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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

NOT AT YANKEE STADIUM: THINGS I DON'T UNDERSTAND


There are many  things I don't understand. I wish I was all knowing. But in this case, there are a lot of baseball oddities that I am trying to make sense of. I spent the weekend at Chase Field the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks....and let me tell ya, my head is still spinning from some of the things I saw.

I have been to a lot of baseball games over the years. I have been back and forth to the Bronx, and then there is Chase Field here in my own backyard. With just a short drive down the freeway I am there and checking out the scene. As close as I am to the stadium, the differences between what I see here and what I see in New York couldn't be more opposite. It's not even apples and oranges. It's like comparing a kid's toy dump truck and gelato.

To understand what I am talking about you just have to be there and look past the whole "National League vs American League" thing. You have to look deeper at what happens when the cameras are off. Let me tell you....it was weird. On Saturday I went to a night game with BYB friend Dave Goode. We interviewed him in THE VENDOR FROM THE HOUSE THAT RUTH BUILT... and these are some of the things we saw....

First things first here.... The Hot Dog Derby. Yes, you heard me. It's a cute idea for the kids, but wow....what the fans saw on the screen versus what as happening on the field was strange. I know other teams do this but, the Diamondback take kids from three different sections in the stadium and dress them up in a hot dog suits. There is one person racing for team relish, one for team ketchup, and one for mustard. You watch the kids run in place as the animated hot dogs jump up and down on the jumbo tron across popular downtown Phoenix sites until they cross the finish line. As I am watching team relish jump up and down feverishly, ketchup looks like he is skipping yet he wins the race. Go figure. Oh and the prize for team ketchup was everyone sitting in that section won a coupon for a free hot dog from Circle K. Seems odd to me.....

Then came the Legends race. The Diamondbacks send giant bobble head looking "legendary" players and race them halfway around the stadium. The crowd watches to see who gets out of the bullpen gate first as Luis Gonzalez, Randy Johnson, Mark Grace, and Matt Williams will try to trap the other players behind the gate. They hobble halfway around the stadium until one of them crosses the finish line. Then they make their way into the stands and walk through all of the seats. They keep score throughout the year of who has the most wins. Interesting stat here....Grace has never won a race and he spent most of his years on the Cubs. Dave and I were wondering....were we the only ones questioning why the Diamondbacks are clinging so closely to their association with Mark Grace given his recent DUI charges? Hmmmm....


Sunday was just as strange. This time though, I went with my Diamondbacks and Mets loving father. I was curious to see who he was going to be cheering for. Just so happened he was on team Dback as I was cheering on the Mets. I can't believe I just said that, but I did. We saw some more strange games.

The Diamondbacks play a roulette game where they spin this over sized wheel and wherever the "coin" drops in you get a prize. They chose a season ticket holder to play. Cool, right? So they start talking to the guy and they zoom in on him. They ask him how long he has been a season ticket holder and he says "since the very beginning." Awesome, right? Dude was wearing Milwaukee Brewers gear. Really? I don't get that at all....

Then came "The Bongo Game!" Sounds odd already, right? So the announcer puts on music with a conga beat to it. The jumbo tron will show the drums and they pan the stands looking for someone that looks like they are drumming to the beat. What happened to player trivia?

This one was my favorite....let's play Float or Sink! How do you play, you ask. Let me tell you! So Chase Field is known for their exclusive section in the outfield that has a swimming pool. It comes in very handy down here. So during the game the people in those seats have to guess if the randomly chosen object will "sink" or "float" once thrown in the pool. Winners get a $25 gift card. This weekend they threw a full bottle of ketchup into the pool. My dad guessed it would float. I said sink. The bottle did sink but really....again I ask, what happened to player trivia?!


Another thing to add to the list....I don't understand is WHY every year when the Mets come out here David Wright is on the disabled list? I always buy tickets just so I can watch him because I think he is a good player, and I respect him for the way he plays. Every year though....he's unavailable. Are you allergic to the desert, Wright? If you are, I guess I can't fault you too much but come on!!


But the kicker for me, and not even my dad can explain this one to me....why on earth did the Diamondbacks change their colors? When they first came out here they were looking to make a statement and set this team apart from the rest. The turquoise and purple colors did just that. It was unexpected, and unique. Here we are years later and now they are red and black. Maybe I shouldn't question this because they haven't won since so maybe it is bad luck for them and good luck for me.


Now if someone could just explain the mascot thing to me, I could let all of this go. The mascot's name is Baxter....and he is a cat. A CAT! The team is named after a snake. It is even in the logo and part of their rally sound over the intercom is the rattle sound a snake's tail makes before they attack their pray. So why the cat?! It makes no sense, Arizona....no sense!

Yankee Stadium is like a whole other planet. I now step off of my soap box and return you to your usual, very logical BYB reporting.....






--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ

 


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