The Diamondbacks say their rule had nothing to do with that fan changing out of his Dodgers gear

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On Monday we all enjoyed the scene in which a Dodgers fan at a Diamondbacks game was, apparently, asked to change out of his Dodgers gear and into Diamondbacks gear behind home plate.

That day I got a statement from the Diamondbacks that did not address this specific instance but did address their rule. The statement: “At the time of purchase, we ask that those fans sitting in the home plate box, which is visible on TV, wear either neutral colors or D-backs attire which the team will provide.”

Ken Rosenthal got further comment from the team last night. Under the headline “Diamondbacks had nothing to do with fan covering up Dodger blue,” the spokesman said:

“At the time of purchase, fans who are looking to buy those seats are informed that we prefer that they wear D-backs or neutral attire. We offer them alternative locations or even provide them with team gear.

“However, should they purchase them and choose to wear opposing team gear, they are permitted to do so. That was also the case this past Sunday when a fan made his way into the box to say hello to a friend. In that instance, they joked around with their usher before another fan sitting in those seats gave him her jersey in jest.”

Well, it’s certainly the case that the Dbacks aren’t sending shock troops down to the box seats to enforce their home team gear preferences. But is it really truthful to say that their preference “had nothing to do” with the visuals we saw from Sunday’s game?

What’s the nature of the “jest” here? Some “ooooh, you’re gonna get in trouble!” joke among Dbacks fans, which leads them to give the Dodgers fan the jersey? Heck, that’s the BEST scenario. That the fans are mocking their own club’s dumb rule.

Another possible scenario: some of those fans legitimately felt pressured, however mildly, to have their Dodgers fan friend who came down and sit with them for a minute change into Dbacks gear while he did so. A “well, I suppose we won’t get in real trouble here, but better safe than sorry” gesture. Which is most definitely an effect of the dumb rule.

Either way, whether the club’s dumb rule is being openly mocked by fans or being complied with out of mild unease, it is still causing fans of opposing teams to do dumb things. And, of course, it is still the Dbacks’ dumb rule.

Oh, I’m sorry. Preference.

Padres fire Andy Green

Andy Green
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The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.

Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:

I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.

In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.

“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”

Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.

For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.