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Snake Bytes. 3/25: Chase what matters edition

Well, no doubt about the major topic of discussion this morning: the Diamondbacks' request that they be allowed to explore other locations apart from Chase Field.

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The Chase controversy

[] Diamondbacks want out of Chase Field - 12 News has learned that Hall has spoken to Gov. Doug Ducey and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton in the last two months about his concerns at Chase Field. The team sent the County Board a 15-page memo Jan. 12, with the subject line "Disengagement from the District," laying out its "high level of frustration and dissatisfaction" with the county's stadium district and the team's desire to look for other stadium options. The memo says, "If permission is not granted, we will ask the court for all appropriate relief."

[AZ Central[ Diamondbacks CEO: We might bolt if Chase not upgraded - The Arizona Diamondbacks want a more lucrative stadium deal, and the franchise is threatening to sue Maricopa County and leave downtown Phoenix if it is not provided with a "state of the art" facility. Maricopa County officials say they are willing to work with the Diamondbacks to enhance Chase Field. But they do not plan to give in to the team's demands, saying they are protecting taxpayers. They also say a contract between the team and the county's stadium district prohibits the Diamondbacks from looking for a new home until 2024.

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks seek to end Chase Field lease - Hall added the D-backs would like to remain in downtown Phoenix and would prefer to stay at Chase Field, if possible. He says the county is putting the investment made by the taxpayers and the team in jeopardy, and that the only goal in looking to break the lease is to do what’s in the best interest of D-backs fans and the franchise. In a press conference, Hall said the assessment that brought the $187 million estimate was from 2013 and the team has been trying to privately negotiate since.

[Phoenix Business Journal] Arizona Diamondbacks, Maricopa County draw battle lines over Chase Field - Officials said Thursday afternoon the Diamondbacks won’t be able to sue to get out of their lease at Chase Field. That’s an early counter to the possibility the baseball team might sue the county to get out of the lease for the downtown Phoenix ballpark, which ends in 2028.nlarge Instead, County Manager Tom Manos said the team and the county, which owns Chase Field, have mediation stipulations in their lease deal. That means the baseball team can’t sue initially to get out of the ballpark lease if it chooses that option, Manos contends.

Team news

[MLB Trade Rumors] Dave Stewart Q&A - I'll probably write more on this later, but get started now. Here's a quote regarding Greinke. "Our only motivation in signing him was to improve our staff and to improve our pitchers behind him. Zack can give us the best opportunity to compete and possibly win in our division. Not one time did I think "ha-ha, Dodgers" or "ha-ha, Giants, you didn’t get him." I never thought about that one bit. Not one bit. I knew how great this would be for the Arizona Diamondbacks." Hey, I can say, that I *was* certainly thinking, "ha-ha, Giants".

[New York Post] Diamondbacks don’t care if you think they’re nuts - They are the majors’ piñata, they just don’t seem to care much. This is the kind of team Goose Gossage would love. Those in charge insist analytics are utilized – for example, they were one of the most successful teams last year in deploying defensive shifts. But as La Russa, Arizona’s chief baseball officer, explained: "We value the observational because we believe so much that character, competitiveness and togetherness mean so much to winning."

[] Nick Ahmed: Diamondbacks shortstop excelling in middle infield competition - Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart spoke with the media on Thursday - Fox News' Ken Rosenthal included - addressing questions regarding the middle infield competition. Stewart, expectedly, did not let on to any decision, but did confirm that none of the three will be traded. "Not going to happen," Stewart said. "If you make a trade, you're depleting your depth. One thing we have right now is three major-league middle infielders capable of playing - and in my opinion starting - for a lot of teams at a top level."

[Cronkite] Diamondbacks spend big to keep pace with major-market foes - According to the Diamondbacks' payroll will jump from 28th in 2015 to 21st in Major League Baseball in 2016. In comparison, the Giants' payroll stands to actually fall back a slot from fourth in 2015 to fifth in 2016, thanks to an offseason splurge made by the Detroit Tigers. Spotrac said the Diamondbacks are allocating 66 percent of their 2016 payroll to their pitching staff, which represents the greatest share of any team in the major leagues. This shift comes after the Diamondbacks spent slightly more than 20 percent of their resources on their pitching staff in 2015.

Diamondbacks unveil Cheeseburger Dog - The team that brought you the Mega Dog, Churro Dog, D-Bat Dog, Sonoran Dog and Venom Dog has another dog for you. The Cheeseburger Dog. It's made from char-grilled hamburgers, deep-fried and served with bacon, lettuce, tomato a house-made secret sauce and costs $10. It will be available to purchase at Big Dawgs on the main concourse and Extreme Dogs on the club level.

And, elsewhere

[Lohud] With or without ban, tobacco's influence in baseball on its way out - Joe Garagiola would be proud. "On Tuesday, the New York City Council voted 44-3 in favor of a smokeless tobacco ban at ticketed sporting events including those at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law. With that, a Major League Baseball player will be breaking the law if he steps to the plate in New York with a wad of chewing tobacco in his mouth, spitting brown liquid to the dirt while he crouches into his batting stance. "

[AP] Mike Schmidt: Emotion OK on field, just don't cross the line - Why do so many players today feel the need to embellish their success with some sort of hand signal to the dugout? What got more attention in last year's postseason than a bat toss by Jose Bautista? Pointing to the sky is child's play compared to that moment in the postseason on national TV. A flagrant disrespect of the opponent like that would have gotten somebody hurt back in the day.

[TIME] Baseball’s Venezuelan Talent Pool Dries Up Amid Poverty and Discord - As current President Nicolás Maduro, who succeeded Chávez in 2013, grapples with a deep economic crisis, political unrest, food shortages and rising crime, many of these academies are shutting down. Now, only the Tigers, the Rays, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Chicago Cubs still run training camps in Venezuela – and it’s unclear how long they will stay.