Spring Training is always at the top of my list before baseball season begins and this year we decided to spend a few more days in Scottsdale to see a few more games. It was an amazing trip and I wanted to share a handful of photos and comments outside of what was covered in the game recaps.
Melissa, Alex, Chris and Eric from Around the Foghorn were all there over the weekend. It was really amazing spending time with people you email and tweet to all day. We got along famously, as we knew we would.
Friday, March 7 – Athletics vs. Diamondbacks at Phoenix Municipal Stadium
Ken and I met up with Eric and Chris from ATF at the A’s game since it was close to both of our hotels and we were driving in from Palm Springs that morning. It was great meeting them for the first time during what I call an unemotional baseball game (aka the Giants aren’t playing). A great chance to get to know each other in person for the first time.
Friday evening was a night out with the crew at Grapevine, a local Scottsdale karaoke bar. We took over the bar along with Robert (@Giants55 on Twitter) and Jeanne (@xxjeanne on Twitter) and sang “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Lights” along with 20 other people in the bar. It was an epic evening to say the least.
Saturday March 8 – Mariners at Giants at Scottsdale Stadium
SP: Ryan Vogelsong, Giants L 3-18
The game was disappointing, especially watching them lose (spring training or not) 18-3 against the Mariners. Vogelsong and Petit were lit up early. Vogelsong allowed seven runs (five earned) and six hits in 2 1/3 innings. Romo pitched the eighth inning and gave up five earned runs with two walks.
Noteworthy: Brandon Crawford and his wife Jalynne welcomed their second daughter earlier that morning across the street from the stadium at Scottsdale Medical.
SP: Madison Bumgarner, Giants W 8-0
I originally had tickets to see The Giants at Dodgers at Camelback Ranch but after waking up from a late night of drinking and karaoke, decided to stay local and see my favorite starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner against the Future SF Giants. I put my Dodgers tickets up on Stubhub and they sold within 5 minutes. Tickets to the Futures game were $11 each and we were directly behind the Giants dugout.
Bumgarner pitched a phenomenal game and I loved seeing the prospects play.
Sunday night was another night out with the Around The Foghorn crew and we took over the Grapevine once again. Sang the Journey songs, while throwing in some hip hop and other songs like “Center Field” by John Fogerty (courtesy of co-editor Melissa). Another fantastic night had by all.
SP: Matt Cain, Giants L 2-3
Before the game, we came early to watch some batting practice. Barry Bonds was in town for ten days as hitting coach and Willie McCovey was also there watching. It was pretty incredible and Bonds was all smiles, waving at everyone and saying hello.
Here were the lineups for Cubs at Giants in Scottsdale:
Matt Cain started the Cubs game on Monday and pitched a perfect five innings. It was funny seeing ex-Giants Nate Schierholtz, Eli Whiteside and Jonathan Sanchez in Cubs uniforms. Unfortunately five perfect innings wasn’t enough to help the Giants win the game that day.
Tuesday, March 11 – Giants at Reds, Goodyear Stadium
Unfortunately Eric and Chris from ATF had to leave for the airport at 12pm but wedecided to go to open BP at Scottsdale Stadium around 10:30am. They open the gates for away games and anyone can come in and watch batting practice.
When we arrived, we wanted to walk around and take photos around the outside of the ballpark first. When getting to the entrance gate in center field, we heard some shouting from behind a fence in the backfield. Of course we had to look. And here is what we found. We left pretty quickly, it seemed like we were violating the players’ privacy or something.
After running away from the ‘secret’ field, we made out way into Scottsdale Stadium and there were about 100 people max watching BP. Bonds was working with the players not headed over to Goodyear, which included Michael Morse, Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval. Rich Aurilla was also in attendance.
After BP, we said goodbye and took some photos. I love the people on our staff. We all got along better than one could imagine. All part of the same SF Giants family but just amazing personalities and new and close friendships. It was pretty amazing.
Tuesday, March 11 – Giants at Reds, Goodyear Stadium
SP: Tim Hudson, Giants W 8-5
The Giants game at Goodyear Stadium against the Reds was my favorite of the week. We had seats three rows behind the Giants dugout and I finally saw Angel Pagan for the first time of the spring. Tim Hudson pitched a fantastic game and even went 2-2 with a single and double. We had mainly Giants’ fans in our section so we had a blast.
Wednesday, March 12 – White Sox at Giants, Scottsdale Stadium
SP: Tim Lincecum, Giants W 4-3
Our last game of the week, and our first chance to see Tim Lincecum pitch this spring. He was fantastic, I haven’t seen him pitch this well this early in the season for awhile. Was hoping the moustache would be shaved by Wednesday but no luck.
Scutaro took some ground balls during warmups. He looked pretty good at the time.
The Giants trailed for most of the game until Joaquin Arias hit a walk-off single to win the game in the 9th inning.
After margaritas by the pool and some Grimaldi’s pizza, we said goodbye to Scottsdale and vowed to come back a few days longer in 2015. And hopefully we’ll be returning with more of the crew from Around The Foghorn.