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Mailbag Volume III

We’re here again

EUGT At Center Of Latest Diesel Scandal Twist Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Hello! Welcome to the third installment of our Mailbag column. Unlike last month, people actually asked questions (for the most part) so I didn’t have to make up any weird straw men to just talk about what I wanted. Let’s get to the Qs.

Quite a few. Growing up, family vacations would often include trips to various stadiums. Ones I’ve been to, with reviews therein:

Dodger Stadium

Everything you’ve heard about the traffic, is absolutely true. The fans that do arrive in time for first pitch are the bravest souls alive. As far as in-game experience: pretty nice, but only night games because it gets hot with little shade. Was the site of the first ever MLB game I attended at age 5, an Expos-Dodgers tilt in 1992. On another family trip, saw a game where Barry Bonds hit the highest and hardest hit ball I’ve ever seen... that was caught at the warning track. The dampening effect is real.

Sidebar, my Grandparents on my mom’s side lived in Southern California, so I went there a lot on vacation. My Grandpa would listen to Dodger games on the radio a lot, so that got ingrained in me so much that whenever I hear someone play the Organ I start doing weird Vin Scully 90s specific riffs in my head.

“Top of the 6th here at Dodger Stadium. Ismael Valdez is going through his warm up pitches. He has only allowed one run, but so has Kevin Ritz as the Dodgers and Colorado Rockies are tied 1-1. Vinny Castilla will lead off here. Did you know that Vinny Castilla, a player that you, Charlie Gebow, saw play in person in your youth quite a bit between going to Spring Training games at Hi Corbett, and games at Dodger Stadium, Coors Field, and Chase Field, is now 51 years old, according to baseball reference? How does that make you feel? This crisis of aging is brought to you by Farmer John. Farmer John, we killed that pig good for you.”

Angels Stadium

Seems festive, but kind of generic and dull, like all of Anaheim! Although, the rock features in the outfield are kind of neat. Only have been once, and it was an uneventful Late 90s Angels-Orioles tilt.

Safeco Field

Everyone says it’s nice, and they’re right. If you sit in the upper deck, like I did, you get a nice view of the sky and the coast in the city. Concessions are really good. Demerits for constantly playing a P.O.D song every time Bret Boone did something (This was 2002.)

Coors Field

Also very nice. My memories are clouded, literally, by it being a nice overcast day game in 1995 or so. Apropos of nothing, Larry Walker should be getting more Hall of Fame love than he is.

Fenway Park

I hear there’s been renovations and it’s nice now. I went on a family vacation to the east coast in about 1997, and I hated it. The seats were way too small, and I was a skinny 10-year old. My view to Home Plate was obstructed by a support column. Mo Vaughn was the star attraction. Not the greatest experience

And I’ve been to a few now defunct or not in use stadiums as well!

Qualcomm Stadium

Definitely had the seating arrangement and angles of a Football Stadium converted to a baseball one. Went in 1998, was in the bathroom when Mark McGwire hit one of his then record breaking single season homers. That was a good idea.

County Stadium (Milwaukee)

Basically a really big minor league stadium, if that makes sense. While on this vacation, we would probably have had to leave the game early to catch a ferry to Michigan, but thankfully, it was this game,

Tiger Stadium

It was on its last legs when I visited. Comerica would open the following season. I just remember absolutely nobody being there. The history of Tiger Stadium, and the history of it after the Tigers moved, is pretty interesting

I think there’s a few I might have forgotten here, but fun question!

How can I watch the alumni game at home? - Julie on Facebook

I’m pretty sure that’s only ever been subject to in-person viewing with maybe highlights afterwards and maybe @DBacks will periscope it. If it were on TV, FSAZ would be having ads and commercials for it constantly, rather than three Gila River Casino ads and two Class-Action Lawsuit ads each commercial break.

I suggest acquiring a Palantiri between now and Saturday.

That’s not really a question. Really, it’s a command for me to argue a certain point that I may or may not believe. And kind of forceful too. Hey Buddy, I don’t come to your monthly mailbag column and tell you to argue why the Normal invasion of Great Britain directly links to the creation of the hit musical Mama Mia!

Also whether or not to sign players traded for that are on expiring contracts (calling actual humans “Rentals” feels kinda gross to me, personally) is up to the discretion of the front office. One would think that re-signing priorities would be Corbin/Pollock first, then anyone else. Since the traded players are relievers and Eduardo Escobar, seems unlikely, but hey maybe it’ll happen?

Will the dbacks continue to use yoshi (7th), archie (8th), boxburger (9th) in close games, or do you think their roles will be changed over the course of the 2nd half of the season? - Quentin on Facebook

I think the existence of the Save stat has really stagnated the use of bullpen, even among more new age “smart” managers. It’s really hard to get any of them to budge on that. So unless Boxberger goes Full Heath Bell(TM), we’re not likely to see a change. The use of Bradley to face the most challenging part of the order from anywhere from the 6th-8th innings is about as wild as it gets these days.

Since I have to take them “as is” that pretty much is gonna limit my selection, in my mind, to the 2011 squad. 2007 is juuuuust far enough away that a lot of guys are retired or on the extreme back-end of their careers, and as much as in prime Randy Johnson would rock, I don’t think retired since 09 Randy is gonna get it done.

Of course, if we were to choose from this team, it’s obvious it has to be...


The man, the myth, the legend

In all seriousness, there are basically two options: Wade Miley or Justin Upton. Miley has had a pretty good year in Milwaukee this year if you ignore the fact he’s only pitched 30 innings. Also he’s Wade Miley, there’s a ceiling on him already.

Although the outfield group as assembled is pretty good, having Upton’s decent to good power bat in the mix would probably the biggest net positive for this team.

As anybody who read the comments on this website from around 2010-2013, the inclusion of Justin Upton on the Arizona Diamondbacks is not a controversial topic at all.