State of the Home Stand Address – July 2 – 11

When the Florida Marlins closer Leo Nunez threw a change up to Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew striking him out in the ninth inning it was not only the end of the game and the series with the Florida Marlins but it was also the merciful end to the first half of the 2010 season. The Diamondbacks limp into the All-Star break with a 24-55 record and conclude the current home stand with a 3-7 record.

The team is now idle until Friday when they begin a brief three-game road trip to San Diego before returning for seven games including three against the New York Mets and four against the San Francisco Giants. This means its time for another edition of the State of the Home Stand Address where I give a synopsis of the just concluded home stand. As always let me begin with my standard disclaimer.

The viewpoints expressed here are my own personal opinions and do not reflect the views of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Major League Baseball, or any sane human being.

Any coherent thoughts either real or fictional are purely coincidental and are not meant to be taken internally. Should this happen please induce vomiting and immediately contact your doctor. Objects appearing in this article may be closer than they appear. Your mileage may vary.

This home stand covers the three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, three games against the Chicago Cubs, and four games against the Florida Marlins. The home stand began with the dismissal of AJ Hinch as Diamondbacks manager and Josh Byrnes as Diamondbacks General Manager.

With team performance struggling for over two seasons it seemed inevitable that changes would be made. Of course that same sentiment was heard last season just after Byrnes fired manager Bob Melvin after the team started off slowly.

The team named Director of Player Development Jerry Dipoto as the interim General Manager while bench coach Kirk Gibson took over the reins as the Diamondbacks seventh manager in franchise history (assuming we count the four day reign of terror by Wally Backman). Both gentlemen will be given an opportunity to prove they deserve to keep their respective roles beyond the season’s end.

The Diamondbacks provided an immediate response beating the Los Angeles Dodgers handily in the first game under Gibson. As has been the case all season, the followed that up losing the next five games including two against the Dodgers and getting swept by the struggling Chicago Cubs.

The three game sweep by the Cubs marked the first time in the history of the franchise that they had been swept by Chicago at Chase Field. Not exactly the kind of mark you want to be known for.

This was a home stand marred by just such accomplishments. During this stretch of games they had one contest where Arizona set a franchise record for most errors in one game with six against the Dodgers. The team also set a record for most consecutive games where the team averaged over 10 strikeouts per game.

These types of accomplishments provide credence to the team’s record of being 21 games below .500. The home stand was not a complete disaster. Edwin Jackson, Rodrigo Lopez, and Ian Kennedy each pitched very well earning home victories.

Center fielder Chris Young was named to the National League All-Star team and departed shortly after the game to Anaheim where he will be the Diamondbacks lone representative at the Mid-summer Classic. Besides the All-Star game Young will also participate in the Home Run Derby, a first in his career.

This home stand also featured the inaugural running of the Diamondbacks Legends race pitting characters of Luis Gonzalez, Mark Grace, Randy Johnson, and Matt Williams. These races have been a big hit among the fans and are already gaining many loyal fans. As stated yesterday there have already been sites developed to help the Legends gain respectability.

The series with the Chicago Cubs saw new merchandise at the Team Shop depicting the three-game series between these two teams. There were baseballs, shirts, and pins available and seemed to be very popular items.

Overall the ten-game home stand was a disappointment. The crowd levels were lower than expected with Thursday’s game against the Marlins setting an all-time low in attendance at Chase Field. Until the Diamondbacks field a more competitive team I look to see more of these low attendance records be set.

Still there is a lot of baseball left to play with the second half starting Friday in San Diego. The next home stand begins July 19th against the New York Mets. Order your tickets now for great seats. Who knows maybe the four-day vacation is just what the Diamondbacks need to be recharged and make a run on the other National League Western Division teams.



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