SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It seemed like nothing can go wrong for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2016.
The team signed one of the best free-agent pitchers on the market to a franchise-record contract and the positivity continued as the team rolled through the Cactus League.
However, a black cloud moved over the sunny D-back skies at the end of spring training when the once internal feud between the Diamondbacks and Maricopa County regarding Chase Field came to a head in front of the public.
However, the feud did not sidetrack fans attending the final spring training game at Salt River Fields on Thursday.
Bill Deal was a landlord for 10 years and believes as the landlord to Chase Field, Maricopa County should hold up its end of the bargain.
“It seems to me like the landlord needs to fix the things that need fixed,” said Deal. “That’s the part about being a landlord.”
Barry Kaye has been a Diamondbacks fan since he relocated from the east nine years ago and can see reasons for each party to have a stake in the argument.
“I can see why the people of Maricopa don’t want to be spending more tax dollars for the team,” said Kaye. “But at the same time, the Diamondbacks, I think they deserve a more upgraded facility. So I’m kind of on both sides of this one.”
Either way, Kaye hopes both sides come to an agreement.
“I want it settled and I want the Diamondbacks not to have to go somewhere.”
For Deal and Kaye, the impressive potential of the team overshadows the stadium feud.
Overnight, the D-backs have become the talk of baseball with a revamped pitching rotation and one of the best offenses in the game.
“We’re getting close to the team that won the World Series,’’ said Deal.
Added Kaye: “I like that there is a lot of enthusiasm with the players and they seem to really get along. There is a lot of camaraderie on the team.”
For now, both are putting the stadium issue on the backburner.
“Things change over the years a lot,” said Deal. “So I think we just need to get through this year and see what’s going on next year. It shouldn’t be a detriment to anything right now but let the guys who are in charge worry about that.
“It’s not something that is immediately in my mind,” added Kaye. “It’s kind of like the Coyotes situation. You hear about it now and then and you hope that they can get it resolved but it’s not something that I dwell on at all.”
The Diamondbacks lease with Chase Field ends in 2028 and the the team is free to begin exploring other options in 2024. The Diamondbacks will begin their 18th season at Chase Field on Monday when they open up against the Colorado Rockies.
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