PSA from PSA are Public Service Announcements from Pad Squad Andre. PSA keeps Gaslamp Ballers informed of happenings that we should know about if we are to spend more time with Pad Squad Andre. -Dex
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
-- Anne Bradstreet
After finishing my annual spring training trip to the great state of AZ, I thought it would be nice to post a PSA for those who will also be making a trip this spring.
In usual GLB style, and a first for a PSA, the top 10 things to do on a trip to Peoria.
10. Instead of keeping score, record the 7 unique lines the beer vendors say during each inning of the game.
i.e. Inning 1- "have no fear, your beer is here"
9. Have your five year old son sell out to the "men in blue" by promising never to argue balls and strikes again for a foul ball. Good hint for those who have kids, have the kids get the "Kids Meal", which includes a regular size ballpark hot dog, chips and a drink for $3.50- Best Concessions Deal. The stadium does have good concessions. My favorite was the grill out beyond right field. This is also a good place to get some shade during the game.
8. Bring your gloves to the game. Then no matter where your seats are in Peoria, go out to the lawn and play catch sometime during one of the middle innings.
7. Stop off at Target before the game. There is one next to the ballpark on 83rd and Bell. Get all the sunflower seeds and waters your can fit into your soft cooler.
6. Leave Target out the east side, behind the garden center. There lies the best "Baseball Starbucks" in the world. Ask for Amy, and she will hook you up with a special "2 shot iced vanilla latte." Personally, I am not a coffee person, but how could I turn down the "Padres’ Iced Latte." Then turn left Paradise Road and park in the East parking lot. After the game, it is the fast way out of the facility.
5. Watch the Scouts sitting in Section 100 argue over how fast Nick Schmidt is really pitching. I also suggest sitting in section 114 Row E or F. I think it is the best section, and it is usually available.
4. Have dinner at Barrio Café in Phoenix. It is about 45 minutes from the ballpark, but it has some of the greatest food in the world.
3. Talk with one of the Peoria "Red Shirts" Diamond Club Volunteers. Figure out where they are from and what they like best about their job.
2. Get some signatures! Many people wait in line at the fence for autographs. But I think the best place for Padres’ autographs is actually up the 1st base foul line, while they warm up.
1. Print off the Padres' and the opponent’s full roster including the non-roster invitees if you can get it. It makes life a whole lot easier.
Overall, my family and I had a great time in AZ. We were able to see Padres vs. Cubs, Padres vs. Brewers, Padres vs. Dodgers, and finally Cubs vs. Indians.
Peavy looked very good pitching the first three innings of the Cubs game. My favorite part was seeing him jumping into the batters box and taking a few swings. I also enjoyed watching Ryan Dempster's unique pitching windup.
The next day, we were disappointed not to get to see Hoffman and Cameron come back to Peoria. But the game was interesting. The crowd was only around 2,100, so the players could hear everything that was being said in the crowd. Braun and Fielder are legit.
The Dodgers game was highlighted by my son taunting the Dodgers, and knowing the Dodgers could actually hear what he was saying. We also were able to watch Tommy Lasorda fall asleep for almost two innings. When he was not sleeping, he was very nice and talked with many of the fans. He seems to be very excited about the WBC Finals being at Dodger Stadium.
Finally, my family makes it a point every year to go to a Spring Training Facility that we have not been to before. We were able to go to the Indians new facility in Goodyear, AZ. Very unique stadium. Very clean ballpark with a great team store that had a unique variety of items. We are not fans of the Tribe, but ended up buying some Tribe stuff anyway. They had HOF Bob Feller out signing autographs for a price. It was a little too expensive of a price for us, but some might like it.
Spring training is great and it has a purpose, but I am ready for the competitive atmosphere of PETCO. I am looking forward to the WBC and then Opening Day vs. the Dodgers.