Last year the Diamondbacks considered following in the Rockies’ footsteps by adding a humidor for the baseballs being used to Chase Field to control the high level of offense, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that they’ve decided against it for this season.
Piecoro quotes a couple studies that suggest using a humidor could decrease home runs at Chase Field by as much as 38 percent, which would potentially turn it from one of the majors’ most hitter-friendly ballparks to a pitcher-friendly environment.
There’s been speculation that former interim general manager Jerry Dipoto–who was a reliever for the Rockies from 1997-2000–was in favor of adding the humidor, but new general manager Kevin Towers wasn’t as keen on the idea. Dipoto has remained with the Diamondbacks, but is now the vice president of scouting and player development.
The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.
After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.
Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.
Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:
In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?