I just got back from my first trip to Spring Training and I want to encourage anyone who hasn't gone before to go for it. It was great to see the Padres in a more casual atmosphere with less glitz and noise. My friends and I had advance tickets for the game against the Cubs but didn't really need them and did just as well on the days when we got tickets at the gate. The tickets are cheap, there really aren't any seats in these parks that wouldn't be considered field level at Petco and you can hear what's being exclaimed and argued about on the field from most seats. We walked up to the gate at the Rangers training facility in Surprise Arizona two hours before game time and scored tickets in the front row behind the Padres dugout. We were able to get Adrian Gonzalez' autograph and saw him hold many a baby for photos. Between innings I caught a ball thrown into the stands by Nick Hundley. In Peoria I got to go on the field between innings and participate in a ridiculous contest for a lame t-shirt and a one in thirty chance of winning a cruise to Alaska. It was semi-humiliating but I was victorious, got to be on the field and may yet win that cruise. We all had a relaxing time and are already making plans for next year.