March 11, 2000
On January 16, 1997, the Arizona Diamondbacks became the newest member of the National League West. At that time, it seemed like a natural fit with geographic rivalries and a history of National League through the Phoenix Firebirds and the influx of Chicago residents who now live here. Jerry Colangelo worked long and hard making his case for the Diamondbacks to be placed in the National League. The other owners agreed, or so it seemed. Even then, the then acting commissioner of baseball Bud Selig had a clause added that stated that Major League Baseball could move the Diamondbacks to the American League without the Diamondbacks approval in 2001.
Continue reading ‘Realignment, We Won’t Take It!’ »
February 2, 2000
“Released pitcher Bobby Chouinard.” Never have four little words ever carried so much emotion. For anyone outside of Phoenix, that is all they would see when perusing the Major League Baseball transaction log. Unless they followed the team closely last year, they may never even know who Bobby Chouinard is. But those who have been following the events of the past six weeks know that this is only the end of chapter one of this saga.
Continue reading ‘A Time for Healing’ »
January 19, 2000
Oh, the sights and sounds of spring are in the air. The models are all dressed in the latest fashions as legions of fans and potential customers oh and ah at the latest wares. No, this is not Paris or New York, it is Denver Colorado and the Rockies new uniforms have been unveiled. Colorado joins the ranks of Houston as the newest teams to sport dapper new uniforms. Gone are the days when teams had one jersey and one hat. Now it is all about flash, splash, and merchandising. People like to say that the Arizona Diamondbacks and their cute little purple uniforms started all of this, but it happened well before that. My first recollection of the merchandising machine was Charlie Finley, the flamboyant owner of the Oakland Athletics. Who could forget those forest green and brilliant gold uniforms that Mr. Finley brought to the game. Today though, he couldn’t hold a candle to what is happening fashion-wise in baseball.
Continue reading ‘On the Runway with the Models’ »
January 12, 2000
In this day and age, baseball players change teams more often than Dennis Rodman changes hair color. The Free Agent Era has produced a boon in several industries. For example, with all the player movement fans are nearly required to buy a game day program just to see who is now on the roster. The team seamstress is now making overtime as well sewing on all of the names of the new players. With the changes, there is also a need for the media to meet and greet these new players. For better or worse, this also gives the players a chance to speak to reporters and give the fans a glimpse into their personalities and thoughts. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it isn’t so good. In the past week, two former Arizona Diamondbacks players were signed by other teams and as part of their signings, they took the opportunity to take some pot shots at their old team and its fans.
Continue reading ‘Would You Like Some Cheese with that Whine?’ »
January 5, 2000
Typically, I try to keep this column light and loose but I have to make an exception in this case. For those who have not followed the developments, this is supposedly how the story unfolded. On Christmas, Bobby Chouinard and his wife were at a friend’s house. Bobby had been drinking when they ran out of beer. He asked his wife to go out and get more beer. She stated that he had been drinking enough and refused. Later when the couple returned home, they began to fight over his wife’s refusal to get alcohol. The argument escalated to a point where Chouinard grabbed his wife by the neck and choked her in front of their 17 month-old son. After attempting to strangle her, Bobby hit his wife across the face. He then took his son to bed. During this time, Chouinard’s wife tried to call 911. Bobby returned to find his wife on the phone and tore the phone from the wall telling her now she was going to pay. He went to the bedroom and retrieved a pistol pointing it at his head. His wife pleaded with him. He then turned the gun on her. She knelt before him and begged him not to shoot. He unloaded the gun and told his wife to get out. At this point the police arrived and arrested Chouinard.
Continue reading ‘Chouinard Gives Up Another Hit’ »
January 1, 2000
During the long winter months, baseball fans in many parts of the country sit huddled around their fireplaces hoping and praying for any baseball news. Winter is a time of slumber, a time to dream of what might be when spring flowers begin to bloom in Arizona and Florida. For fans, it is a time to ponder the moves their favorite club may make to be a contender or win a championship. But it is also a time when teams can do the most damage. Not necessarily to their line-up, but also to their credibility and fan loyalty. Each year, baseball holds its winter meetings. During these meetings, proposed deals are flung about like small ships in a typhoon. Everyone is trying to better their situation in order to sell more tickets and fill the stands next season. It is here where the danger lies.
Continue reading ‘Player and Fan Loyalty’ »