The Diamondbacks want out of Chase Field

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Brahm Resnik of FPNX is reporting that the Diamondbacks have asked their landlord at Chase Field for permission to negotiate for a new stadium. D-Backs CEO Derrick Hall wrote in a letter to the board of Maricopa County:

We are requesting that the Maricopa County Stadium District allow AZPB Limited Partnership (the team’s owner) the right to take such actions as it deems necessary in order to move and play Diamondbacks’ baseball games in a location other than Chase Field.

Hall issued a statement after this news went public:

Hall’s request was rejected by County Board Chairman Clint Hickman, saying that the lease was designed to protect taxpayers, as Chase Field was funded by taxpayer money. The Diamondbacks’ lease expires in 2028 but they can negotiate for a new stadium in 2024.

The Diamondbacks also recently discussed shifting ownership of Chase Field from Maricopa County to the city of Phoenix, which would allow the club more control. Hall, in 2012, said that such a shift would “boost revenue”, but a source of the Arizona Republic’s Craig Harris said that it would just lead to higher prices for fans. Former Phoenix mayor Skip Rimsza said, “It’s all about reducing the number of seats — and they can’t do it while the county still owns it. They are trying to push up the premium for the seats by having less of them.”

Chase Field opened in 1998 when the Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball as an expansion team. It has hosted one World Series, in 2001, and one All-Star Game, in 2011.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).