In the absence of Charmer, whose sterling work doing these is much missed, figured I'd take up the mouse and throw a few links your way of stuff that might be of interest. Don't expect this every day - in fact, D-backs Weekly might be more like it from me - but I've got an hour or two to kill today, so here you go.
President Derrick Hall had his monthly chat with fans: those in Phoenix without access to Fox Sports AZ, might be interested to learn that the team will be broadcasting 50 games on Channel 44 KPHE. However, what he didn't mention is that these will be broadcast with a Spanish commentary... Still, you can always treat this as an educational opportunity to expand your linguistic skills. Or, for some people, a chance to avoid Mark Grace. ;-) The channel is also carried on Qwest Choice Channel 24, but is not available on Cox Cable. According to Hall, "Most teams will be cable exclusive soon, as many already are. It becomes more and more difficult for over-the-air stations to clear that much prime time programming for sports."
Hmm. Because KTVK would so miss Sunday afternoon's screening of a Dead Zone rerun. I do think the organization is shooting itself in the foot here somewhat. This is not a team with a well-established base of support, that can rely on addicts needing their fix. They still need to attract more fans, and the 3TV broadcast was a chance for casual spectators to see games, without having to shell out additional money; I've little doubt more people watched there, than will on cable. I'm not insisting every contest should be on free TV, or even most of them. But a weekly slot - like the regular Sunday one - would undeniably help bring the team to a wider audience. That's important: just about every one of us started off as a casual fan first. However, this seems a case where the immediate dollar triumphed over longer-term gain.
Though perhaps the most startling question in the whole monthly chat was "Have you considered signing Byung-Hyun Kim to fill in until Randy Johnson is able to throw successfully again?" Kudos to Hall for the straight-faced response, "We have not considered him." No word on whether this was preceded by five minutes of lying on the office floor, kicking his legs in the air and laughing hysterically.
A fair amount of discussion on Eric Byrnes getting booed yesterday at Coors. The Tribune quotes Eric as follows:
I don’t even think Barry (Bonds) got booed this much. I had fun with it. It’s good to see a little passion out of them. If I’m the guy that bears the brunt of it, I’m fine with that. I think half of them don’t even know why they are booing. They got a little vulgar and a little inappropriate. It’s unfortunate that kids had to hear the language... I’m a passionate person myself. I can appreciate the fans’ passion. I’ll get booed for the rest of my career here, unless somehow, some way, I end up playing for the Rockies. Even then, they are not going to know how to react.
Nick Piecoro also chimes in, and thinks it's kinda lame.
Did he say the
Rockiessucked? Did he say they were incredibly lucky to be in the playoffs? Did he say they wouldn’t have been there if not for Trevor Hoffman’s struggles? No. He said he thought his team had outplayed the Rockiesdespite being down 2-0 in the series. He said the Rockieshad some breaks. Said the ball had bounced their way. And … And nothing else. That’s pretty much it. It would be different if they were booing him for that brutal 15-game cameo he had in Denver in '05. But they're not... Byrnes needed to do something really egregious, something really dirty, to get treated the way he’s probably going to be treated the next few days.
The story even gets some coverage in Colorado: more of the same, but with extra coverage on the "think of the children!" angle:
Admitting he'll "sound like a sailor at times," Byrnes asked that fans wanting to scream at him be mindful of the children sitting in the area. "That's the only thing I can ask of the fans," he said. "As far as them getting on me, bring it. Keep it going. I have no problem with it. It entertains me, especially in the outfield." Asked whether the fans booing him remember he once played for the Rockies, Byrnes said, "I don't think anyone even knows I played for the Rockies. Sometimes I forget I played for the Rockies. They have no idea."
Way to win friends and influence people, Eric. Though, yeah, if I'd played for Colorado, I'd probably want to block it out of my mind as well. :-) Interesting article in the Rep business section about D-backs sponsorship, which it's projected will bring the team in about $25m this year. The team has reduced the number of sponsors by about 40% the past two seasons - but this has made the ones which remain much more valuable, increasing revenue by 34%. "In 2006, corporate sponsors took 90 percent of the stadium's advertising space but paid 58 percent of the team's asking price. This year, the team sold 60 percent of available space at 98 percent of the asking price."
Okay, Gameday Thread to follow in a couple of hours. The start-time for today's game - 5:05pm, Arizona time - has been confirmed from multiple, independent sources, so there should be no issues. :-)