27 September 2009

Homestands Mercifully End

Congratulations to the Diamondbacks, who stole their second September series -in only eight tries - both over the powerful Padres. Stolen by a fan, who interfered with skywalking San Diego CF Tony Gwynn Jr, by reaching over the fence for a Chad Tracy pool shot. Stolen by HP umpire Tim Timmons in the eighth, who gifted Esmerling Vazquez two called strikes after the wild righty went 3-0 on leadoff speedster Luis Durango. Assuming Gwynn makes the grab (and it appears he might on the tape), fan and umpire cost San Diego a minimum of four runs in the game.

But as Mark Reynolds might say, "So what?" The meaningless victory was made moreso by the fact it was primarily driven by veterans expected to flee in the fall; Tracy and Ojeda, who compiled no less than half the teams hits, runs and rbi's between them. That said, Billy Buckner worked seven, and with a September ERA under four, has solidified his standing in next spring's wide open rotation.

Speaking of Augie, for some time, one lower deck fan in particular bellows "Augie, Augie, Augie...Oy, oy, oy" as the diminutive crowd favorite approaches the plate. He's so loud you can often hear him on telecasts. Anyway, today Sutton divulges this superfan is, get this, actually one of the team's owners. Not a General Partner, but this iron lunged galoot, Jim Weber, holds a significant financial stake in the team.

I suppose one could look at this a couple ways. It's cool having an owner passionate enough to come to games and scream and shout. On the other hand, when arguably the most vocal fan in your entire base is one of the owners, it's pretty goddam embarrassing.

Derrick Hall parked himself in the booth in the season's final home game. You already know what I think of these "guest appearances", so I'll relay my wife's take instead. She's a casual fan, with no axe to grind, who just likes to see the team win. She shook her head and concluded:

How pathetic. That guy has an excuse for everything.
What's funny is, Hall toned down his standard onslaught, presumably in response to the recent groundswell of unprecedented online criticism. But fan patience and perceptions have deteriorated sufficiently to outstrip his modest rhetorical concessions. Amid a local depression, he's still preaching affordability of season tickets to families, claiming the best 'stadium experience' in the land, etc. It's awkward and sad. If it werent for the 2011 All Star Game, I'd almost think Hall is ready to jump ship. He sounds that desperate. The deeply disappointing W/L record, which Hall first laid at the feet of Bob Melvin, then "injuries" after the AJ Hinch non-turnaround, was once again today blamed on "a really poor start", begging the question of how reasonable people are supposed to weigh this miserable season's middle and end.

Justin Upton reached three times today and let a slow grounder get under his mitt in right, that advanced two runners a total of four bases. Jesus Christ, Superstar!

Finally, kidcaster. I'm down with it, provided kids are respected and have a chance to announce the game. Unfortunately, it's devolved into awkward "interviews" of frightened kids patronized by middle-aged TV stars. Daron's passable, but Grace sounds as if he's never talked to a kid, off camera, in his life, and takes on a particularly creepy persona around girls between 8 and 35. Or as he might say, "females".

"I bet your brother picks on you?"

"Do you have a boyfriend?"

Much like the Diamondbacks first 155 games, I'm not enthusiastic about this segment.


Caroline said...

What do you think about Hall's "young core" now that one of them is potentially trade bait for the BoSox? Isn't there something a bit contratictory?

Russell said...

I was sat in front of the "Augie, Augie Augie" guy earlier in the year and his hilarious routine tends to wear thin. I was surprised to hear it because I first heard the cry from Welsh comedian Max Boyce (he was shouting "Ogi Ogi Ogi" the audience would reply "Oi Oi Oi". After extensive research (googling) I discovered this;

" ogi ogi ogi, was used by the street vendor as he walked through the streets in Wales selling his Pies, a bit like his jingle or chime by todays vendors... oi oi oi was the response made by someone to catch his attention, willing to purchase the pies from the vendor.

So it could just be that the guy wants some food!

Diamondhacks said...


Almost everything Hall says is contradictory, or at least purposely ambiguous. It's fairly unlikely they'll move Drew, because cheaper, better SS alternative dont abound. I know everyone's disappointed in Stephen's 2009, but he's still a relatively attractive bang for the buck for this front office.

Thx for the comment


You didnt merely sit in front of the guy? You were sat in front of him! Wow. Sounds almost punitive.

Incidentally, I'm Welsh from both sides. Me mum comes from coal miners. Dad from Welsh nobles...or so he told us over many a dinner table.

Russell said...

I was of course injecting a little Northern English colloquialism into the comment section.Although perhaps I should have said;

"I were sat in front of that "Augie,Augie,Augie" bloke at game t'other night."

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