The Lonely Arizona Diamondbacks

Here's the most interesting number from the box score of last night's 6-1 Dodgers win against the Diamondbacks:


That was the paid attendance at Chase Field. That's right, fewer than 23,000 people saw a first place team take on a second place team. I'm being generous when I say 15,000 of them were actually there to support the Diamondbacks.

That's pathetic. The Diamondbacks are a solid all-around team with a young star in Paul Goldschmidt
and a popular manager in Kirk Gibson. The Dodgers are one of their top rivals, the two teams have been brawling non-stop for three seasons and the first game of the series featured Zack Greinke, who was at the heart of the last fight. Chase Field should have been packed.

Yet, last night, you couldn't even fill US Airways Center with the Diamondbacks fans who showed up at the airplane hangar down the street.

I'd love to hear the excuses. I'm sure they aren't as good as the excuses you'll hear in Miami about the ownership or in Tampa and Oakland, where the stadiums are second-rate.

The last time the Dodgers played in Arizona, the DBacks' marketing department worked overtime to concoct a wildly original campaign. It centered around the intriguing idea of taking the word "beat" and adding the abbreviation for Los Angeles after it.

This time, there were no free T-shirts featuring three-syllable lines to memorize and repeat on demand, so the locals didn't bother.

It shouldn't be a surprise. Whenever the Diamondbacks actually do get well-paying customers during their annual season-long struggle to top two-million in attendance, the owner just screws it up.

So, I called the Arizona Diamondbacks box office this morning to find out what time the game starts tonight. The nice lady who answered the phone asked me what time I could stop by.

5 fun facts about Bank One Ballpark Chase Field:
  • Scorpions are included in the official paid attendance.
  • The pool in right field is actually filled from the sweat Gerardo Parra breaks while hot dogging routine fly balls.
  • The roof can close in the same amount of time it used to take a ball thrown by Luis Gonzalez to make it from left field to home plate.
  • To improve team grit, Gibson replaced all washcloths with sandpaper.
  • Justin Upton forgot to clean out his locker before he went to Atlanta. He left behind some empty Hi-C juice boxes, crayons and his nap blanket.
The Dodgers assist Yasiel Puig in keeping away a mob of angry autograph seekers.
Dodgers / Jon SooHoo

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