After Monday's shuttle snafu, I made it to the Dbacks - A's exhibition today on the electrotrain, and have pictures of my day at Muni. But first, let's get any baseball news out of the way.
Conor Jackson hit a line drive as hard as you can, Mark Reynolds has shortened his stroke with two strikes and James Skelton, the Rule 5 C-IF pickup, who played second today, is really, really small. What does that mean? It means that Jackson is still the team's best hitter, which is not a particularly good thing; it means that Reynolds wont strike out more than 170 times, and it clarifies that Augie Ojeda is short - not small - and Skelton, like Augie, should be alot of fun to root for.
Haren walked three and Jesus Christ Q-perstar gave up a run. Who knows what that means. Jason Giambi and Matt Holliday both play for the A's now. That means the A's will score runs. If you care who "won" Thursday's exhibition, you're in the wrong place. ( OK, it was 6-1 Greenies).
First picture. The Poles! Supposedly shipped from New York's Polo Grounds, and considering the preseason Giants have called Arizona home since the fifties, it's probably true.
The Muni stadium website advertised $6 tickets, but the friendly lady behind the glass doesnt sell those (standing room) until every seat's sold, so I paid the $10 minimum to stand up most of the time anyway.
Next picture! Here's Arizona's new first baseman - Williams...I hear he's a great "clubhouse guy" and has a marvelous Floridian dentist. Incidentally, expand these pix (just click on each one), to fully appreciate.
The hackneyed shot of players warming up...zzz . Guy on the left is Marte, the Valverde look-alike.
Below is just prior to first pitch. Empty towards each foul pole, but a very respectable Thursday turnout. Muni is Metro's most centrally located field, so there was plenty of Dback red, holdover purple, and less Kelly green than usual - no doubt due to curtailed out of town travel. Fans typically arrive late here due to the ugly parking and logistics, and by the third or fourth inning, the park was close to full. I enjoy spring games more when it's not packed. The metal bleachers are always hot and there's more room to aerate or seek shade as needed. People seem to mellow out a bit too.
Here's my lunch, below. A showy husk of corn that you can take home and dry for the autumnal table. This was a plus - healthy, tasty, a little different and less than four bucks. Food prices came down a tad, drinks not so much. The $6 lemonade was $5.75, a hot dog $4.50 - hardly bargains, but at least they jettisoned the patently offensive $7 slice o pizza. Some of the beers were $8-$10 and a thing of Gatorade was $5. Pass.
Civilian Daron Sutton (black shirt, center right) held court, attached at the hip (or shoe) to some beefy handler in a red shirt. Sutton went to his mouth during the anthem and let's just say he enjoys a beer...it must be hell being famous.
The misleading Cactus League and Chamber of Commerce want you to know it was a beautiful 76 degrees, but that's in the shade. There are only a few shaded seats (Daron's section) -everyone else battles the sun.
This lady (seated, center) lost the battle, vomiting into a plastic bag. (WARNING: Expand this photo at your own risk. You can really see the vomit.) Lucky for her it was a balmy 76'. Kidding aside, this was my first spring game in some time where a fan didnt have a life threatening, heat related emergency. It's an increasing problem that baseball dreads talking about.
You cant see the game from here, but this is a nifty little shade area off the left field line, with picnic tables and green grass for the kids. I ate my corn here, under this tree. Several ants crawled up my ass. They were really small, even for ants, smaller than James Skelton, and I didnt know they were on me until they were basically up there.
That's about it.
Song of the Day - I'll Take You There - Staple Singers