I don't care what the calendar says, if teams are playing baseball in Arizona, spring has sprung.
In fact it was more like summer last week when my sister-in-law, Patsy Hadlich, and I made our annual trip to the Cactus
Here are some tips for keeping cool. Tuck a wet paper towel under your cap. Guys can splash water onto their T-shirts; women probably are best to keep the drips in back. Keep hydrated with water. Wear flip-flops or easily-removed shoes and put ice cubes or a bottle of cold water on the concrete beneath your feet.
If the game is the
The Hadlichs are Dodger fans. I root for the
I was a
In Friday's game against the
Trout had the day off. Albert Pujols, taking his time to recover from an off-season operation, and Erick Aybar, who was playing in the
As for right field — sadly, Hunter is gone. He was the heart and soul of the dugout. I miss his smile, not to mention his batting average hitting between Trout and Pujols last year. From comments attributed to Bourjos and Trout, I think they do to.
I have to admit
However, Angel Management obviously does not share my view. Nine of the first pages of the Angels
2012 was catcher
The Angels' top prospect, 20-year-old third baseman Kaleb Cowart isn't expected in Anaheim this year, according to the Angels Magazine, but fans can expect to see outfielder Kole Calhoun and infielder
Personally, I root for any team playing against the Rangers and it didn't hurt that it was the
Another grandson, Scott, arrived Friday night, unfortunately too late for dinner at Don and Charlie's, the ultimate sports bar, if your sport is baseball.
Autographed baseballs make up one wall in the reception area. To my chagrin, I didn't recognize many of the names. Memorabilia is everywhere, a "
It was all good, including the food.
The next day, the Hadlichs and I saw Dodger ace
Kershaw was relieved by Brandon League, who was in for a shock at the Surprise City stadium the Rangers call their spring home.
His first pitch was hit out of the ballpark, followed by two walks, another hit and a passed ball in just one-third of an inning.
Best quip of the trip: When someone asked what League's first name was, Patsy said, "It should be Minor."
Fifteen teams play spring ball in or around Phoenix. The Dodgers, who moved from Vero Beach in 2008, share Camelback Ranch stadium with the
San Francisco's Giants play at Scottsdale Stadium, seating capacity of 12,000.
Tempe Diablo Stadium is the Angels home field. It has a seating capacity of 9,600. The complex also includes five practice fields where minor-leaguers and eager-beaver major-leaguers can be seen shagging grounders or even playing in minor league games.
Spring training is a cheap date. Angel tickets were $22. The Rangers charged $27, The Dodgers charged $39, but parking was free.