Results tagged ‘ Prince Fielder ’
My Spring Training trip officially ended yesterday as the Seattle Mariners took on the Milwaukee Brewers in Maryvale. Whoever said that Arizona never gets rain and is always scorching hot was wrong. It was a damp, cold morning in which the area temperature was –get this — just six degrees warmer than Milwaukee.
Still, it was an enjoyable afternoon. I got up close to Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and company out by the batting cages, then ran into former LumberKings closer Ruben Flores (’09) on the practice fields.
“Flo” had the opportunity to suit up for the Crew as the emergency man in the bullpen and was hoping to face the team that drafted him. Unfortunately for him (and me, as it would have made for great video), it didn’t happen.
My dream matchup was Flores against fellow former King Denny Almonte (’09), who was brought along as part of Seattle’s split squad that day. Sadly, Denny also did not get into the game.
I did get some video on Dustin Ackley, who got the start at second base and went 1-for-5 with a triple. The video I have wasn’t of the triple, but rather a frozen rope that would have dropped for a single if not for the ageless wonder Jim Edmonds, who made a shoestring catch to rob him.
Video of my last day in the Cactus League can be found here: “Scenes from Maryvale“.
The Maryvale back fields. It looks dreary, but that’s really only because of the weather. The fields are each named after a famous Brewer. I was somewhere between Paul Molitor Field, Rollie Fingers Field and Robin Yount Field.
Field this way, clubhouse that way.
Jim Edmonds stops to sign a few. A Brewer this Spring, a Red or a Pirate next year?
Ruben Flores suited up in Brewer blue.
Flores in the Brewer bullpen.
Denny Almonte on equipment bag detail.
Almonte up close.
Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik talking with Brewers broadcaster Bill Schroeder. I used to be Bill’s research/stats guy.
Dustin Ackley faces Brewers’ lefty Manny Parra.
Maryvale, my last Cactus League stop this year. I’ll be back.
And there you have it, five Cactus League games in six days (one rainout, unfortunately), five former LumberKings sighted and pictures/video of four different Spring Training facilities. Every baseball fan needs to experience Spring Training at least once in their lives, and I highly recommend the Cactus League because of the close proximity and overall quality of the parks.
If you have just one day to spend in AZ, I’d recommend going to Camelback Ranch. It’s the biggest of the Cactus League parks and has probably the best Southwestern feel and most unique back fields. You also can’t go wrong with the laid-back atmosphere in Peoria, where the palm trees lining the berm make you feel like you’ve gone to a tropical locale.
Now, with under 30 days left until the start of the season, it’s back to Clinton. See you there.
Hello once again from Arizona, this time from the computer center at my hotel in Scottsdale. I found some free internet (although no way to hook up my digital camera) and thought I might take advantage.
No former LumberKings suited up for the Mariners today, however, Seattle did win their first Cactus League game 9-3 over San Diego. Ryan Garko and Tommy Everidge each went yard in their Mariner debuts. You can read the box score here.
I was nowhere near Peoria today, rather, I was checking out the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants (again) at Scottsdale Stadium. A quick summary of my day there: I snagged three batting practice homers without the aid of a glove (thanks, Aubrey Huff), was interviewed by a writer from the Arizona Republic for a Saturday feature and got sunburned beyond belief. Oh yeah, and Prince Fielder got the long-awaited retalitory plunk from Barry Zito as the main highlight of a 5-3 Giants win.
Elsewhere, Mitch Moreland (’08) went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI as the Rangers pounded Kansas City, 13-3 in Surprise. Several former Kings had a nice day at the plate, including Craig Gentry (2-for-3, 2 runs scored) and Chad Tracy (1-for-1, RBI triple, 2 runs scored).
Now, for the “this has nothing to do with baseball” news. This evening, I attended my very first regular-season NHL game to watch my favorite team, the Colorado Avalanche take on the Phoenix Coyotes. John-Michael Liles tied the score at 1-1 with a power-play goal in the second period, but the Coyotes won in the final seconds as the just-traded former Avs winger Wojtek Wolski beat Craig Anderson for the winner. Deflating, but still the most fun I’ve had at a hockey game.
I will have some pictures and video of my day in Scottsdale coming up next week. Tomorrow, it’s back to Peoria as the Mariners take on the Padres again. The buzz will be out on the back fields as Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee are scheduled to throw simulated games. I might get some pictures of that, if I can get close enough. Stay tuned.