August 23, 2010

Stealing Home: Baseball in the desert, Part 2

I wrote approximately 6,000 words about my visit to Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ridiculous, I know; hence why I broke the Stealing Home entries into two parts. But it all makes sense, considering all that went down on a sunny afternoon in late May in the desert.

Baseball in the desert, Part 2 is up over at Globe Sports. Have a read. Perhaps the Toronto Blue Jays jersey I saw at Chase Field, which took me back in time, will have the same effect on you. I'll also tell you all about the swimming pool in right-centre field, and the town hall meeting I attended with Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall, then general manager Josh Byrnes, then manager A.J. Hinch, and 150 or so Arizona season-ticket holders.

Diamondbacks second baseman Kelly Johnson's and Alex Anthopoulos' names were linked during that town hall meeting. And I don't know about you, but I want nothing more than for Johnson to trade his Arizona uniform for a Toronto one. His arrival would mean the end of the Edwin Encarnacion era, with Aaron Hill taking E5's place at the hot corner. Think about it: Anthopoulos long desired Anthony Gose. And he got him. I hope the same fate awaits Johnson, his 129 wRC+, and his 4.3 WAR. Even if it means the Jays part with some of their young arms.

I'll never forget Chase Field, largely because of what it did to my "Schlagballbewusstsein." And I hope you enjoy my latest piece.

Also: be a dear, and let me know what you think about the new banner. Personally, I think it looks fantastic.


ben wideman said...

Another brilliant job.

I found the DBack's stadium to be incredibly busy - lights, events, noise, the pool, personnel everywhere - but then again, I was in town for the "Yankee priced" game, so maybe that changed things.

I did think the prices - especially the food - was incredible, and certainly it is another case of just a decade later, domed stadiums far surpassed the baseball feel that SkyDome could never capture.

Anonymous said...

The banner looks great, but...

Look, I know you don't believe your banner is cursed, but please replace Hill! I'm thinking E5? Yeah, he should do nicely.

eyebleaf said...

@ Ben: Thanks, mate. I think you make an accurate observation about Chase; it is busy. And I think that has a lot to do with them trying to get people into the ballpark. They're trying hard, and targeting a younger fan base. And you're right about the SkyDome/Chase comparison, too. Our good ole Dome truly was, as I've said a number of times since I've got back from my trip, ahead of its time.

@ infieldfly: Hill's been flirting with the Goddamn Mendoza Line for far too long. You're right: we might have to make a change for 2011.

Mike D said...

love the new banner - though I'm surprised you didn't just use 4 different pictures of J-Bau.

More importantly, love the Stealing Home series. Always exciting when the RSS feed "dings".

Escaped Lab Rat said...

I think it's your best post of the series yet. Love how the D-backs were so accomodating. And I wish Toronto would follow their lead and make food prices lower, and increase fan interaction.

I love the new banner. But it's definitely cursed. Definitely.

eyebleaf said...

@ Mike D: Loved your comment. I'd love to see Bautista up there; perhaps there should be a poll before the start of every Jays, and Leafs season, as to who we want up there. And thanks for the kind words about Stealing Home.

@ Escaped: Thanks; your comment is appreciated, because that means at least one person thinks the series hasn't gone to shit as we near the end. It's amazing what a little cheaper prices can do for the entire baseball experience. And: it's not cursed!!!1