3.06.2006

Thumbs Up for the World Baseball Classic

We got out to the game substantially earlier yesterday. Plenty of time to scout a sweet spot for the game, plenty of time to watch batting practice, plenty of time to get within a few feet of Barry Bonds, plenty of time to snap some photos of the Team USA studs getting stretched and warmed up, plenty of time to chat with the other familiesw around us and plenty of time to enjoy what Spring Training is all about.

At one point Roger Clemens was talking with Johnny Damon, Mike Timlin, Al Lieter, Brad Lidge and Jake Peavy in the deep left field. And Randy Winn was chatting with Ken Griffey Jr. in centerfield. The stars were out and it was pretty darned awesome to see them all hanging out and enjoying baseball together. Check out the Flick photo when Flickr comes back online, its the starting lineup for the game and reads like an All-Star roster.

Notwithstanding one disgruntled person in the Yankee organization that put out a sign in their stadium apologizing for the missing Yankee superstars. Whatever, its the pre-season and the games don't count but getting a chance to see some of the games biggest names all on the same squad was unforgettable even if Barry didn't play (he is, by the way, a very big and imposing man in person). The World Baseball Classic is one of the best things that Bud Selig has done for baseball and I hope it succeeds in spreading baseball across the globe.

This was a learning expedition as much as a vacation and we've been taking notes for next year. Among my learned lessons: a hotel suite is far superior to just a room if you have children, especially if there's a mini-kitchen to use; Phoenix is HUGE, really beyond your comprehension, in fact, my pal told me the city now covers more square miles than Los Angeles; at Spring Training alot of the good action happens before the game begins so the earlier you can get to the game the better (but they don't open the gates more than 2 hours early); bring a blanket or plan on buying one if you've got General Admission tickets; a camera with a high powered optical zoom is a requirement if you plan on taking some snaps.

Are we coming back next year? Hell yeah! And now I've got alot more info to plan the trip out so we can have even more fun!
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