The Arizona Diamondbacks displayed a strong appreciation for playing in Fenway Park
Not much has gone right for the Arizona Diamondbacks this season. Playing in some of the historic venues in America tends to ease the pain of a losing season.
Few venues in America can spark the passion, history and tradition of the game. Sites like Lambeau Field, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and great college football stadiums tend to work on the imagination.
In the major leagues, two are clearly set apart.
Each year, the Arizona Diamondbacks have three games at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The structure on the corner of Clark and Addison dates to 1914. During this past weekend, they completed in three games against the Red Sox in venerable Fenway Park.
For Wrigley, the ivy-walled structure is nestled neatly in a neatly kept neighborhood and the ball park remains the center of that universe. Regarding Fenway, a walk along tree-lined Commonwealth Avenue from Faneuil Hall or a transit stop at Kenmore Square provides the logistics.
More with the Red Sox than the Cubs, great players have proceeded the current band, and the ghosts of Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, Johnny Pesky, Carlton Fisk, among others, have reached beyond iconic stature. The Green Monster, uneven corners, the short left field and only 302 feet to the right foul pole have all romanticized the venue.
“When you’re getting ready for a game, concerned with your pre-game routine and then the game itself, it’s just another game,” said Paul Goldschmidt before Monday’s game at home against the New York Mets. “You still know you’re playing in an historic place, but it probably won’t hit me until I think about it down the road.”
With venues like Fenway and Wrigley, players do have an appreciation of the history of the game. There is also an admiration of players who came before. The sense of history and ghosts all permeate the grounds.
Then, there’s the physical realities of playing in an aged, uneven structure. The stands are much closer, and players tend to hear every word blasted their way.
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“When you came into Fenway for the first time, you really don’t know much about the history,” said outfielder Michael Bourn, who played three seasons with Cleveland and made multiple trips to Fenway. “Then, you see how close the fans are, how loud the place is and see why this place is so special. It’s crazy in there.”
When advent of the modern stadiums in the 1960s, the stands were set apart and the upper deck seemed in another zip code. Not so with the ball parks of the early 20th century. Fenway clearly fits the romanticism of the character and aura of revered baseball venues.
“Fenway definitely is special,” said manager Chip Hale. “Fans are right on top and you hear every word, good or bad. When the Red Sox have a good team, like they showed us, it’s double trouble playing that place.”
For the record, the Red Sox swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in their recent three-game set at Fenway this past weekend.
Prior to Monday’s game, the Arizona Diamondbacks recalled left-hander Edwin Escobar from Triple-A Reno. In 16 starts for Reno, Escobar was 6-3, and a 4.25 ERA.
To make room on the 25-man roster, the Diamondbacks designated left-hander Adam Loewen for assignment. In eight games with Arizona, Loewen was 1-0 with a 15.00 ERA. That’s 10 earned runs in six innings.
Stater Patrick Corbin was moved out of the rotation and into the bullpen. When needed, Corbin is expected to give the Diamondbacks length out of the pen, while Escobar is expected to face certain hitters in certain situations.
Corbin’s spot in the rotation has been taken by right-hander Zack Godley.