March 27, 2010

Tough duty in Tempe... somebody's gotta do it

These days in Tempe are long days, but they are good days. Today was no exception. The weather was incredible and the baseball was top notch.

We started the morning with breakfast to go from Matt’s Big Breakfast. It was easily the best meal I had in two days. We arrived at Tempe Diablo Stadium early in the day and I had a chance to catch up with Bob, who I wrote about last month.

While waiting for the players to make their way out to the practice field, a friend of mine who works for the Angels invited us into the stadium to watch batting practice. We jumped at the opportunity and spent the morning taking photos on the field. It was quite the treat.

As the crowd trickled in, Cheryl and I made our way out to grassy area in left field to visit another member of the awesome team that works at the stadium – Joe, who I also talked a bit about last month.

Joe was ready for a big crowd and we chatted with him for quite a bit before heading over to see his wife Jackie. Joe had some more great stories and observations for us. He’s just a lot of fun to spend time with.

We eventually made our way over to see Jackie who works the VIP elevator. In order to talk with her we had to get in with her and we did. We got some strange looks from people who wondered why were spending so much time in the elevator going up and down; as you might imagine.

We had some fun with that telling people that Jackie was telling us the “untold” stories of what happens in the elevator. Jackie, ever the good sport chimed in and said “we’re up to Aunt Hazel.”

Spending time with the people who work at the stadium is just priceless. You can even have a good time just riding in the elevator!

As we left the elevator and made our way to our seats, we ran into an old friend named Gary, who is annual visitor to spring training. Seems like we’re always running into someone we know in Tempe.

We also ran into fellow 514 Fanatics, Christy and Andy, along with their kids; Christy’s sister Cindy and her brother John and their friend Jeff.

Our friends Dori and Vic were also in the house. The 514 Fanatics were representing!

Game time and lucky for Cheryl and me, Joe Saunders (our favorite pitcher) was on the mound to face the Giants, who had Barry Zito going for them.

Joe looked very sharp for four innings. He seemed to run out of gas in the fifth, but not before he fanned six Giants along the way. That’s a high number for a guy who usually relies on his defense to get the majority of his outs. In any case – Joe looks ready to roll.

These days it seems like there are ex-Angels on just about every team in baseball. Today was no exception as Bengie Molina reminded the Angels and their fans of how good a clutch hitter he is.

Molina had the biggest hit of the day for the Giants; a bases loaded double that knocked Saunders out of the game. Unfortunately, I got that on video today and will upload it in the next couple days. Molina looks to be in mid-season form and will hold off one of the Giants top prospects in Buster Posey for a little while longer.

When he left the game, he made it a point to go say hello to Mike Scioscia, the coaches and the team. There are a lot of great memories tied up in Bengie Molina. He’s easily one of our all-time favorites.

Funny story about the Molina’s... One year Cheryl and I made up some t-shirts that read “Thall shalt not steal on the Molina Brothers.” We always received some nice compliments whenever we wore them.

One game as Cheryl was walking the concourse a lady stopped Cheryl to ask her about the shirt. Turns out it was Bengie’s wife. One thing led to another and we ended up making shirts for the whole family.

We always associate Molina with good times and good memories.

Speaking of memories, Bobby Abreu gave us one today. Abreu homered off Zito in the third inning for the biggest blast of the day. It’s always good to see Abreu hitting lefties hard. Abreu also homered after the game when he stopped on his way out of the player’s parking lot to sign autographs for waiting fans.

Here are a couple more photos... a familiar face returns in Scot Shields and a bright young one trying to bunt his way on in Peter Bourjos.

More blogging tomorrow… I’m dead, dog tired right now.

BallHype: hype it up!

No comments:

Post a Comment