2008 CACTUS LEAGUE TRIP – POST #1

Paid way too much for a last minute trip to watch some preseason baseball out west with DonS. But as luck would have it, I got bumped to a flight 1 1/2 hours later, so in effect received a free SWA flight to Phoenix. Also met a guy who was going to see the Halos play the Brew Crew at O’Hare and hitched a ride to the ballpark with him. Life is good!

The Lady Shriners were once again working my favorite beer stand at Tempe Diablo. So I tipped them heavily and enjoyed the nector of the gods in the sunshine that is Arizona. Note: Shriners performed many surgeries on me as a child, so anytime I can pay them back, I do.

Vladimir Guerrero & Torii Hunter went yard to center off Jeff Suppan, while Casey Kotchman took Derrick Turnbow over the rightfield fence as LA pasted Milwaukee 11-4.

After the game we caught up with my cousin at Don & Charlie’s in Scottsdale. The food is great, they have over 1,500 signed baseballs there, including one signed by Babe Ruth, and even Ronnie Woo Woo was in the house. A good time was had by all.

Day #2 featured a day/night doubleheader. The first game featured the Angels, once again, this time beating up on the A’s in Phoenix 6-1. Bad Vlad drove in four with another bomb that left the yard. DonS is an Angels fan, can you tell who purchased the tickets?

I found the perfect place to watch a ballgame from, under an umbrella, in back of the concourse (where all the California girls walked by), and leaning on a rail where I could order up brews without moving a muscle. Had Angelo’s frozen gelato before the game, nothing more refreshing on a hot day. There was a blonde cutie promoting the Zoo Brew, a benefit for the Phoenix Zoo, so I had to ask about a band that would be performing there, A Flock of Seagulls. She grabbed her hairbrush like a microphone and began singing the lyrics to I Ran. Too bad I’d be back in Chicago for the big event.

That night in Peoria we saw Seattle beat Arizona 7-4, with Jarrod Washburn picking up the win over Micah Owings, when in truth, neither pitcher was impressive. Justin Upton notched three hits in three at bats, but lost points when he lazily dropped a flyball he should have caught. There was some rumblings about Ichiro only batting .119 on the spring, if that was the only Mariners worry. Oh yeah, that Cuban SS Betancourt got three hits, dunno why he bats last. And O-Dog, Orlando Hudson dressed to impress in the field, turning three hits into outs, in one inning for the Snakes.

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