D-Backs win again, fans need nudge
Columnist: Pat N.
The Diamondbacks are starting to look like a team that won’t be denied. Last night, new acquisition Lyle Overbay had the game winning hit against Roy Halladay in the bottom of the 9th. This comes a week after Overbay was released and brought into the fold. Arizona has a knack for clutch and timely hits. And it seems everyone in the lineup is capable of producing these moments.
The D-Backs now sit 3 and a 1/2 games up on San Francisco with 40 games remaining on their schedule. Last night began to really resemble that playoff atmosphere of a good pennant chase. Halladay didn’t hand the ball over after 8 and a 1/3 innings, instead he kept dealing just as he probably would in a postseason tilt. The odds of a team doing well against “The Dr.” are not very high and one would almost assume the game would be over at that point. The Diamondbacks are showing that they don’t care about all that. They racked up 3 hits in the inning and scored not only the tying run, but also what would be the winning run on Overbay’s triple.
While they may be the best big-spot hitting team not in the AL, they still play to half empty houses in their air-conditioned confines. The team has been running promotions and selling even cheaper than normal tickets, but to no avail. It seems that the desert crowd has not been converted to D-Back faithful yet. With a World Series banner flying, and a young, exciting roster, it’s hard to figure out why that would be the case.
I think part of it is the fact that baseball isn’t baseball inside of a 68 degree bubble. It feels more like a comfy picnic when you sit down at Chase Field. (There’s even picnic tables in an area). No yelling, no rowdiness, no smell of grills, but instead the feel of a shopping mall. Never any sunshine able to beat down on you. Look, I know it’s hot out there, but open the damn roof. I don’t care if people complain, I think the eventual result will mean a better ballpark atmosphere. The players live there, so I think they can play in it and have an advantage because of it. The 100 degree temperatures will sell more beers and maybe get some noise amongst the faithful. No one wants to yell indoors. Almost feels rude.
This team isn’t full of stars. Justin Upton is the only nationally known mug, but they’re gritty and they’re getting it done with an odd cast of characters. It’s a team that’s being paid about as much as two Yankees, yet they get hits when they need them and enough from their pitching. New GM Kevin Towers needs to be given a lot of credit for this unheralded turnaround with limited resources. Now, it’s on the owners to turn the attitudes of the fans around. Scorch ’em, I say.