Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Thank You, DBacks…
April 26, 2013, 16:12
Filed under: Uncategorized

Those of you who have had to endure a baseball discussion with me are well aware that I’ve got a serious grudge against the AZ Diamondbacks for abandoning Tucson as their Spring Training home, and also (on a lesser level, since it wasn’t really THEIR fault) for letting their AAA affiliate flee to Reno NV.  Today I’m going to eat a little crow as I thank the DBacks for being good neighbors, even to those of us in Tucson.  Earlier this year the school where I volunteer, E.C. Nash Elementary (a place I am passionate about), won a grant from the DBacks for a literacy program.  Every little bit helps, especially in a fiscally-challenged school like Nash!  The DBacks sweetened the deal by also gifting the school with over 1,200 tickets to a game at Chase Field, for students and their families, as well as staff, last night.  One of my baseball buddies had written the grant application and offered to share some tickets with me, too.  This actually worked out far better for me and my friends than it did for the Nash family: with a 2-hour drive to and from the ballpark – for a night game on a school night – most folks from Nash were unable to take advantage of the offer.  But my friends and I had a marvelous time!  It was my first experience in the nosebleed seats – a very different perspective on the game, for sure!  It was somewhat difficult to closely follow the game on the field from that great height…it looked like two ant colonies flitting around down there on the massive expanse of green grass!  And I found myself easily distracted by the scoreboard (which was, afterall, much easier to see) and all the other in-game data presented around the field (“Oh look!  Pitching stats…down there!”), not to mention the fact that binoculars – which help you actually see the faces of the players – focus you in too narrowly to catch the “big picture” of the game in play (“Oh look!  There’s Todd Helton in the dugout!”)…I left the game with the distinct impression that I’d somehow missed the whole thing!  Thus the highlights my friends and I shared after the game:  getting to see the roof and panels actually opening up, watching the full moon rise above the stadium, seeing AZ’s Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run homer hit the foul pole BELOW and to the left of us (that’s an odd feeling), watching a man carrying a wheelchair up the steep steps beside us (and wondering how someone who is handicapped could possibly climb those same stairs that winded us!), getting to hear Nash recognized in pre-game festivities, seeing Organist Bobby Freeman right there on the concourse…tons of precious memories from a wonderful outing shared with good people.  Thank you, DBacks!  (For an accurate accounting of the game, please check the box score)  Final Score:  Arizona 3; Colorado 2.

A View From the Nosebleed Section Chase Field, Phoenix AZ

A View From the Nosebleed Section
Chase Field, Phoenix AZ


Meanwhile, Back in Tucson…  The Tucson Padres opened a four-game home series versus the AAA affiliate of the team I was watching play against the DBacks, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.  I’d have thought that the Sox bats would have been cold – they’ve had a miserable season trying to get in games in COS this season, what with late-season snow and freezing temperatures – but they quickly thawed out in the desert warmth and simply bashed the T-Pads to bits in last night’s game at Kino Stadium.  When I saw that CO had called up slugger Ryan Wheeler (for Helton, who just went on the DL), I’d been thankful that he was playing in Phoenix instead of in Tucson.  But that didn’t end up helping my Pads in the least…darn it!  AAA Rookie, Keyvius Sampson made his fourth start for Tucson…lasted only two innings and gave up four runs (three earned) in his first loss of the season.  Each of the following five relievers – including position player, Anthony Contreras – allowed at least one run, as COS out-hit the Pads 18 to 7.  Good news for Tucson:  CF Daniel Robertson hit his first home run of the year, bringing in two runs in the ninth.  D-Rob was also the only Padre to get more than one hit in the game!  He went three for five, accounted for three of Tucson’s five RBIs, and stole his eighth base of the season.  Daniel LOVES playing in Tucson!  But generally it was a miserable night for the home team.  They dropped their second consecutive game – but there’s three more in the series.  Let’s put this one behind us – battle back, boys!   Final Score:  Tucson 5; Colorado Springs 13. 

Transactions.  After a long and successful relief outing with San Diego, our Parent Unit optioned Thad Weber back to Tucson and called up RHP Robbie Erlin in his place.  RHP (reliever) Jason Ray went back on Tucson’s 7-day DL yesterday as well.  A face we’ll recognize from last season is also back with Tucson:  Colt Hynes has been assigned to Tucson from AA San Antonio Missions.

Sox vs. Pads at Kino!  The T-Pads play three more games versus the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA affiliate of the CO Rockies) in a series that continues tonight.  First pitch at 7:05pm. Tonight’s major promotion:  Tucson Padres Thunderstick Giveaway!  The first 2,000 fans through the gates will receive a pair of these noisemakers for free.  Saturday night is another special giveaway night, as the first 2,000 fans will receive a commemorative Tucson Toros Tee Shirt as part of our summer long remembrance of the history of professional baseball here in Tucson. Sunday will be Military Appreciation and Bark in the Park day…and I do mean DAY.  First pitch at 1:05pm.  This will be the final day game on the Tucson Padres’ home schedule for the 2013 season.  I hope to see you at the Park!

(Disclaimer – This posting has not been reviewed or approved by Pima County, the City of Tucson, the Tucson Padres, Tucson AAA Baseball, San Diego Padres, PCL, MiLB, MLB, National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority, or any other baseball official and represents the views and biases of the author alone)


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