Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate PHNX Sports Community!

A survey of Diamondbacks Twitter: What fans want in 2022

Jesse Friedman Avatar
January 23, 2022

If you have any Diamondbacks fans in your life, you may want to send them an Edible Arrangement.

It has been a difficult few seasons for fans of the Sedona red. The D-backs have gone from perceived playoff contender to arguably the worst team in baseball in less than two years.

Fans are still grappling with the departure of franchise icon Paul Goldschmidt, the reality that baseball’s two best teams in 2021 played in their division, and that Robbie Ray won a Cy Young Award the moment he skipped town.

Naturally, Diamondbacks fans take to Twitter to quell their emotions (don’t we all?). For some fans, that means ranting about owner Ken Kendrick holding his baseball card collection in higher regard than winning games, but I like to believe that there are a few folks out there who will entertain a more substantive discussion. So I asked D-backs Twitter a simple question.

I received over 100 replies. Many fans offered sarcastic retorts — this is Twitter, after all — but others provided a reasonable blueprint for the team to recapture their interest in 2022. A few themes stood out.

Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick at Chase Field (Photo credit: Michael Chow)

New leadership

The most common response, by far, was a call for new organizational leadership.

Following a 52-win season, @AZPaulC’s request for a front office shakeup is far from unreasonable. If anything, it’s just surprising that he — and most other fans — didn’t say anything about manager Torey Lovullo. According to a recent D-backs fan survey from The Athletic, fans are actually reasonably supportive of Lovullo as a manager.

While @AZPaulC mentioned three front office executives at once, the majority of respondents were mainly worried about Kendrick.

Following another year with a bottom-10 payroll, it’s fair to wonder if the D-backs can pose a consistent threat to the division rival Dodgers, Padres and Giants — who all ranked among the top 11 teams in payroll last season.

It’s not impossible to contend with a low payroll — see the Tampa Bay Rays, who won the AL East for the second consecutive year in 2021 despite spending less than half on their roster than the Yankees, Red Sox or Blue Jays. It’s just very, very hard.

Ownership changes in any sport are rare and unpredictable. D-backs fans may be waiting a while on this one.

A clear direction

If you have been a D-backs fan for any length of time, you know that the franchise’s contention path has been something of a zig-zag from the beginning. The D-backs haven’t made the playoffs in back-to-back years since 2001-2002. Fans want a more consistent plan moving forward.

@Omartinez4244 makes a good point. Since Mike Hazen’s tenure began in 2017, the D-backs have not only been inconsistent. They’ve been unpredictable.

At times, that’s been a good thing, like when the team won 93 games in 2017 after losing 93 games the year prior. But it has also been disastrous, like when a supposedly playoff-bound 2020 team finished with the second-worst record in the National League.

No front office is ever going to come out and say they’re trying to lose, but at this point, D-backs fans would prefer that over watching their team set expectations that they cannot realistically meet.

Alek Thomas during fall Instructional League at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (Mark Henle / The Republic)

The youth movement

D-backs fans have had enough of a lineup card filled with veteran has-beens. They’re ready to usher in the next generation of Diamondbacks.

This isn’t just about throwing prospects on the field to see who sticks, though. Fans want the team to commit to developing those players in whatever way is best for them — and they’re willing to withstand the inevitable growing pains that come with that.

Notably, @ZM_sportsball felt the need to specify that the team should avoid playing Alek Thomas and Geraldo Perdomo out of position. His concern is understandable, considering that last year the D-backs used Daulton Varsho at four positions, Pavin Smith at four positions, Josh VanMeter at five positions and Josh Rojas at five positions. That group boasts a certain degree of defensive versatility, but the D-backs took it too far and that can impact development.

Affordable ticket prices

If your team isn’t going to win many games — and D-backs fans have come to terms with that for 2022 — you might as well sell cheap tickets.

Folks were all over this comment from @brownc74.

To be fair, the D-backs have already had the lowest Fan Cost Index in baseball for 13 consecutive seasons, according to data from Team Marketing.

That said, given the rise of third-party ticketing apps like StubHub and SeatGeek, not all fans purchase tickets directly from the team at full price. In 2021, discounts on such apps were much harder to come by. A 300-level ticket was often $30 or more after fees. It’s not hard to see why fans weren’t willing to pay that to watch a 52-win team from the nosebleeds.

Ultimately, the D-backs ranked 24th in the league in attendance, attracting a franchise-low 12,876 patrons per game on average. On a typical night at Chase Field, more than 70 percent of the stadium was empty. Word on the street is that stadium officials were still strict about preventing fans from moving to unoccupied seats to get a better view of the action.

All that is to say that anyone who attended a game at Chase Field in 2021 experienced one of the most stagnant home field environments in professional sports. The team should do everything it can to get people back in the seats this year. Bringing back the D-backs Summer Pass would be a good start.


Bring back purple and teal

You didn’t really think that we were going to get through this without an outcry for the purple and teal uniforms, did you?

It sounds silly, but I doubt that the organization understands how massive a response a return to purple and teal would generate. It would be a pretty brilliant move for a team entering a rebuild that figures to last a couple of years…

Closing remarks

D-backs fans are often pegged as fair-weather fans. Maybe they’re not the Valley’s most faithful fanbase, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about their team right now. More than anything, they just want to be reassured that the team cares, too.

Some fans, like @GoldyHappens, have accepted that the team may never dig themselves out of this rut, but they’re going to root for them anyway.

Then there are season-ticket holders like Andy, who went to all of two games last year because it just wasn’t worth it. He rolled over his season tickets for 2022.

Following the second-worst season in franchise history and a lockout that as of now is still holding off the baseball season, 2022 isn’t exactly shaping up to be a great year for Diamondbacks fans. But it can only get better from here.

Follow Jesse Friedman on Twitter

Scroll to next article