Earlier today the Padres announced their 2016 spring training schedule. The all-important date that pitchers and catcher report is February 19, which precedes the full squad reporting date of 2/24 by five days. The Padres kick off their preseason games on March 2 against their traditional opening opponent: the Seattle Mariners. They will break camp after a game on March 30 and head to El Paso for one game against their AAA squad. Their final exhibition tilts will take place at Petco Park on April 1 and 2 against the Chicago White Sox.
When I first see the spring training schedule, my mind immediately goes to what weekends I might want to travel to Peoria and take in some preseason Padres. Sadly, I'm quite torn and not in a good way. The first couple weekends feature dates that occur pre-time-change. Arizona doesn't change their clocks, so they begin March in the Mountain Time Zone and end it in the Pacific Time Zone. When on Mountain time, you lose an hour heading out. So even though Friday, March 4 features a convenient night game, you have to leave a little earlier to make first pitch. The second weekend gets the worst of both worlds: you lose an hour heading out and then the time changes before you leave on Sunday and don't get the hour back.
The last two weekends I find inconvenient for other reasons. Friday, March 18 has another night game, but it's in Scottsdale, which not only is farther away than Peoria, but those games at the Giants' home park are expensive. Not to mention full of Giants fans. The Sunday game in Glendale against the Dodgers will also be expensive and I find getting out of that parking lot to be annoying. The final weekend is a bit too late for my taste, but maybe not for others. I usually end up having fantasy baseball obligations or possibly some NCAA tournament sweet 16 or elite 8 intrigue (Go Purdue! Go SDSU!), not mention that's a longer wait to get out and see baseball.
None of these are big problems, but simply my first impressions. You probably have different ones. Please share.
Oh, and if you want to check out my road trip from last year, here's the link.