Saturday, April 16, 2011
Last night Dad, Mik, and I went to the Tucson Padres home opening as our 2nd Opening Day game for 2011. It is exciting to have Triple-A back in Tucson even though it is only temporary for two seasons or so. The game was overall pretty exciting, although some majorly sloppy errors and close errors by mostly the Tucson Padres (definitely why they lost in the end).
We sat in the wheelchair section of 119. Mik loved the seats. They are right in line with 3rd base and a great view of the whole field. Of course, no cup holders and no lids on the soda cups are a little annoying, but it has always been that way at TEP (now Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium). The weird thing is that the lemonade does come in cups with lids, as does the Eegees (these are souvenir style, though).
The turn out was kind of disappointing in my opinion. I expected at least 8,000, but the attendance was only about 6,300. It certainly does not bode well if they cannot even fill the place on a Friday season opener, although the fireworks and Thirsty Thursdays are likely to be as popular as ever. The game I really wish we could make, though, is on April 30 they are doing a throwback game at historic Hi Corbett, but instead we will be in LA doing something more awesome (D23 Walt Disney Studio Tour).
Saturday, April 9, 2011
I did not plan to get a ball at Opening Day 2011 at the Dbacks because I already have so many Dbacks balls and not to mention other baseballs, so am now much pickier. However, I kind of liked the idea of an All Star Game ball for my collection, although I did not particularly think this one was awesome enough to get, but Dad got it for me anyways when he went to the Team Shop.
Mik was happy that they had a mini bat for the All Star Game 2011 when we went to Opening Day 2011. He was afraid he would have to wait until later in the season and we are not exactly planning another Dbacks game this season, especially since we can actually see Triple A baseball in Tucson this year. The mini bat is his favorite color red and he liked the logo, but I am surprised it did not have the Arizona A in the logo like some of the All Star stuff including my ball.
Yesterday we went to the Dbacks home opener. Mik was happy to get the lanyard giveaway to replace his red one from last year that is getting kind of dirty looking since he has used it for a year for his school ID.
Chase Field has not changed much, but there is some minor changes. For one, there is a All Star Game signage and merchandise, since the game is at Chase Field this season. Secondly, some of the food vendors have changed. Some might think it is good and to some extent it might be for those that need Gluten-Free stuff (there is now a place just for that), but the pizza is a major downgrade. Forever it has been Peter Piper Pizza (Arizona based chain) and now it is some stupid New York style pizza place. Now I do not know what kind of pizza Peter Piper would be classified as and it is not spectacular, but it is better than the new stuff, which I do not even think is actually New York style pizza.
This year we sat in section 138. The first time we went to opening day we say just two sections over in 140 and boy what a difference that makes. 138 just stinks handicap section wise. If you are lower in the section it would be fine, but at the top you cannot see the scoreboard except a bit of the corner due to the overhang. It even seems worse when the section to the left is obstructed at the top and gets TVs to compensate for no scorebord view. I do not get why 138 and probably 137 does not also get that. 138 also has the foul pole, but I did not mind that. At least you can see the Circle K strikeout meter, though.
I do not know if the problem is 138 area or the sound system being louder this year, but Mik was almost in tears covering his ears and ready to scream when we first got there and the sound system was playing stuff constantly. He has never acted like that at any ballpark before due to sound, especially not one we go to pretty much just because he is the Dbacks fan. It was still loud during the game, but it was not constant sound due to it being quiet during play.
We ended up leaving at the 7th inning stretch because Mik fell asleep and we wanted to get out of the parking garage before they closed if for the post-game fireworks. We missed the big scoring, but heard and saw the fireworks for the homers.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
This week we got tickets to go to Opening Day at the Arizona Diamondbacks for our third time (2nd year in a row). We also are planning to get tickets to the Tucson Padres opening day on April 15, 2011, but single game tickets are not on sale, yet. Mik was worried the two opening days were the same day and was glad he did not have to choose one or the other, especially considering he knew I would definitely choose the Tucson Padres.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Yesterday (March 7, 2011) I went to one of only two spring training games in Tucson this year. It is rather sad that there are only two and that it took a tragedy to get baseball teams to play in Tucson. It is not the same as having actual spring training in Tucson, but better than nothing. Plus, the ballpark is kind of nice looking without advertising all over the place and the only thing on the outfield wall being a 12 retired number type thing honoring Christina-Taylor Green's little league number.
Of course, it is now no longer called Tucson Electric Park and instead Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. It certainly does not seem like a stadium, but it appears it is mainly used for Pima Community College football since the last of baseball abandoned it last year. However, at least it will be seeing some real baseball this summer with the Padres AAA team (Tucson Padres) being temporary relocated to Tucson while they build a new ballpark in California for the Portland Beavers to be permanently relocated.
The ballpark was its usual spring training mess of long concession lines, but they actually did better than normal. That is actually surprising considering these were mostly new employees and no major events being here in awhile. Definitely, liked that they had a new vendor with stir fry noodles that were vegetarian only, as usually it is just pizza as an option at the Tucson ballparks. I sure hope they keep that vendor for the Padres games this summer.
The game itself was okay. I liked it more than I thought I would because I actually knew several of the players as former Nats including some decent guys, such as Adam Dunn. Of course, the local paper said that it was mostly nobodies playing, but considering I have not followed anything except the Nats the past year and a half I actually knew who several of the players were. Of course, I have also heard of some of the Dbacks since Mik tells me about them occasionally.
The actual action of the game was not that great, but that tends to be what spring training is like and sounds like maybe the teams did not send everyone down to Tucson, which is what partially killed Tucson spring training in the first place. Sure did not make me care for more spring training here with it not seeming like much more than a publicity game, but I kind of like the idea the local sportswriter Greg Hansen wrote about having a game of the week down in Tucson every week of spring training.
I think the turnout shows that the people still like spring training in Tucson. It sucks it was only because of a tragedy that they are even playing any down here this year.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Yesterday at Legoland California we noticed that they have a cool Swinging Friar (San Diego Padres mascot) made out of LEGOs outside of the Upper Deck Sports Cafe. There is of course some baseball themed stuff inside the Sports Cafe, too, but the Swinging Friar statue is by far the coolest part. Especially, since I have become more of a Padre fan than a Dbacks fan (of course, Nats are still my fav) with the Padres AAA team playing at least the 2011 season in Tucson before moving to their new permanent ballpark in California.