Tag Archives: Spring Training

Wrapping Up The Week

Workouts:

AM: Dailey Method
PM: 5 rainy miles

It’s been a really long day so this will be short. I ran a tough 5-miles tonight and learned that one shouldn’t eat a tub of salsa and blue corn tortilla chips before a run. I was pretty miserable the entire time. Oh and it rained. No, it poured. But I won’t complain about the that because soon summer will be here and I will be cursing the heat.

Speaking of heat, tomorrow I head back to the desert for Spring Training Trip #2! This time there will be no race, just all baseball and a whole bunch of this:

Spring Training 2011 – Trip 1

I’m back from my first of two Spring Training trips! While it was a lot warmer than I expected (I’m not a fan of hot weather), it was still a lot of fun!

Here’s my top 10 favorite photos (in no particular order):


{My first view of Scottsdale Stadium. These are the banners that were used in the World Series parade. Isn’t it a thing of beauty?!?}


{I planted myself along the first base line, next to the G’s dugout, with all the other kids to get autographs and photos. Here’s 2B Freddy Sanchez signing for the fans.}


{I love the shadow of all the fans in this photo! This is prospect Charlie Culbertson who signed autographs for a long time. Since he stood right in front of me signing for so long, I asked him if he ever autographs a baseball on the sweet spot. He replied, “Oh no, that’s for the manager. You get in trouble if you sign there.” LOL}


{I got a photo op with LHP Jeremy Affeldt. Why do I always look so terrible in these photos? Well for one thing, the wretched heat!}


{This is top prospect, 1B Brandon Belt. I was most excited to see him play in person and he did not disappoint! He crushed a HR to right field. Giants fans, get excited about this kid! He’s the real deal!}


{I have *dreamt* of these noodles since Spring Training last year! Best ballpark food ever!}


{This is the first pitch of the ballgame. I’ve sat in these seats for the past few years. They’re right behind the scouts from the other teams. I always try to read what they’re writing and watch the gun to see how fast the pitcher’s pitches are.}


{Pat Burrell at the plate and Charlie Culberson on 2B.}


{This photo was taken during the national anthem at a game in Phoenix vs the Oakland A’s.}


{Wouldn’t this be the best promotional giveaway ever?!?}

I’m headed back to Scottsdale in 9 days for my second and final Spring Training trip. Can’t wait!

Eat, Pray, Love

Though its been well-over 24 hours since I got back from Scottsdale, it would be incomplete for me not to write one last post closing out our trip. My cousin just started reading the book “Eat Pray Love” so she suggested I title this post as such.

Eat
I was never hungry on this trip, because it felt like all we did was eat!

* Two fabulous dinners at our favorite restaurant in Scottsdale – Dons & Charlie’s. And on the last night there, we were treated to see Willie Mays, who had a book signing event in the restaurant’s lobby. No, I did not get one (it was $200 for an autographed book), and photos weren’t allowed.

* In-between the D&C dinners, we were able to have a family dinner with my sister, aunt and cousin. Good times

* We also had all access to the Regency Club at the resort – a private lounge for Hyatt guests where we had access to free food! They served breakfast, afternoon appetizers and evening desserts. It was a convenient time and money saver to be able to eat right on property; and being that it was free, we felt pressured to take full advantage of it.

Between the dinners, free meals, and of course, ballpark food, I feel like I gained 10 lbs during the 3 days I was there! But isn’t that what vacation is all about? :)

Pray
All I can for “pray” is that we’re praying that our team does well this season. Lord knows it been a long time since Giants’ fans have had a team they can cheer in the playoffs and I have my doubts about this year’s team, but we’ll see. I hope they surpass my expectations.

Love
Spring (Training) is all about love!

* Love of the traditions we’ve built over the past 16 years

* Love of visiting with our family

* And at our last Spring game of the season, I rediscovered my love for Dusty Baker
The Giants played the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, the team that Dusty now manages.

Before the games, Shari and I used to fight the crowd for prime position for photos and autographs. I noted in my post recapping Day 2 of our trip that I’ve moved beyond that now. I was content just taking photos from my seat. In fact, I’d even forgotten to bring my baseball for autographs.

This changed the minute I saw Dusty. As soon as he came out to the field, Giants fans FLOCKED to him. No other current Giants coach or player got that kind of response. People pushed and shoved to see him. Grown men yelled at his son, “Hey Darren, remember me from Foster City PJCC?”

I found myself right back in the crowd, for the first time this year, fighting for position for photo opportunities. And to Dusty’s credit, he signed…for everyone. He was so kind and gracious. He kept saying, “Guys, I gotta go soon” but yet still stayed and kept signing, even when his staff came to get him to leave because the pre-game ceremonies were about to begin.

Witnessing all of this brought tears to my eyes; it was like being connected to “my” Giants team all over again; the 1998-2002 teams. Rich Aurilia, Bill Mueller, Ellis Burkes, Jeff Kent, Kirk Reuter, Robb Nen, JT Snow and of course, Barry Bonds. The years that I often refer to as “the glory years.”

As hard as I’ve tried, I’ve found myself having a hard time connecting to teams from the most recent years. Its hard to get enthusiastic about teams that don’t win, who have under-performing, overpaid players. You all know who I’m talking about (and there ain’t just one of ‘em).

But seeing Dusty reminded me of just how much we love Spring Training, why we started coming back in 1994, why we still come to Scottsdale, and why we will continue to come, year after year.