Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring Training 2007 - Another 2 Hours to the Park

This is my first full day here. I arrived yesterday afternoon in what should have been, at most, a six-hour trip from San Diego. Instead, it took eight. But who knew that (1) Border Patrol would have stops, (2) workers would completely shut down I-8 except for a narrow passageway, and (3) I hit Phoenix commuter traffic at 3 pm. Damn.

And on top of that, it's damn hot as well. The highs are expected to range around 95 this week.

Today I went to Maryvale Park to watch the Milwaukee Brewers battle the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim in Maryvale. I left two-and-a-half hours before the game, and I arrived half an hour after the game started. (It's tough navigating for yourself. And this grid is, indeed, a grid, but it's got south, north, east and west attached to street names, and, well, I'll not bore you with the time-consuming details.)

Parking took half an hour because there was a lot of traffic. I'm guessing that they're just used to showing up at gametime here. We were shunted off to Lot B to park, but it wasn't all that far away. I got my first "taste" of the heat, though, walking in. Hey, this isn't that bad!

When I got to security, I was ready with my bag open. He took my water, though, telling me that you can't bring in opened containers of liquid. Last time you couldn't bring in full containers. "They changed it," he offered helpfully.

Bad design at Maryvale. I'm surprised I didn't mention that two years ago, but walking in at 11 am is quite different from walking in at 1:30 pm. The line to get in the park is in right field, so you have to make your way past all the people in line for concessions. I finally found my section, 100, but that isn't too hard. When I got down to my seat, which was in the middle of the row, I found I had a dandy spot right behind home plate and only a few rows up. The problem was, I was in the sun. Many of the seats above me were in the shade, so I sat it out for two innings and then moved to the shade.

You're interested in the score? Okay, here goes. I arrived in the 3rd inning. I watched the game for the next two innings. Then, innings 5 through 7 I spent in line for a hot dog. (There was a guy so angry at all the baseball he wasn't watching, that he yelled at everybody behind him, "Don't stand in this line! You'll kill yourself!") I ate my hot dog through the sausage races at the seventh-inning stretch. I watched another half inning, then I raced for the exit.

The actual game was poorly played for the most part. The Angels must have sent their C players. I did see Prince Fielder for the Brewers go 2-for-3, and it looks like he's having sheer fun batting. But there were 4 errors scored in the game, and the Angels only had 2 hits to the Brewers' 11.

I did feel a little queasy after I ate that hog dog and went into the sun. I had better watch that in the future. And drink more water.

More fun tomorrow as I go to Scottsdale Stadium at 1 pm and Phoenix Muni at 7 pm. I should have better luck finding these places.

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