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Snake Bytes, 8/9: "Take your stupid team" edition

An off-day, and a quiet one in terms of team news. But the stadium spat with Maricopa County certainly deserves some extended discussion.

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[AZ Central] Maricopa County rejects most of requested $65M for Chase Field upgrades

We hadn't heard much about the feud between the Diamondbacks and their "landlords", Maricopa County Stadium District, lately. But that doesn't mean it is not continuing - and, apparently, even escalating. The team submitted their list of fixes they deemed necessary, totaling about $65 million worth of repairs. Maricopa County has agreed to some requests, involving structural maintenance, but rejected most of the list as "superficial". This included a new scoreboard, citing a specific exclusion for items "that are solely the result of functional obsolescence."

The letter rejecting the demand makes the county's position clear: "What upgrades the team might desire to keep up in the Major League Baseball word, and the funding for such upgrades, are a team responsibility." Other elements rejected included renovations of suites, a new sound system and also elements such as painting, which the county says, "Appear to be part of the ongoing maintenance responsibility of the Facility Manager," rather than qualifying as a Capital Repair project. It also appears the dispute is turning rather nasty:

County Supervisor Andy Kunasek sent a letter to Derrick Hall as the dispute reached a climax in April, describing the baseball business as "evolving into a parasitic enterprise." He accused Hall of selling a "false narrative," slandering county board members and doing "irreparable harm" to taxpayer confidence in government. As Kunasek delivered the letter to the team, he directed a profanity-laced storm at Hall, calling on owner Ken Kendrick to "take your stupid baseball team and get out" and go back to "f--king West Virginia."

Yeah, that doesn't exactly seem to give MCSD the moral high-ground here, does it. Kunasek told the Republic: "I'm very passionate about the issues here. As a steward of the taxpayer, I'm deeply offended and continue to be. I apologize for any bad language I probably shouldn't have used, but I'm not going to deny it. I won't do it again." He's not running for re-election, so I guess he doesn't have to be diplomatic! The team issued the following statement through their legal representative:

It is unfortunate that this continues to be played out publicly by a government entity that refuses to live up to its obligations clearly laid out in their long-term agreement. This is an organization that has given so much back to the community and its fans and that has had such a tremendous impact on the economy. The county's abdication of its responsibility for necessary funding for the longevity of a public building is unprecedented and unfair to the organization and its fans.

Stay tuned. You might want to get some popcorn...

[AZ Central] ASU schools D-Backs on fixing stadiums without robbing taxpayers - If the team wants to know how to renovate a major stadium while not sponging off taxpayers and not stirring up unnecessary controversy and not alienating fans all it needs to do is head east to Tempe. Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium is going through a massive $256 million, much-needed upgrade. Unlike the Diamondbacks’ concerns over Chase Field, the process of fixing the stadium didn’t begin with a strident 15-page letter setting down a bunch of grievances and telling taxpayers “if there is no other choice, we will go elsewhere.”

[AZ Central] Montini: Should D-Backs take their bat and ball and go – to a new – home? - I’d suppose that any local businessman wanting to set up a restaurant or dry cleaners or clothing store would love for taxpayers to foot the bill for his start-up construction. And I’d guess that such a businessman would never dream of asking for more money to renovate the place, particularly after his business has grown exponentially in value, as has happened with the D-Backs. I can understand why the county doesn’t want to listen to the Arizona Diamondbacks when they come begging for money from us. The team has a lot of money. A lot. We don’t.

Team news

[] D-backs' Adam Loewen enjoys baseball journey - Just as Loewen has done in the past, he's prepared for any more challenges that arise, which he feels have turned him into a better player. "I think it's just previous failures and dealing with that and working through them and eventually coming out better than when I went into them," Loewen said. "The more crazy situations you're put in throughout your career, the better you respond to them down the road."

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks' awful season explained by 5 numbers - Minus-1. The number of runs saved this year by the Diamondbacks' defense. So, in other words, they've saved zero runs and actually lost one. It's worse in the outfield, where Arizona sits one spot above the bottom of the National League with 12 defensive runs lost. That's what happens when A.J. Pollock misses most of the year, Yasmany Tomas is a starting outfielder, and career infielders Rickie Weeks Jr. and Phil Gosselin are among the first outfielders off the bench.

[Visalia Times-Delta] Rawhide: Young earns Cal League honors - Visalia Rawhide hurler Alex Young was honored on Monday as the California League Pitcher of the Week for the period of Aug. 1-8. In the 2-1 victory on Friday, Young fired a complete game, tossing nine innings while striking out six at Recreation Park. He allowed four hits, but did not concede an earned run in an 89-pitch outing. In the California League this season, Young (2-3, 3.77 ERA) has tossed 43 frames with 42 hits and 18 earned runs. He’s rifled 37 strikeouts and issued 16 walks. Opposing batters are hitting only .217 against the former TCU product.

[] Michael Bourn proving good fit with D-backs - Would his timing at the plate return? Arizona hitting coach Dave Magadan had no such concern after seeing Bourn take a few hacks. "There really hasn't been much work on my part," Magadan said. "He showed up swinging the bat really well, wasn't playing a whole lot early on, kind of [filling in on] spot duty, and then he played himself right into the lineup on almost an everyday basis."

And, elsewhere...

[CBS Boston] Curt Schilling For President? ‘I Am Going To Run, Soon’ - Can you picture Curt Schilling as commander-in-chief? The outspoken former Red Sox pitcher is talking about running for office in Massachusetts, followed by a presidential run. “I am going to run, soon,” Schilling says in the comments of a Facebook post in which he calls out “fraudulent” Democrats.

[ESPN] Former NFL QB Tim Tebow to pursue a career in professional baseball - Tim Tebow is actively pursuing a career in professional baseball and plans to hold a workout for Major League Baseball teams later this month, according to his agents Jimmy Sexton and Nick Khan. For almost the past year, Tebow has been training in Arizona and Los Angeles to hone his hitting and fielding skills in a sport he has not played on a full-time basis since 2005. Tebow was an All-State baseball player in Florida that year and hit .494 as a junior, helping Nease High School reach the final four of the Florida state playoffs.

[Delaware Online] Beloved Blue Rocks Cowboy Monkey Rodeo riles PETA - Monkey see, monkey do, monkey cause PR nightmare. The Cowboy Monkey Rodeo, a Wilmington Blue Rocks tradition in which a chaps-wearing capuchin monkey straddles a border collie and herds sheep for laughs, could be driven out of town soon. Animal rights activists have mounted nationwide protests against the event, blasting rodeo operator Tim "Wild Thang" Lepard for a history of USDA violations related to his treatment of the clever primates. Supporters, meanwhile, praise the rodeo as family-friendly fun in which the stars are treated with respect both on and off the field.