So Alex and I had a chance to catch the Dodgers – Diamondbacks game last night at Chase Field in Phoenix (my first road game of the season), and let me tell you, that place is no Chavez Ravine.
The ballpark is definitely beautiful with tons of exposed girders, great sight lines and tons of unique seating options. It reminds me a lot of Safeco Field in Seattle. This was my third game at Chase Field, but the first game where the roof was open – let me tell you, this makes all the difference. When the roof is closed, the place seems a bit cavernous and it loses a lot of its charm. When open, the early-evening breeze flows across the diamond and it’s a really pleasant experience.
But here’s the thing: the fans are pretty weak. When you go to a Dodgers game at Chavez Ravine, you’re guaranteed about 35,000+ fans, with many of them truly passionate about the club. In Phoenix last night, the 20,000 or so fans seemed a bit more apathetic about their team, which could be due to their miserable start to the season. They also didn’t have the hard core knowledge that you get back in LA, but they did thoroughly enjoy booing Manny Ramirez whenever he came up to bat. And I know the stereotype that Dodger fans arrive late and leave early from games, but the D-back fans have taken this to another level. I wish I’d shot the exodus that happened during the seventh inning!
Fortunately for us, there were a ton of Dodger fans at the game, and they were more than eager to debate the season to date, and where both clubs needed to go with their struggling pitching staffs. Most of the LA fans were transplants now living in the dessert, but a few made the trip to support the team (like me). And all were sporting serious amounts of Dodger Blue.
Oh, and the other hot topic at the game? The upcoming Lakers – Suns series in the Western Conference Finals. It was hilarious to hear the Phoenix sports radio stations trying to rationalize how and why the Suns were going to beat the Lakers, despite their lack of big men needed to defeat Gasol, Bynum and Lamar. Fun fact that I picked up from a Phoenix sports radio station: Steve Nash has played in more playoff games than any other player in NBA history without ever reaching the NBA Finals. While the Suns are the sentimental pick in Arizona, I just don’t see how the Lakers can lose to Phoenix with home court advantage. Now Orlando’s a different story, but that’s a topic for another time.