CACTUS LEAGUE REPORT: 3/21 Day & Night

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Nick Swisher

3/21 Day: Got to Tempe Diablo Stadium early to see the Angels host the Diamondbacks. It was gonna be another scorcher with temps in the mid 90s, seemed hotter in the sun (which was where our seats were). Not much veggie fare, washed down some nachos with a couple of beers, heavily tipped at concession stand as tips were going to Shriners Hospital. Met a real estate agent from LA who said he’d set me up with tix right by the Dodger dugout if I ever came out to Chavez Ravine. Ran into Bernie, an Angels fan we sat by two years ago. Hard to tell who was whom as both teams wore red & white uniforms. The Halos had this one under control from the outset, besting the Snakes 8-3. Darren Oliver got a standing ovation when he entered the game, from DonS. Alberto Callaspo & Conor Jackson each had three hits for Arizona. The paramedics rushed to our section, when a foul ball hit off a little girl’s knee. Angels catcher Jose Molina was 3 for 3, including a bunt single & a stolen base. LA’s thirdsacker Chone Figgins suffered a broken finger.

3/21 Night: It was a real rush job getting to Surprise from Tempe in rush hour, with the KC night game starting at 6:05 PM. Grabbed a Rubio’s burrito just as Oakland DH Mike Piazza launched a first inning blast, putting the A’s up 1-0, which was an indication of things to come. In the 3rd inning Oakland hit back-to-back-to-back jacks, by Nick Swisher, Mark Ellis, & Dan Johnson on three consecutive pitches, all off Royals starter Brian Bannister. Adam Melhuse followed with a 1st pitch single, I said, “He should be farmed out for failing to hit a home run”. After three innings it was a TD apiece. The Royals left Joe Blanton off the hook in the 2nd, when Ryan Shealy was thrown out at third on a steal attempt & Angel Berroa was picked off first. My old White Sox buddy Ross Gload was 3 for 4, raising his spring average to .459, while future superstar Alex Gordon ripped two doubles in four times to the plate, lifting his average to .390. The A’s got to Cody Ross for two 9th inning runs, tagging him with the 11-10 loss. Surprise is the best park in Arizona, while Clearwater is the best in Florida.

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