The Diamondbacks were back home last night for the first time since 19 firefighters lost their lives while battling a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona last Sunday. For their game against the Rockies, the team paid tribute to the fallen firefighters by wearing special black jerseys with a “19” patch on the front. They also had a No. 19 behind the plate.
Below is a video of the pre-game ceremony honoring those who lost their lives:
Both teams also wore Prescott Fire Department hats during batting practice. Tyler Emerick of MLB.com notes that the Diamondbacks have petitioned to wear the hats during this weekend’s series. It’s unclear whether MLB will allow them to do it.
The Diamondbacks are already involved in a number of fundraising efforts for the families of the victims. They recently matched $100,000 in contributions from fans via Diamondbacks.com and pledge to match $100,000 more. They are also auctioning off autographed black jerseys from this weekend and signed nameplates from the team’s clubhouse. You can check that out here.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.