Ballpark hot dog

With a 10-1 win June 26 over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, the Arizona Diamondbacks finally snapped their epic, record-setting 24-game losing streak on the road. Eduardo Escobar smacked a home run and drove in five runs to lead the D-Backs’ offense.

That’s the good news.

The bad news? The D-Backs still have the worst record in baseball and are on track to lose 110 or more games this season. They’re more than just a bad team. After their 23rd consecutive road loss, the Associated Press called them “historically awful.”

As this rate, I may become a Detroit Tigers fan again.

On June 22, the D-Backs pulled off what has to be the most embarrassing play so far this year. It was one of those plays where you have to convince yourself it actually happened.

It came in the sixth inning of a 5-0 D-Backs’ loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field. The Brewers’ Daniel Vogelbach was on second when Omar Narvaez smacked a base hit to center field. Pavin Smith fielded it and fired the ball to Josh Rojas, who lobbed the ball to Nick Ahmed.

Vogelbach roared around third and headed home. Then, he hurt his leg and found himself hobbling along the baseline (it turned out to be a pulled hamstring). It should’ve been an easy out if Ahmed had thrown to ball to catcher Daulton Varsho. Instead, Ahmed simply stood there holding the ball as Vogelbach scored.

What was Ahmed thinking? Whatever it was, he wasn’t paying attention to what was going on around him.

Varsho was quite a sight, jumping up and down and stamping his feet like a little kid as he yelled for Ahmed to throw him the ball.

Television play-by-play announcer Steve Berthtiaume saw what was happening and started yelling on his own.

“Get it in!! Get it in!!” he yelled. “THROW THE BALL!!!”

When you have your own TV announcer yelling at you, that’s getting pretty bad. I suspect Mr. Berthiaume went looking for a bar or a liquor store when the game was over.

This is a team that’s worse than being in bad shape. They are downright awful. Historically awful. That foul odor in downtown Phoenix is coming from Chase Field.

The D-Backs could likely use a new manager. Torey Lovullo isn’t getting the job done. What the D-Backs need is a good motivator. Some of the likely candidates I can think of are Darth Vader, Negan from “The Walking Dead,” and some fellow with a German accent who has a funny little moustache.

At least Negan knows how to handle a baseball bat. I suspect the zombies (or walkers, as they're called) on that show could probably play better than the D-Backs are playing now.

Come of think of it, the D-Backs’ current management reminds me of another character in TV’s longest-running train wreck, “The Walking Dead.” That would be the former protagonist, Rick Grimes. Far from being the leader others around him thought he was, Rick was an idiot whose ideas, plans and actions regularly got people killed and saw whole communities destroyed.

This was the character who famously claimed, “I’m keeping this group together . . . alive!” as people around him were being killed left and right.

In an article from October 2014 on the Market Watch website, writer Brett Arends remarked that, if you want to be a good leader, watch what Rick did on “The Walking Dead” and then do the opposite.

If that doesn’t sound like the D-Backs’ current management. They have become a perfect example of how not to run a baseball team.

I wonder what Detroit is like this time of year.


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