As is occasionally customary for me, I like to let you, the reader, do most of my writing prompt for me so I don’t have to think of any ideas. Thankfully, you came through and I bestow what I consider wisdom upon you in the semi-monthly mailbag column. Let us begin, shall we?
What would you do with Chase Field if the D-backs left it?— AZ SnakePit (@AZSnakepit) August 30, 2019
[Yes, this is one of the Tweeters on this account, Tweeting at the other Tweeter...]
Now that’s out of the way. Chase Field is a large indoor/outdoor facility that can host multiple sports and events and is located in a really convenient part of downtown Phoenix. The previous sentence is why it’s friggin’ insane the Diamondbacks would consider moving out of there, but that’s neither here nor there.
In the previous case of a baseball team moving out of their inner city stadium to flee for the burbs, Turner Field was converted into a football stadium for the Georgia State football team. Something like that for Chase would be a good way to keep the building in use, but who would the tenant be? It’s far too big to house any college baseball team. GCU doesn’t have a football team, so you can’t do the “Put the lower conference team in the stadium” thing that worked with Turner.
You probably wouldn’t see ASU football make a move for somewhere with less capacity, though their baseball team went off-campus to Phoenix Municipal a few years back, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility. The only way I see that happening is if their AD gets a wild hair and decides that being able to have afternoon games in August/September* is worth it financially so they have home games under the roof at Chase.
*(Just a side note that doesn’t have anything to do with this but it reminded me of something. I worked concessions at UA football the first year Mike Stoops was coach, around 2004, and he had the bright idea that they should play their early-season games in the afternoon because it would grant a natural home field advantage. It was miserable and Mike Stoops is a stupid, stupid man.)
What I would do is find someone else to inhabit the building so that it can be used for something, because of all the aforementioned pluses with the stadium. Just finding who or what will be difficult.
If they can’t find a permanent tenant then they should put very large screens over ever side of the stadium and repeatedly broadcast to everyone driving or walking by the greatest sporting event that ever took place at that stadium.
You all know what I’m talking about.
The 2018 Cheez-It Bowl, of course.
Will the Diamondbacks ever be more than 2 games +/- away from .500 again, or did they forget to carry Madame Zeroni up the mountain so they are cursed until the end of time?— ISH95 (@imstillhungry95) August 29, 2019
Well, this makes tonight really exciting, doesn’t it? It seems like every time the Diamondbacks could pull away to be more than .500, a good team/good opposing pitcher/Merrill Kelly start seems to be in their way. Whenever they could go down into the depths, hello slumping Colorado Rockies!
There’s a chance they could bump themselves up to “Respectibly over .500” for the rest of the season. If they don’t flame out of the rest of these Dodger games the next series are against the Padres, Reds, The Suddenly Reeling Mets, Reds, Marlins, Padres before having to host the actually good Cardinals. Will they frustratingly go 8-8 in those games instead? Probably.
Opinion on Aj pollocks return?— Ryan Ry-Dogg Cardona (@ryancardona3) August 29, 2019
At first I was confused. Hadn’t the Dodgers already been to Chase at least twice already? I was at one of those games. Surely he’d been there.
But no, he was on the IL. That’s the greatest tribute that The Diamondbacks or A.J. Pollock to give to each other. Can’t wait for him to have a rehab game for Oklahoma City in Reno and see their tribute to rehab outings in their uniform (There were a lot.)
Can Jake Lamb pick up the pace, to compensate for the David Peralta season-ending injury?— Dave Simon (@hairyhilarity) August 29, 2019
Speaking of guys who felt like they could have contributed more to the Diamondbacks if not for badly-timed injuries. Lamb probably isn’t this bad, but we’re probably never going to have the first half of 2017 ever again. Only 5 home runs, albeit in limited time, with this clearly juiced baseball is not what you want to see.
My hopes for the Diamondbacks to make the playoffs this season pretty much died first when Luke Weaver got hurt and second when they lost 3 of 4 to the goddamn Marlins and then traded Greinke away, so any hope that Lamb, or anyone, replaces any production seems to be in service of nothing in the immediate term. Jake Lamb putting up something close to Peralta’s line for the rest of the season would fill one with optimism going into 2020, but there’s no reason to expect him or anyone to continue it into next year and the cycle continues.
Eat at Arby’s
Name a perfect baseball game— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) August 29, 2019
Okay this wasn’t technically a response to anything we put up on twitter yesterday, but it’s still a fun prompt to think about.
As much as we all love Game 7 of the 2001 World Series around here, it was a little bit of a slog with a big crescendo at the end. A similarly important game that was batshit from start to finish was Game 6 of the 2011 World Series:
In the last part of the game alone you have:
- Nelson Cruz, pretty much a career DH after this, misplaying a deep fly ball that allows the game to be tied in the 9th with the Rangers a strike away from winning the whole dang World Series
- Josh Hamilton hitting a monster two-run homer in the top of the 10th that would have effectively ended most games.
- The Cardinals chipping back and getting a two-out RBI hit down to their last strike again
- David Freese making Joe Buck plagiarize his dad to lead off the 11th
It’s also fun to remember this one because I had no emotional attachments to either team. Had the Diamondbacks been in this game (and they very well could have been had Ryan Braun not decided to go full Eastern Bloc on his bloodstream) I probably would have died of a heart attack at age 24.
Thanks to those that submitted questions. Tune in next week for something entirely different, and you’ll read it. You can’t let go.