of town I suggest you stop by the team web site or down to Chase Field and purchase some tickets. There is a lot of baseball still to be played and you don’t want to miss out on any of the action. I’ll see you at Chase Field on April 20 when the Diamondbacks return to again face the Colorado Rockies. I’ll be the guy in section 112 row 8 seat 7.


2 Comments

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Diary of a Diehard » Blog Archive » State of the Home Stand Address – August 10 – 14 - [...] packed their luggage and left for the airport meaning it is time for another episode of State of the…
  2. Diary of a Diehard » Blog Archive » State of the Home Stand Address – July 23-29 - [...] departure from Chase Field that means it is time once again for another installment of the State of the…
  3. Diary of a Diehard » Blog Archive » State of the Home Stand Address – April 24 – 29 - [...] the current home stand has concluded which in turn means it is time for another rendition of the “State…
  4. Diary of a Diehard » Blog Archive » State of the Home Stand Address – August 28-30 - [...] leading Colorado Rockies. As the Diamondbacks leave town it is time once again for an episode of State of…
  5. Diary of a Diehard » Blog Archive » State of the Home Stand Address – September 7-13 - [...] this trip it once again is time for another episode of ”State of the Home Stand Address” where I…
  6. Diary of a Diehard » Blog Archive » State of the Home Stand Address – September 18-27 - [...] the Diamondbacks packing their bags for one last time, it is time for the final episode of State of…

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