March 18, 2011

Hello old friend

Today reminded me of an old Eric Clapton song… “Hello old friend, it’s really good to see you once again.”

That “old friend” is spring training and Cheryl and I made our way to Tempe, Arizona today to see the Angels take on the Padres and some other “old friends” in former Angels’ pitching coach and now Padre Manager - Bud Black, ex-Angels - Dustin Moseley (who started the game) and Kevin Frandsen (who managed to homer today).

Prior to the game, it was nice to have a chance to welcome back old friend Chris Pettit who is finally healthy. It was actually just great to see all the familiar faces before the game.

During the game, there were a lot of familiar things that we saw and I’m not just talking about the guys now wearing Padre uniforms who once wore red.

There were some all-too-familiar mental mistakes as Bobby Abreu and Jeff Mathis each managed to get picked off first base. Stuff like this makes me crazy – even if it is only spring training. Speaking of which, I noticed Erick Aybar has one stolen base in three tries. Oh boy… that’s an all-too-familiar stat for sure.

On the bright side – Peter Bourjos showed off his speed with his fourth stolen base of the spring and Maicer Izturis also swiped a bag today (his second of the spring).

Brandon Wood said hello to his homerun swing, blasting his third of the pre-season and Bobby Abreu hit a pair of dingers (his first two of the year). The Angels came away with a 7-6 victory, reminding us all of the best old friend of all… winning.

It was especially nice to see Wood having a good day (he also doubled) and made some solid defensive plays. It’s clear there are fans out there who are really tired of seeing him, but a fair number of us also still support him as much as we can. I just can’t help but wonder if he’ll still be an Angel come opening day.

Last, but certainly not least – we also got to see our old friend “Joe” who works at the stadium. Turns out Joe got a little promotion and now works down on the field during games (as opposed to out in the outfield grass). Joe even took one for the team recently; he took a batted ball hit off his back side from none other than Adam Dunn. Ouch. Fortunately, he wasn’t hurt and he told Cheryl and me he was disappointed it didn’t even bruise him; otherwise, he might have asked Dunn to autograph his… well, you know.

Today we also had to bid an offical farewell to an old friend in Scot Shields, who announced his retirement today. I'm going to miss Scot, as yet another link to 2002 hangs up his cleats.

And on that note, we’ll call it a day; after all, it’s been a long one that started with us leaving home around 5:00 a.m. I’m tired, but as is always the case with spring training; it’s a good-kind-of tired. More to come…


  1. Hey! I'm going to be in Arizona Sunday and Monday. Just wondering do most of the Angels players sign autographs? Like Dan Haren and Vernon Wells? Also what's the best time to get to the batting practice area where they walk and sign for home and away games? Thanks...Great blog!

  2. I wrote a guide to spring trainnig last year and you can find it here: As for Haren and Wells... I don't have any experience with them as of yet, but we'll see today! Just get to the park as early as possible. It's very crowded and if nothing else, you want to stake out a spot to wait.

  3. Hey so how was today? What time did you get there and what players did meet?

  4. See today's post and have a good time in Tempe!