16 November 2010

AFL Game Recap

Caught a few Dback prospects today, in an AFL game over at Muni. Fans were greeted by this sign on the box office window.

Yeah, this definitely sounds like the Diamondbacks.

Here's LA's new skipper, Donnie Windbreaker, trying not to step over any lines that might irreversibly screw up his team.

It felt natural rooting against Don's Desert Dogs. His AFL squad represents five MLB orgs, including the Dodgers and Yankees.
It was a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, and everyone had plenty of elbow room. I love that.
You assume it's a groupie when they park the handbag on the dugout roof.
Here's AJ Pollock, the Dback's 23 year old OF prospect. He's listed at 6'2, 200 lbs, but is closer to 5'11, 180. He made a nice catch by the RF wall but didnt do much with the bat.

This is the star of the game:

Jerry Sands, LA's 23 year old first baseman.

Sands homered to center, homered to right, and hit the top of the CF wall for a double.

Here's a Dback fan, patiently waiting for them to land a prospect like Sands.

This is Arizona's LHB Mark Krauss. Big, patient three outcome guy.

How do I know he's a three outcome guy? He struck out, hit a homer and walked.

Here's the ballboy/ballteen. He looked 16 or 17. They've significantly reduced his assigned duties from when my twelve year old heroically assumed the position in this very park.

Odds N Ends:

-- I didnt mind the Dbacks' self appointed den mother, Susan Price, bellowing hoarsely throughout the game, from just over the third base dugout. Probably because I sat on the first base side.

-- No charge for parking. Would've seen a movie, otherwise.

-- It's interesting where fans choose to sit when they have the stadium to themselves and money isnt an issue. Clearly, most gravitate towards seats close to the field, but not to the point of crowding other fans. Personal space is still valued in our culture - highly valued, apparently, at an event as mundane as an AFL game.

Maybe that's something I resent about Cactus League evolution. One used to be able to spread out at the games, which enhanced my enjoyment, and presumably reinforced the optimal comfort zones of many others. Like today. But now spring games are so often packed; it's expensive and time consuming just to park, let alone get in line for a hot dog or a urinal, or wedge yourself between customers to sit erect and watch an exhibition.

Being in a packed house for a special event is great. Everyone should experience that. But when did a month's schedule of big league practice sessions suddenly become that special? The kind of top drawer entertainment that justifies fan expense and inconvenience heretofore reserved for playoff baseball or a Justin Bieber concert.


Anonymous said...

Just a quick note on your last observation.....

You hear from certain pundits that baseball is a dying sport, that nobody cares, blahblahblah.
Like you said, why would people go to all that trouble then for 30 days of meaningless games?

I'll go see some of the less popular teams play now as you can generally still have that elbow room that made the Cactus League so much fun in years gone by.

Gary said...

that was from me, Gary. Don't know why it came up as "anonymous"

Diamondhacks said...

Good point about Maryvale, Surprise. A bit of a drive, but I shouldnt complain. Not quite the regular season 'monopoly' at Chase.

MLB's done a great job creating demand for auxiliary stuff to real baseball: merchandise, HR Derby ASG crap - even Spring Training itself. It's been the thing to do for a while now, for a wider swath of people who arent really into baseball much. It's good business, but that's what I resent, driving up prices and diluting the essence of (and focus on) baseball in the process. Or at least my narrow vision of what it should be.

It's like how the 16th hole at TPC isnt really about golf. It's fun, and I dont care about golf one way or another. But it's about "something else".

-- Thanks for the visit. (Are you Gary from dbbp or the pit, by chance?)


Gary said...

yes, from the pit. Not dbbp. there's one there too. I stop in to read & drop a comment here from time to time.