At their inception, the Arizona Diamondbacks embraced the notion of have a statewide presence by placing their spring training complex and their Class AAA franchise in Tucson. Now, both are gone or soon will be.
The D-backs recently filed paperwork notifying the city of Tucson that they will leave after spring training of 2010. The team's lease ran through 2012, but there was a provision stipulating that it could seek other options if there were no other major league teams training in Tucson.
The Chicago White Sox, who shared the Tucson facility with the D-backs, moved to suburban Phoenix in 2009. Colorado, the third team in Tucson, has given notice that it will vacate when its lease expires after 2011.
"This decision comes with mixed emotions, as we obviously have a deep history with and genuine fondness for Tucson," D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall said in a prepared statement. "With the current environment of spring training in Southern Arizona having led to the Colorado Rockies' recent and formal decision to relocate, we find ourselves in the undesirable position as the only MLB team operating there beyond 2010."
The D-backs have had conversations and have solicited bids from several sites in the Phoenix area and believe they can have a new facility built in time for 2011 spring training. Colorado also is seeking a site in the Phoenix area, which would be much closer to its fans than Florida.
"We have narrowed down our options to a few we consider exciting and realistic opportunities, and continue gathering more facts and details with hopes of coming to an agreement quickly," Hall said.
The D-backs' Class AAA team relocated to Reno this season, after it was sold by Tucson businessman Jay Zucker.
MARINERS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 3: The D-backs' bullpen wasted seven shutout innings from RHP Jon Garland by giving up four runs on five hits in the eighth. Garland is 8-3 in his career against the Mariners but was 1-2 with a 4.63 ERA in seven appearances at Safeco, including a 7.20 ERA there last season while with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Garland was looking for his first victory since May 19. LHP Scott Schoeneweis gave up a leadoff homer to 1B Russell Branyan, the only batter he faced, before RHP Tony Pena gave up a game-tying homer to OF Ken Griffey and a game-winning triple to C Rob Johnson. The D-backs' bullpen ERA is now 5.07, 15th in the NL.
--1B Tony Clark (hand) went 0-for-3 three with a walk Friday. He was activated from the disabled list the day after going 2-for-4 with a home run in
Thursday's rehab game at Class AAA Reno. Clark was 4-for-25 with a homer and two RBIsin seven rehab games with Reno. The D-backs returned 1B Joshua Whitesell to Reno to make room for Clark. Whitesell hit .214 in two separate stints with the D-backs this season after being recalled first when Clark was played on the DL May 6 and then again when 1B/3B Chad Tracy was placed on the DL May 30. Tracy began a rehab assignment at Reno on Friday.
--D-backs 3B coach Chip Hale returned to Seattle on Friday for the first time since he was interviewed for the Mariners' vacant managerial position in November. The Mariners eventually chose Dan Wakamatsu. Seattle first base coach Lee Tinsley was hired away from the D-backs last winter, also. Lorenzo Bundy is the first base coach in Arizona.
--The D-backs have signed supplemental first-round pick INF Matt Davidson of Yucaipa (Calif.) High and second-round pick OF Marc Krauss of Ohio University, two of their early draft haul that included seven of the first 64 picks. Duke OF Tim Sherlock, a 40th-round draftee and the son of D-backs bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock, homered in his second at-bat in a game in the D-backs' rookie camp. The younger Sherlock will begin his pro career at short-season Class A Yakima of the Northwest League. See the FutureBacks.com Draft Tracker for all the latest signing info.
--The Diamondbacks played an errorless game Wednesday, a day after their third three-error game in the last seven. Through Wednesday, they had 55 errors, tied with Florida for the second most in the major leagues behind Washington (61).
--C Miguel Montero hit his third home run of the season Friday to extend his mini-tear. Montero is 6-for-14 with three RBI in his last three games, two as catcher and one as a DH. He went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI as the DH on Wednesday and 2-for-5 with an RBI on Thursday.
--C Chris Snyder missed his second straight game because of stiffness in his lower back. He scratched from the original starting lineup Thursday in Kansas City.
--OF Chris Young, who suffered a groin injury while running out a triple in the eighth inning of a 12-5 victory at Kansas City on Thursday, was held out of the lineup Friday, although his injury does not appear to be overly serious. "The initial read is no 'DL,'" general manager Josh Byrnes said. Young is in the best stretch of his season, reaching base 9 of 10 times -- five hits, four walks -- in the last two games in Kansas City to raise his batting average to .204, the highest it has been since April 29. He is the first major leaguer to go 4-for-4 while hitting under .200 since Cleveland's Aaron Boone (2005), according to Elias.
--RHP Brandon Webb (shoulder) felt soreness while playing catch on flat ground in Kansas City on Thursday and was to fly back to Arizona to have another shoulder examination. "It's a bad sign for us," manager A.J. Hinch said. "We were so positive about where he was in his rehabilitation, so we'll need to get further tests, have him see our doctors and have him re-evaluated." Webb started on opening day but suffered stiffness then and has been on the disabled list since April 13. He has finished second, second and first in the last three NL Cy Young Award votes.
--RHP Tom Gordon (hamstring) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session in Kansas City on Thursday as he moves closer to returning. He has been on the disabled list since May 1 after suffering his injury while covering home on a play at the plate. Gordon is expected to need to pitch in several rehab games before being activated because he has been out for so long.
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