Petco Park fulfilling for Finley - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Petco Park fulfilling for Finley

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Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2004 3:11 am | Updated: 5:49 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

SAN DIEGO - One of the Diamondbacks had a little more interest Friday in checking out Petco Park, the new home of the San Diego Padres.

Center fielder Steve Finley played for the Padres for four seasons (1995-98) and in 1998 played a role in the team's campaign for the stadium referendum.

“It was something we players knew the city needed and really wanted to see built,” Finley said before Arizona’s first game at Petco Park. “We had seen what (a new park) did for other downtown areas; I saw what it did for Baltimore.

“I did a whole lot. I believed in the project. I still do. Look at what they created down here (in the downtown area).”

Finley and the Padres went to the World Series in 1998. The next month, Proposition C passed, giving the city the go-ahead to build a new stadium. In December, Finley signed with the D-Backs.

But he still lives in the county and is glad to see the Padres get a new home, although it took two years longer than expected to complete because of legal hassles.

“San Diego is my home, and it's a great thing for San Diego,” Finley said. “There wasn't a destination place to go. (Petco Park and the Gaslamp Quarter) is more like a destination. . . . It's great for the city.”

And is Petco Park an upgrade from Qualcomm/Jack Murphy Stadium?

“You have no idea,” Finley said.

“I'm not going to miss anything about old Jack Murphy Stadium,” Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. “It served its purpose. It was all right for a while. But the game had passed it by.”

D-Backs bullpen coach Mark Davis, who won a Cy Young Award as a Padres reliever in 1989, took pictures of the new stadium Friday afternoon.

“I liked (Qualcomm),” he said. “Obviously, it was a long time ago. But this is nice.”

HAMMOCK UPDATE

Robby Hammock caught all nine innings for Class AAA Tucson on Thursday, his first complete game on his rehabilitation assignment.

Hammock, who missed most of spring training after February knee surgery, was scheduled to play nine innings Friday for Class A Lancaster. If all goes well — the plan calls for him to be designated hitter today and catch Sunday for Lancaster — he should be activated for Tuesday's game in Milwaukee.

In eight games for Tucson, Hammock hit .286 with four RBIs and only one strikeout in 21 at-bats.

SHORT HOPS

Brenly said he considered not playing Finley today against San Diego right-hander Ismael Valdez, against whom Finley has a .109 career average (5-for-46).

“But this is usually where ‘Fins’ gets started,” Brenly said. “It seems like every time we come to San Diego, he gets jump-started. So I would imagine we'll have him in there.” 

Second baseman Roberto Alomar's streak of 66 games without an error ended Friday when he bobbled Sean Burroughs’ first-inning grounder. Alomar had not been charged with an error since July 12, for the Chicago White Sox at Cleveland.

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