17 May 2008

Sellout

It was fun to be part of a genuine sellout again, even if a good chunk of the 48804 came to root for the Tigers and listen to the postgame warbling of Trace Adkins. Genuine sellout? Well, the Dbacks have a habit of claiming sellouts when they're really not and I have the photographs to prove it. But this really was. You could tell twenty minutes before game time, before the season ticket loyalists staggered in, because most upper deck top rows were already full of folks. Another big draw like this, and Arizona could catapult out of the NL attendance cellar (excluding virtually non competitive markets like Pittsburgh, Miami and Cincinnati.)

Why, if Derrick Hall can charm Paul and Ringo into a reunion concert, maybe the Dbacks will finally draw more at home than on the road this year - something they havent done once since the ownership change, and accomplished every single year of the Colangelo regime.

One positive development might be the Advance Ticket window on the upper concourse - sporting healthy lines for the first time since...well, it's been years.

The cheesy PA guy chirped that it was a comfy 77' inside the ballpark at first pitch. Maybe it was 77 outside Blimpie's or Cold Stone's walk in, but it wasnt 77' where I was sitting. It was still comfortable in the shade, I just hate the constant sell, the incessant stretching and mangling of objective truth to create self serving impressions. On our right and behind us sat a half dozen young men, in jeans and dress shirts who spoke Spanish all night, which struck me as lyrical given I dont know the Spanish words for "tall, pompous gringo blocking my view with his head". They vamoosed just prior to the Trace Adkins concert.

On my left was a big fat white guy in a Sedona Red jersey draped over a purple Dbacks polo. I dont think fat people should categorically stay at home, but more frequent inhaling might be nice. Just any kind of effort to ensure their blubber doesnt consume 10-20% of my allotted personal space. Geez, I'm six four and can barely move in those seats, but always make pains to stay within the lines and not block people behind me.

The game was a dragged out (3:13) American League affair, that would've pushed four hours, had there been more than a smattering of hits. By mid game, Detroit starter Galaraga had chucked more balls than strikes and Scherzer reached 100 pitches by the fifth. But the Dbacks didnt record their second hit until the seventh, feathered by Montero into left center past a diving Granderson to make the score 3-2. The winning Tigers managed only six safeties themselves.

With just three hits, CoJack's physical error and Hudson's stunning mental gaffe on the popped up bunt, it was the kind of game the Sedona Reds probably should've lost 4 or 5 to 1, yet they were only an oomph away from Chris Snyder's warning track fly to right stealing the game in the ninth. Instead, Magglio Ordonez caught the ball, extending his errorless streak to 180 games, second longest in Tiger history behind Kaline (242). That's nice, but we also saw a fly with plenty of air fall just foul in the right field corner at Magglio's feet, a ball Justin Upton routinely snags. Just sayin'.

It was a lively crowd, not playoff lively, but lots of "Let's Go Dbacks" chants. The most enthusiastic cheers of the night, by far actually, were for Van Halen..er, I mean Eric Byrnes. He pinch hit in the seventh, and after his four lasers Friday it appeared Leyland wanted nothing to do with him. Eric figured he had walked on four pitches, tossing his bat after the fourth, and to the delight of the throng froze into a theatrical double take after the fifth and final pitch, before finally proceeding to first. The next time some narrowly focused sabermetric wannabe insists Byrnes isnt worth $10M, remember that stadium filled with laughter and those electric cheers and understand that Jeff Moorad (who was partly responsible for the bitter quality of Gonzo's departure) is in charge of a real business serving real customers, not some obsessed geek's online fantasy team.

In the ninth, Byrnes roped yet another liner to left that almost salvaged the game. He's very locked at the moment, like Gonzo in much of 2001- and it's a shame Bob Melvn didnt start him. It's totally hindsight, but I suspect Arizona likely would've won if the had.

Picked up a couple Chris Short Young bobbleheads, which in my mind look more like Will Smith or Morimoto. What do you think?





We sat through the beginning of the Trace Adkins concert, mostly to beat some traffic. Well after the stage was setup at first base and shortly after the music began, hordes of fans on the third base side abandoned their seats and headed for the exits (or perhaps to other seats). Derrick Hall marched onto the field from his third base box towards concert personnel, waving his arms very animatedly - I couldnt see his facial expression from my tenth row upper, but he appeared visibly upset. I assume there was a speaker problem. Our speakers were fine. The only sound problem we had was when the former pipe fitter from Louisiana actually started to sing. After a pair of songs, "I Got My Game on" and "Swing (Batter Swing)", we left before he could awkwardly shoehorn a third sports related title into his playlist.

Finally worked our way over to Fatburger, where a bun and patty costs $6.50. A double is $9.75, which is basically corpspeak for $10. Fries($3.75) and a drink ($3.50-$5) are both, of course, extra. We eschewed all that to split a cup of Frozen chocolate yogurt that was debatably "large" and undebatedly $5. It was the fifth inning and they were already out of vanilla. Must be tough keeping those exotic flavors in stock.

9 comments:

Glynnjamin said...

For some more insight into what happened on the third base side:

http://ibackdbacks.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/05/derrick_halls_attempt_to_fix_e.html

PAUL said...

You should probably move the Will Smith photo to where he was mentioned; I was about to make a snide comment about picking random photos of famous people and posting them without reason. If you're gonna do that, use pictures of chicks.
Are you really 6'4"? I always got the impression that you were short---like Jawa short. If your son inherited the height genes, teach him to pitch. I've always contended (and will continue to do so) that if I were 6'4" rather than 5'11", I'd be in the big leagues. I cling to it like Linus to his security blanket or like some of your fellow fans cling to their cotton candy, ice cream and whatever other crud they consume to contribute to their prodigious girth.

Matt said...

You should probably move the Will Smith photo to where he was mentioned

Yeah, I had some trouble lining up the pix.

if I were 6'4" rather than 5'11", I'd be in the big leagues.

Didn't seem to bother Ron Guidry ;-)

Glenn,

I left a comment on your babysitting post. Fun thread. Your piece that Derrick commented on (congrats, btw) is fraught with inaccuracies though. The years and attendance claims are all mixed up. Keep up the opinionated passion.

Glenn's posts on Bleacher Report can be found here

PAUL said...

I know, I know. It hasn't or didn't bother Tim Lincecum; or Greg Maddux; or Bobby Shantz; or David Cone. Don't pour cold water on my fantasies!!!! Anyway, Guidry was a lefty and most of those other guys had something generally referred to in certain circles as a fastball (even Maddux threw in the 90s when he was a kid). Speaking of fantasies----where are the girls?

Jeff said...

Yeah, I agree with Paul. Show me some hot chicks. What do you think I come to Diamondhacks for anyway? Thoughtful writings, well-researched commentary, japes of great magnitude?

C'mon, give the people (Paul & I) what they want.

PAUL said...

Where are you? Do you need bail money again? Indecent exposure has a wide interpretation in the eyes of the law!!!

Blogger said...

Sports betting system makes +$3,624 profit last week...

Z-Code System winning picks and forecasts for NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL!!!

Blogger said...

eToro is the ultimate forex broker for newbie and advanced traders.

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can shorten your long urls with AdFly and get dollars from every visitor to your shortened urls.