It has been an utterly fantastic nine days down here in Arizona, but alas, it is time for me to head back to the Great Midwest. But before I let that big ol’ jet airliner take me far away, let’s take a look back at what we learned during this little odyssey through the Cactus League:
- While I’d say that the Cactus League is better than the Grapefruit League in terms of convenience and baseball-bang-for-your-buck, it does lack a bit of that event feel you get in Florida. Although, really, that doesn’t come close to outweighing Arizona’s advantages. If your team is in Florida, sure, you’re going to want to go there. But if the point is to simply consume a metric-crap-ton of baseball, you want to come to Arizona.
- Though we may never learn if it is possible for spring training facilities to be too cushy, the Diamondbacks and Rockies are pushing he envelope.
- Kirk Gibson expects you to Deal With It.
- Henry Blanco is slow, but he’s faster than you.
- Between TT Roadhouse and the place where the Giants train, there is just enough in Scottsdale to spare it from being thrown up against the wall when the revolution comes.
- But no matter what happens, this dude is gonna be up against that wall.
- Brian Wilson: corporate shill? Tim Lincecum: buying pre-weathered iPad holders? Miguel Tejada: comedian?
- Urge ... to be ... a fanboy ... rising!
- Mike Trout is humble, Vernon Wells is Fonzie and Matt Kemp looks like a new man.
- People freak out about clouds here in Arizona.
- My lawsuit against Ryan Hanigan and the Reds over my getting hit by a baseball is in the planning stages. Hanigan said sorry, but he can stuff his sorries in a sack!
- I still have this feeling that my educating a South Korean journalist about footlong chili dogs may set back international relations decades, but if I had to do it over again I wouldn’t change a thing.
- FYI: Marty Brennaman is not Bob Uecker.
- I like Mike Quade. But seriously dude: try to keep your players from fighting, OK?
- If Zelous Wheeler gets a start, it must be spring training.
- Hey Ladies!
- A picture of a chili dog with crushed up Fritos and topped off with jalapeño peppers that was damn nigh the death of me.
- Jeff Francoeur may have been my white whale, but he ended up being pretty benign. And this caused me some consternation.
- In which I invent an imaginary conversation between George Brett and Kevin Seitzer.
- Patience, Royals fans: the future is bright.
- The place the A’s train may have been built by Communists 50 years ago, but I kind of like it.
- There is nothing quite like the brigade of Japanese reporters who cover Hideki Matsui. But at least they’re fun.
- I’m glad cooler heads prevailed, but getting my ass kicked in what would have almost certainly been portrayed in the media as a racial incident would have made for great blogging.
- Don’t look now, but I think gophers have infested the field at Camelback Ranch.
- Which, strangely enough, may actually have helped Adam Dunn’s defense at first.
- Ozzie Guillen is a cool customer and Dan Haren is a model of ... well, he’s just a model.
With that I gotta catch the Super Chief back east to home and hearth. It’s been real, folks. Next time you hear from me I’ll be back in my fortified compound on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio speaking truth to power or whatever it is I like to pretend that I do around here.
See you next year, Spring Training.