PHOENIX - The Coyotes were the guest of honor on Friday night as the Arizona Diamondbacks hosted the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field.
|Mike Smith. Photo by Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks |
Captain Shane Doan and goalie Mike Smith took batting practice, and Doan threw out the ceremonial first pitch to highlight "Coyotes Night" before the Major League Baseball game.
Doan and Smith offered some decent swings during their BP session, but Smith was the only one of the two to hit a home run, a line drive down the left-field line.
"It was the shortest part of the ballpark, but it got out," Smith said. "That's all that matters."
The two teammates on the ice were competitors in the batting cage.
"My power isn't what it needs to be," Doan said with a smile. "I'm very similar to Ichiro. I just kind of smack the ball out (of the infield) and try to steal bases. That's what I'm known for... 'Smitty' hit one out and I didn't so I'm never going to hear the end of it."
Doan redeemed himself well by delivering a lofty strike during the ceremonial first pitch to Diamondbacks outfielder Kyle Jensen. They shook hands and posed for pictures after the pitch and about an hour or so later Jensen hit his first major league home run.
The game featured other Coyotes-themed elements:
|Jake Lamb. Photo by Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks |
• Doan, Smith and General Manager John Chayka all appeared on FOX Sports Arizona's broadcast of the game and answered questions about the upcoming season.
• Diamondbacks players and coaches wore Coyotes 20th Anniversary T-shirts during the team's batting practice.
• The Coyotes "howl" played at Gila River Arena on game nights was played after a Diamondbacks pitcher stuck out one of the Giants or after the Diamondbacks turned a double play.
• The Coyotes goal song - "Howlin' For You" - was played after each Diamondbacks home run.
• Members of the Coyotes Paw Patrol greeted fans around the ballpark and assisted the Rally-backs, the in-game entertainment crew at all D-backs home games.
• Coyotes mascot Howler attended the game and assisted Diamondbacks mascot D. Baxter the Bobcat with his on-field and off-field shenanigans.
The Coyotes staged a similar night for the Diamondbacks at Gila River Arena last season.
"It's pretty special," Doan said of the relationship between the teams, who set up shop in the state two years apart in the 1990s. "Their organization has been so great with us and it's been a lot of fun. It's great."
"It's pretty awesome to have an organization like the Diamondbacks support the Coyotes and we do the same thing back," Smith said. "It's a good partnership."