The season-opening trip to Australia is in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ rear view mirror. The club is back in the states preparing for their American Opening Day against the San Francisco Giants Monday at Chase Field.
While Australia was a fantastic host to the D-backs, the results Down Under weren’t exactly what anybody was looking for. Team Australia shut out the Diamondbacks in an exhibition game and then the big, bad Los Angeles Dodgers swept a two-game series that counts in the standings.
Despite the 0-2 start and the difficulties presented by interrupting spring training to play games in a country 15 hours away, one team official was a fan of the experience.
“I like it, I really do,” Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I think it was very worthwhile for baseball. If you had been over there and seen the acceptance and embrace of our sport, I think it’s very important that we expand internationally like the NFL has been doing and the NBA has been doing — it’s important for all of us to expand our market reach.
“If we’re going to have a true World Series one day, it’s important that we get people participating and watching our sport. The World Baseball Classic has been a nice step. We don’t have baseball in the Olympics, so I think the more that we can go out and pitch our sport and expand our personal brand, I’m all for it.”
According to Hall, there was one downside to the trip — the D-backs losing two home games at Chase Field.
“It’s not unusual. They’ll take a small to mid-market club, like ourselves, and then they’ll take a larger market club like the Dodgers, and they’ll ask for the small-to-mid to give up the two, and often times three home games, because Major League Baseball can pay you back for those and make those whole.
“It’s a lot more costly if they had to pay the Dodgers the expense of them losing a home game versus us.”