Sunday, March 19, 2006

Spring Training Trip Report Part 2 of 2

Last week, I did a play-by-play analysis of the March 7th Rangers Spring Training game. This week, I will summarize my Spring Training trip as part 2 of 2.

Day 1, Monday, March 6th:
1. My dad, my granddad and I went straight from the airport to Phoenix Municipal Stadium to see the Cubs @ A’s game.
2. The stadium was very plain and boring and the bleachers were very uncomfortable.
3. There were more Cubs fans than A’s fans which surprised me even though the Cubs have die-hard fans because it was at the A’s stadium.
4. The weather that day was very nice for baseball.
5. It was also awesome to be watching baseball in March.
6. Chicago won the game 12-3.
7. After the game we went to our hotel, Embassy Suites.
8. For dinner we went to IHOP. They probably had the worst service of any IHOP I’ve ever been to because it took about 45 minutes for them to get the food to us and our waitress only checked on us one time.

Day 2, Tuesday, March 7th:
1. We went to the Rangers @ Cubs game at Hohokam Park in Mesa early the next morning to get autographs which are so easy to get in Spring Training.
2. The autographs that I got and the details of the game are in my previous blog.
3. Jon Daniels introduced us to Scott Servais and Thad Levine after the game.
4. After that we went to Scottsdale to see the World Baseball Classic Canada @ South Africa game at Scottsdale Stadium.
5. The stadium at the game was empty.
6. If you ever go to Spring Training check both sides of the stadium for parking because at that game there was $15 parking on one side and free parking on the other.
7. Canada had a lot of MLB players while South Africa had none.
8. The crowd was on Canada’s side as I had thought.
9. When we left halfway through the game the score was 1-0 in Canada’s favor.
10. Canada ended up winning the game 11-8.

Day 3, Wednesday, March 8th:
1. We went to the Rangers workout to get autographs. These are the players I got: Jose Silva, Adam Eaton, D’Angelo Jimenez, Kameron Loe, Marshall McDougall, Kevin Walker, Chris Baker, Phil Nevin, John Wasdin, Rick Bauer, and Jamie Burke.
2. Workouts are great. They are right beside the stadium in Surprise. You get to walk right by the players as they move from field to field. You also get to get autographs and watch them workout. For the autographs, you have to wait until a break in the workout. But when you ask them during their workout if they’ll sign after they’re done, they do a great job of remembering.
3. At the end we talked to Thomas Diamond and he invited us to dinner. Thomas is a great guy with a great personality.
4. The way the workouts work is this: They stretch just before 10:00, then they split up into pitchers and hitters to do their workouts.
5. On fun days (once every two weeks) the pitchers play a game on their knees. There are two teams. One team hits while the other fields. The fielders are on their knees around the base paths with none in the outfield. Somebody tosses a ball to a hitter who tries to hit a grounder. If the fielder gets it, the hitter’s out. If the hitter completely misses the ball, he’s out. If it’s a liner to the outfield or a pop fly, the hitter’s out and has to go get it. If it is gettable and no one gets it, the hitter’s not out but the person who made the error is out of the game. The way you score is by hitting a grounder that gets by everyone. Usually when that happens, it’s a high chopper that the fielders can’t reach because it’s too far over their heads
6. By the batting cage I talked to Buck Showalter and Evan Grant. I also talked to a Newberg Report reader named Thomas, who said he had read my blog.
7. The workouts ended at 11:30 and then we went to the stadium to see the A’s @ Rangers at Surprise Stadium.
8. That stadium was probably the nicest one we saw.
9. In the game we got to see Edinson Volquez pitch awesome, just mowing down hitters.
10. Later in the game Jon Daniels came and sat with us for an inning (another great guy).
11. While Jon was sitting with us Adam Hyzdu hit a homer.
12. The Rangers won 10-3.
13. After the game I got Laynce Nix’s autograph.
14. Since we had about an hour to spare before dinner we went to Barnes & Noble.
15. When it came time for dinner we went to Red Robin to eat with Thomas Diamond. It was really fun!!! We all had burgers and fries.
16. After dinner we went to Peoria Stadium to see Japan face off against the Mariners in a WBC exhibition game.

Day 4, Thursday, March 9th:
1. We went back to the Rangers workouts and I got these autographs: Brian Anderson, Kevin Milwood, Frank Francisco, Ryan Bukvich, Vicente Padilla, Phil Nevin, Kameron Loe, Armando Gallaraga, D’Angelo Jimenez.
2. At the end of the trip, the only players that were on the 65-man Spring Training roster that I didn’t get (either on this trip or sometime in the past) are: Aarom Baldiris, Jesse Carlson, Antonio Alfonseca, Omar Beltre (wasn’t even there), Akinori Otsuka (at WBC), and Erubiel Durazo (at WBC).
3. After the workouts we went to Tempe Diablo Stadium to see the Giants @ Angels.
4. The Angels Spring Training stadium was great on the outside but was nothing special on the inside.
5. That game was the 1st game Barry Bonds was back. Barry struck-out and singled. Barry left after the third inning.
6. The Angels were the victors by the score 6-5.
7. After the game, we went straight to the airport so we could fly home.

This trip was awesome and is definitely in the top 10 trips I’ve taken. Come next week for my predictions on what will happen during the regular season.


Ken Pittman said...

Great blog entry Grant... I enjoyed reading your thoughts and I look forward to the next entry.

JameyNewberg said...

"3. At the end we talked to Thomas Diamond and he invited us to dinner."

Think about that.

And imagine you're nine.


David said...

Wow, what a dream trip. Reading it, I almost felt like I was there with you.