It used to be that a trip to Denver and Coors Field meant baseballs would leave the stadium like a squadron of F-16 fighter jets. With the introduction of baseballs being stored in a humidor the runs per game dropped dramatically putting the stadium on par with many others in Major League Baseball by negating the effects of dry air at altitude.
At least that is what we had been led to believe before the Diamondbacks made their first trip to Colorado for a three game series that began Monday. The first game of the series featured a well pitched game by Dan Haren which the Diamondbacks won 5-3. The run total seemed a little high but no more so than others the Diamondbacks have played this year.
The second game saw Diamondbacks starter Edwin Jackson take the mound against the seemingly invincible Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez lived up to that billing shutting down the Diamondbacks offense allowing only two hits over six innings.
Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, the Rockies hitters teed up on Jackson scoring early and often in route to a 12-1 victory. It was painful to watch as a Diamondbacks fan. Perhaps the most accurate description came in a text message from my sister-in-law who said, “I was flipping back and forth from CSI and the D-Backs game and after a couple of innings I couldn’t tell which one was the crime scene.”
The Diamondbacks played the Rockies in a matinee finale and in the first inning the Diamondbacks jumped on Rockies starter Greg Smith sending 10 men to the plate scoring six runs in the first. It looked as though the Diamondbacks were on their way to their first series win on the road this season.
Things quickly turned from joy to sorrow when the Rockies jumped all over Diamondbacks starter Kris Benson who left the game in the third inning with shoulder soreness but not before he gave up four runs. Benson was followed by Leo Rosales who had a worse day than Benson giving up seven runs in just an inning’s work.
In the end the Diamondbacks would win 12-11 in 10 innings. The teams would use 12 pitchers between them throwing 391 pitches while allowing 24 hits and 13 walks.
The days of Coors Field being a launching pad are not completely gone. At least from the Diamondbacks pitching staff’s perspective it is still a miserable place to pitch. Maybe the team can feign a case of altitude sickness; I know as a Diamondbacks fan I am not feeling too well.
With the passage of the controversial immigration bill, the state of Arizona once again finds itself in the midst of a civil rights firestorm. I normally try to stay away from these types of subjects but I have received several messages and emails asking me to support a boycott of the Arizona Diamondbacks as a result of this bill.
At first I did not understand the connection but it was explained to me that Diamondbacks General Partner Ken Kendrick had made financial contributions to the Arizona Republican Party who drove this bill through the state legislature.
That’s a pretty weak argument. I know from talking to several people within the Diamondbacks organization that Mr. Kendrick did not support the immigration bill nor do the Diamondbacks condone any racial profiling or singling out any culture.
Personally I have no intention in suggestion anyone boycott the Arizona Diamondbacks and in fact I am promoting that fans everywhere should come to Chase Field and see for themselves how the Diamondbacks celebrate cultural differences and heritages.
In Mid-February I wrote about the Diamondbacks signing a 17-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic named Socrates Brito.
Not only did Brito have one of the coolest names ever, he was also a highly touted player who was garnering comparisons to such players as Bernie Williams. Had Brito been subjected to the amateur draft he would likely be a top-three pick.
Steve Gilbert, MLB writer covering the Arizona Diamondbacks, reported that Brito had failed a minor league drug screening by testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.
As a result the Diamondbacks voided Brito’s contract making him a free agent. Brito will forfeit the $190.000 he received from the Diamondbacks when he signed.
Brito is banned for 50 games for testing positive. He will begin this suspension upon signing with any major league club. It appears the Diamondbacks will attempt to negotiate with Brito and attempt to re-sign him to a new contract for substantially less money. This has all the makings of a great soap opera.