Chief vs the Duece
Check out Ubaldo Jiminez tagging Troy Tulowitzki with a pitch. Then watch the benches clear.
No April fools joke here, this is the real deal. To quote Rockies Skipper Jim Tracy:
“The most gutless act I’ve seen in 35 years in the game.”
Ok Jim, not sure I’d go that far, but it makes me look at Ubaldo in a new light that’s for sure…D
Jim continues…”Five days before opening day, you’re going to take a pot shot like that? It’s the worst I’ve ever seen. I’ve lost all respect for him, and that’s a very difficult thing for me to say with all the players I’ve had to manage over the years,” Tracy said. “I’ve lost all respect for him, every bit.”
Agreed…Sad, Ubaldo was a Rantic favorite 😦
I sense some pent up frustration in Ubaldo? Too bad we don’t get to play the Indians this year.
Raise up Rockies…It’s gonna be a long season…”D”
Royals vs Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium
This was our first of two games today. But first I want to tell you about an abandoned stadium Mike and I visited the day before.
This old abandoned stadium is Compadre Stadium and what’s left of it is in Chandler, AZ.
It’s not actually all that old, it was built-in 1985 and is the former spring training facility for the Brewers and at the time it was the gem of the cactus league. The Brewers called this place home for 11 years then made the move to Maryvale because the city of Chandler didn’t want to pay for the operating costs for the facility when the Brewers weren’t in town.
Rox Addict and his famous pose.
The land is presently used for sheep and at the same time it’s being torn down.
Photo by Tim Hacker/Tribune
Here’s a few pictures of Compadre in her glory.
All Mike and I wanted to do here was take a few pictures. We I each went a different direction looking for a way in or someone to ask if we could take a peek inside. We were in front of the stadium just a minute of two when a company truck pulled up to Mike. I could see they were talking so I headed over there. As I approached the guy in the truck looked at me and said “Do you want me to call the cops?”. I was like “Dude I just walked up here”. Then he went into a rant about how since they’ve put the sign up saying no trespassing more people than ever have been showing up trying to explore.
The dude threatened to call the cops a few more times and Mike and I got out of there without incident. We left and headed to another part of the stadium. We stayed off the property but got a few pictures from the outfield of the seats.
Cool place, it’s too bad the construction company doesn’t realize the historic significance of this place. Instead of being kind to baseball enthusiasts who only want to take look at a piece of baseball history, they treat them like criminals and run them off.
Here’s a few recent pictures of the stadium that I’ve been able to find.
I don’t advise trying to photograph this place. Not unless you want that guy to call the cops. 🙂
My first visit to Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Batting practice today consisted of standing in the parking lot next to the stadium. We caught the tail end of BP and only one ball was hit out. A group of dudes were huddled around where the ball was going to land. They all missed it and I positioned myself for the bounce. I was in the perfect spot, the ball hit my glove and bounced out. That was it, BP was over and I blew my only opportunity of the day.
All I can say is “Hey, it’s spring training for me too” 🙂
Phillie Jim and I in front of the Stadium.
Here’s a few shots of the inside. This is a cool stadium.
Here’s the berm…Packed.
Former Rockie Chris Iannetta.
The topper to a great game was an Usher letting us sit right behind the Rockies dugout for the last part of the game.
Nice folks, you can tell they’re proud to have Albert around.
Angels get the win over the Royals 7-4.
I’m “D” The Ranter and only two more games left for the Rox Addict and I.
Today I was itch’n for some batting practice.
Unfortunately the design of Peoria Sports Complex (in my experience) isn’t exactly a Ballhawk’s dream.
I know nothing of the ins and outs of the Peoria Sports Complex. All I can do is tell you about what happened on “this” particular day. It started out great, Mike and I showed up early and the Rockies were out on the field taking batting practice. For about 10 minutes it was only Mike and I watching and I kept thinking “How cool is this, it’s just us”. Seconds after that thought, Mike and I were approached by Security and were told that this was a “private” batting practice and we were in a restricted area.
I knew it was too good to be true. What sucks is it wasn’t posted anywhere that we couldn’t be there, no signs.
What Security didn’t know is Mike and I each had snagged a ball before they showed up.
After a quick departure I kept exploring and stumbled across a row of what seemed to be deserted batting cages. They looked like they were accessible to the public as there were no signs stating otherwise. I spotted a few “easter eggs” on the ground so my happy ass wandered in there.
As I was bending over to pick up the “easter egg” I over heard some guy carrying a leaf blower say “Hey, are you supposed to be back here”.
I replied “Am I not supposed to be back here?”
Leaf blower dude says “You can’t just walk back here and pick up baseballs.”
At this point I’m embarrassed and getting irked so I said “You can wander all of the spring train facilities and pick up loose baseballs, that’s exactly what I’m doing until you just informed me I wasn’t supposed to be here.”
Leafblower dude agreed, backed off me and I continued to wander, just not by the batting cages. Had I not stopped and tried to pick up the baseball, Leaf blower dude probably would have ignored me and kept blowing…My eager bad.
Peoria…If you don’t want me in there exploring…PUT UP A SIGN.
We continued our search for batting practice and all we found were locked gates.
Look at this spot. If the gate were unlocked you could snag baseballs from both fields.
Nope big lock on there. Same with the next one. What a beautiful spot, wasted.
At this point it’s over an hour before game time and we’re forced to stand and hope for foul balls.
Sorry Peoria but that’s lame. We knew for a fact there would be no batting practice inside so the one ball I managed to snag from the Rockies “private” batting practice would be the only one of the day. I hate that 😦
On a very cool note, we ran into Huston Street and he autographed a ball and posed for a picture.
Time to head into the Stadium.
Here’s Mike the Rox Addict proving he’s a rebel.
Still bummed at the lack of batting practice Mike and I decided to take our chances at the pitching cages.
I call this set “Been caught stealing”
Still determined to take another baseball home from this place I gave this bad boy a shot.
It wouldn’t budge and I couldn’t find a crow bar.
Eventually I wandered over to the Rockies dugout. The first player out to warm-up was “The Duece”
Duece warmed up for a few minutes then exited without signing for anyone. That didn’t faze me, what fazed me was a few minutes later Duece came out and signed for everyone in the front row including me, on the sweet spot.
Here’s a few pictures of the Rockies pregame.
Here’s Pacheco and EY Jr flashing the Ranter sign.
Again this game I didn’t take any action shots in hopes of catching a game home run. In hindsight, I should have taken the pictures.
Check out the Rox Addict’s blog if you’d like to see some of the action shots.
Rockies lose to the Padres 10-6.
So the day was a bust. Well not totally, look what I managed to snag. I looked but I didn’t see a sign saying I couldn’t take it.
We left it parked at the In n Out Burger.
Damn good burger.
I’m “D” The Ranter and maybe it’s just me but Peoria seemed kinda stingy with their baseballs.
Part of this Spring Training adventure was spent camping at Lake Pleasant. This is a beautiful lake, with lots camping sites and more importantly showers and electricity.
Mike and I each had our own tents and the combination of 50 mph winds and torrential rains that started on Saturday night really put a kink in our Arizona camping experience.
Saturday night was a nightmare weather-wise and everything Mike and I had in our tents got drenched.
Props to my buddy Dan(thank you) for hooking us up with a coupon for a room at the Talking Stick Resort near Salt River Fields. This was a really nice hotel and after our bout with the rain this was a little slice of heaven. We spent Sunday and Monday night at the Hotel and by doing that we avoided the snow and hail that visited our campsite.
Brewers vs Rangers
Maryvale Baseball Park holds a special place for me. It was here I snagged my first live game home run ball.
Here’s a link to that blog entry back in 2009:
This would be my first time back to Maryvale since 2009 and I had visions of another home run snag, however this time I wanted to catch it on the fly. The weather was sketchy at best with the sky clear in some areas and pouring rain in other.
I hardly took any pictures at this game as my focus was a home run ball.
If you want to see some game pictures check out the Rox Addicts blog entry on this game.
I did try to get a good one of Brad Hawpe for Queen Geri..Here’s the best I could do Queen, just know I was think’n of ya 🙂
Although not in the best neighborhood Maryvale Baseball Park is my favorite little spring training stadium. I love the vibe here. Nobody messes with you, the food is reasonably priced and this park has a fantastic berm.
Here’s a few shots of this little gem.
Look at the flags in the above picture. The wind was blowing and it wasn’t one of those warm desert winds. This was a chill you to the bone cold wind.
This park is Happy Youngster stomping grounds and I was on the lookout for that bright yellow shirt. Unfortunately I didn’t run into my friend Nick.
Due to the rain this game was called before it got to the 5th inning, so in the end this game really wasn’t a game.
I’m “D” The Ranter and I’ll be back Maryvale, my ticket is good for two years.
This day started out way too early. Although ballons crossing the road in front of you on your drive to the ballpark is pretty damn cool.
I love the desert.
Last night I managed to get a solid 7 hours sleep and I needed it becasue I hadn’t slept at all from the previous days road trip.
Mike and I had two games on the agenda today.
The first one was the A’s vs Rangers at Surprise Stadium.
This is a cool little stadium with a really neat backfield area set up just for fans. We saw players walking all over and they were stopping and taking time to chat with the fans.
For me this is enemy territory but it was cool seeing how the other side rolls. The Rockies could take a few notes from these fellas on how to interact with fans who drive a long way to see them.
We thought we arrived early but it turns out we had already missed batting practice.
We walked the back fields a bit then headed inside to see what this place was like.
No ballpark is complete without it’s merry-go-round.
Today was much hotter than this mountain boy is used to and by the start of the game I was close to cooked. That’s not exactly how you want to start a two game day.
While cruising the outfield area I stumbled across the Budweiser Home Run Party deck.
In reality it wasn’t much of a party and no home runs were hit inside, but for a small fee I upgraded my ticked and I enjoyed the rest of the game shaded with all I could eat 🙂
That worked out perfectly beacause at this point my well cooked ass was hot and hungry.
Here’s a few game pics. You might remember this guy Rockies fans.
Here’s Seth Smith at bat with Torealba catching.
A’s win this game 11-7.
As soon as this game ended we quickly headed out to the Peoria Sports Complex, home of the Mariners and the Padres.
We met up with Rantic Amy to watch the Mariners vs the Giants.
As soon as we entered we headed over to the Giants dugout for position so we could try and score a few autographs as today was a total bust for batting practice.
I snagged nine baseballs yesterday at Salt River Fields so getting shutout today sucked.
Here’s a few game pictures.
Rox Addict and Amy on the berm.
Giants get the win over the Mariners 7-5.
By the time we got back to the campsite I was done.Peoria’s a cool stadium but it’s no Salt River Fields.
I”m “D” The Ranter and the Spring Training Road Trip continues…
Ranter and Rox Addict’s 2012 Spring Training schedule.
Two Colorado Rockies Bloggers, one mission.
March 14th-D-Backs vs Rockies (Salt River Fields) Evening Game
March 15th-A’s vs Rangers (Surprise) Day Game
March 15th-Giants vs Mariners (Peoria) Night Game
March 16th-Indians vs Angels (Tempe Stadium) Day Game
March16th-Rockies vs Reds (Goodyear) Night Game
March 17th-Dodgers vs Rockies (Salt River Fields) Day Game
March 18th-Rangers vs Brewers (Maryvale) Day Game
March 19th-Reds vs White Sox (Glendale) Day Game
March 20th-Rangers vs Cubs (Hohokum) Day Game
March 20th-Rockies vs Padres (Peoria) Night Game
March 21st- Off Day
March 22nd-Giants vs Rockies (Salt River Fields) Night Game
March 23rd-Dodgers vs Brewers (Maryvale) Day Game
March 24th-Rockies vs Giants (Scottsdale) Day Game..Head home…
How’s that for a Spring Training trip?
Thirteen games in eleven days. If all goes as planned the Addict and I should see every team and get to wander around almost every Stadium.
Planning on attending one of these games? Leave a comment or shoot me an email and we’ll try and meet up, shoot the shit and take a photo for the blog.
If you’re a Phoenix area local and you have any tips on any of these stadiums(parking, best spot for autographs, anything useful).
The Rox Addict and I will gladly return the favor when you’re in Colorado 🙂
I’m “D” the Ranter and I’m more than ready to hug a cactus.
This trip is gonna be epic…“D”