Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 29, 2007
BLOG: Hooked on Phoenix

I'm just catching up now after a business trip to Arizona; regular blogging should resume soon. I had not been to Arizona before; definitely a new experience for an East Coaster, from the unnaturally clear skies (the moon being visible pretty much all afternoon) to the everything-takes-30-minutes-by-car sprawl.

Also, got to see my first live spring training game, Teusday's Giants-Mariners game that ended 9-8 Giants on a late Seattle rally that wasn't enough to overcome Horacio Ramirez getting pasted. A few thoughts on that. First, as a Mets fan I'm sad to see Ramirez no longer pitching for Atlanta; Seattle is highly unlikely to get equal value after dealing Rafael Soriano for him. Second, up close in person Barry Bonds and Ichiro look even less like big league ballplayers (especially next to a monster like Richie Sexson) - Bonds looks, at most, like a retired athlete, while Ichiro looks like a miler. But Bonds hit the ball with his customary authority (a double that would have been a homer but for a 25-30 foot high center field fence) and seemed to be moving OK, albeit at spring training coasting speed. And third, I never, ever expected to attend a baseball game and see Rey Ordonez play again.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:07 AM | Baseball 2007 • | Blog 2006-13 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Glad to hear you enjoyed Arizona. I lived there for 15 years and will always regret leaving merely for the sake of a better job and a steady income. I have heard it said that once you get the sand in your shoes, you can never get it entirely out, thus my wife and I hope to return to the desert for our retirement.
Next time out, try some of the other fabulous parts of the state. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Don't ever forget, it's a dry heat :)

Posted by: NRA Life Member at March 29, 2007 10:37 AM

I too lived in AZ previously and plan to return. I lived in Tucson for 4 years. There are many different activities to enjoy there including my favorite, golf. I was there in the mid-80's and one of my favorite memories was watching spring training with the Indians (before they were good) with Julio Franco playing SS. I was was fortunate to be able to caddy in the Tucson Open pro-am and a US Open qualifier. Learned a lot about golf those days. Many, many good memories.

One of the things I took away from my time there is that hispanic people are just like any other race of people, there are god ones and bad ones and in the same proportions. I personally welcome everyone of them that come to our country, LEGALLY.

Posted by: maddirishman at March 29, 2007 10:43 AM

I used to travel to Phoenix monthly. Love it out there, although I don't know how much I'd like living there. Beautiful, clean town - the dessert is very different from what I'm used to, but so damn hot in mid-summer its impossible to describe. So hot (and dry) the sweat evaporates off your skin so fast your shirt doesn't get wet. Tucson also a nice town, but I liked the Phoenix area a bit better.

Posted by: Dwilkers at March 29, 2007 11:52 AM

Irish, I agree about welcoming in all legal immigrants. I do think we need to make it far easier for Mexicans to come in though--it's not just a cliche, they really ARE doing things we here aren't willing to do. Sad but true.

Let's realize though, that most people coming here are doing so because they understand a shot at a decent life is better here than just about anywhere else. I don't know too many people around this planet who are trying desperately to sneak into North Korea or Saudi Arabia for a better life. I guess as long as more want to come in then leave we are doing something right.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at March 29, 2007 12:21 PM

Wish I'd known you were coming to PHX. I could have given some advice on some good places to grab some grub in the west valley.

Peoria Sports Complex is an awesome spring venue. My coworkers and I will often head out there during the day to catch BP. The Padres are great about hosting military members so we always get great treatment there.

Posted by: SFC B at March 29, 2007 12:59 PM

Good commentary on Bonds and Ichiro.
Bonds just ain't got the body the press makes him out to have.
In 2004, I'd just attended a couple of Giants game, had good seats and seen him up close. Nothing remarkable except how hard he hit a baseball. Not a week later, I was on an elliptical trainer next to a 20-something NFL practice squad QB, both of us watching Bonds play while we worked out in the condo gym. He remarked about Bonds and steroids. So, I remarked that he was clearly more muscular than Bonds. "But I've always been that way." Thought it funny since he lived with his mom and she was so teeny.

Ichiro's too big for a miler - he'd do well in the 400 m.

Posted by: CJ at March 29, 2007 1:11 PM
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