It has been a week since the Arizona Diamondbacks played their final game of the 2009 season, and it has been two weeks since the last game of the year at Chase Field. During that time, I have come to grips with the fact that there are still 175 days 16 hours and two minutes until Opening Day, 2010.
The first three weeks of the offseason are always the hardest.
This is a time when the playoffs are going on, which is a constant reminder that we are not in the postseason. The National League Divisional Series is the hardest because two teams from the NL West that are not the Diamondbacks are involved.
Because of this, I have found myself watching the American League Divisional Series more intently than the National League. I know it’s just a short-lived interest in the AL, once the World Series arrives, I’ll root for the NL regardless of who is representing us.
There was a brief celebration in the afternoon when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim came from behind to defeat the Evil Empire Junior sending the Red Sox home for the winter and sparing everyone from having to listen to Red Sox Nation for one more minute.
As the game progressed, the Yankees took the lead with two solo home runs by Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada. The home team was coming down to their final outs and after a base running error, things didn’t look too bright for the Twins.
In the ninth inning, one Minnesota fan had seen enough. He leapt from his seat behind home plate and jumped out onto the field. He made his way to the infield where he gave everyone the international sign language symbol for displeasure.
From the infield, he ran to second base before making his way to the outfield. He reached the baggie in right center field and began climbing to safety before being caught half way up the wall by Metrodome security personnel.
The television crew at TBS did their best to not show the fan disruption, but it was hard to miss because it lasted so long. I sat on the couch watching the disturbance unfold and didn’t say a word. But my kids were extremely interested in seeing how the situation was handled.
My daughter Whitney was the first to comment, “Wow, that stadium is a lot different than Chase Field.”
“Yeah, that guy would have been tackled before he ever got to the foul line if this was in our stadium,” my daughter Tiffany added.
“I remember that guy that tried to get onto the field this season and got his head smashed into the turf,” my son Dakota chimed in.
Over the next several minutes, the kids recounted the times they saw disruptions at Chase Field and how they had been handled. At one point, the girls were acting out the parts of Chase Field security with my son being cast as the inebriated fan being crushed into the turf.
When the game and peace was finally restored we watched the culmination of the Yankees' victory. I found myself more entertained by the conversation among the kids than by the game.
It was at that point I realized what a great job the security at Chase Field does. Not only do they protect the players and the fans at the ballpark but they make an indelible impression on the fans that jumping onto the field will result in having a really bad day.