Sunday March 1st 2020
Today was the last of the above normal sunny and warm days for a while. Overnight into tomorrow wind will be the predominate factor and there is a chance of rain in the forecast. Today’s mid to upper seventies temperature was very enjoyable.
I went to my first Spring Training game of the year today. The game was at the Peoria Sports Complex. The San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners make there spring home at the complex in Peoria. Today’s game was between the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres starting at 1:10PM. I left my RV home shortly before 11AM to travel the twenty five plus miles into Peoria and find the stadium. It was before noon when I paid my five dollars for parking and entered the stadium.
The complex opened in 1994 as the first two team training facility. Now most of the teams in Arizona share training sites at two team facilities. The main stadium at the Peoria Sports Complex is very nice. It has plenty of regular seats, a few bleacher seats at the ends of the foul lines and lots of lawn seating in the outfield. I had plenty of time to walk around and check out the facility before the game. Very little on field activity was taking place. The Padres were taking batting practice on one of the back fields in the complex, a couple of grounds keepers were watering the infield and the Giants hadn’t arrived. Three buses with the Giants and their equipment arrived about 12:45.
My seat was in a very good location. It was three rows in front of the San Diego TV broadcast booth just a little up the right field line from home plate. Most of the pictures I took from my seat show the heavy screen that protect the area from foul balls. As game time approached most, but not all, of the seats around mine filled up. The seats near the end of the foul lines were empty throughout the game, but the lawn area in the outfield was full. Sunday’s are kids day, so there were lots of little ones enjoying the game.
I enjoyed the game. The play on the field wasn’t the best. The Giants made three errors and I even saw a balk by one of the pitchers. It really looked like he just forgot to let go of the ball. The Padres won the game 7 to 5 on half the number of hits the Giants made.
The thing that surprised me about my day at the ballpark was the overall fan experience. It felt like the stadium crew were only half trying. Ten minutes before the game the PA announcer comes on and says stand up take off your hats (somebody I’d never heard of) is going to sing the National Anthem. Some guy came out and sang the anthem from behind home plate. Five minutes later the PA announcer comes back on and introduces somebody to throw out the first pitch. Five minutes later the umpires are introduced and the game begins. At random points between innings they announce the winners of prizes, but you never saw any video on the score board of the winners. Even the grounds crew seemed out of it. When they dragged the infield they never removed the bases and there was no synchronization or rhythm between the crew. Everybody did what needed to be done. It just wasn’t polished. Heck, there wasn’t even a mascot around on kids day. Although people in Princes costumes greeted the kids when they entered the ball park for some reason.