God-awful title, I know. I am horrible at plays on words. And this is going to be a huge entry, so if you’ve got stuff to do, put this blog on hold and finish whatever you’re doing.
So on Friday, we made the six-hour trek from Los Angeles to Phoenix. First of all, if you’re going to this, for the love of God please make sure your A/C compressor is functional. If you don’t you’ll positively die when it gets up to 120 degrees on the open desert between LA and Blythe… and even then you’ve still got two hours to go. Also, I beg you to stop at every gas station and just fill ‘er up, because there’s nothing between them except some nasty rest stops. And finally, enjoy the drive.
I enjoyed the drive, anyway. Being the geology megadork that I am, I listened to my iPod (Bose QuietComfort 2 headphones are the bomb diggity) and mentally identified every formation we drove past and speculated about the makeup of the mountains. Because I’m that cool. Not cool was the rise in temperature I felt in the middle of nowhere IN TRAFFIC. Yes, there is traffic in the middle of nowhere. Don’t ask how. It existed.
Drive aside, Phoenix itself was… hot. We were actually in the suburbs, so the only time I spent within Phoenix was at Chase Field (more on that later), but it was hugely hot. At night it wasn’t so bad, still up in the hundreds but at least the sun wasn’t beating down like it was during the day. Either way, I could live there as long as I had A/C.
On Saturday, we went to Chase Field to catch the Angels/D-backs game. I was cheering for the D-backs because I’ve always had soft spots for Danny Haren and Brandon Webb (don’t hate me) and I really freaking hate the Angels and their damn rally monkey. Lately I’ve learned that I am the No-Hitter Killer–Doug Davis had a no-no going that afternoon, and so did Jason Hammel this afternoon. Alas, they were not to be and both pitchers lost (more later). I wasn’t so much watching the game because I wasn’t very attached to the outcome, but rather I spent most of my time there people-watching and admiring the stadium.
Chase Field… I know Tom wasn’t a huge fan when he visited, but I have to admit, it’s probably my favorite ballpark I’ve been to. That’s not a big number (Minute Maid Park, Astrodome, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium [of Anaheim], and… yep, that’s it, Coors Field was just a tour so I’m not counting it), but I really, really liked it. The lower concourse was so incredibly open and as you walked around the outfield you could see everything that was happening on the field. There was seating everywhere they could fit it, and even up in the upper deck I had a great view, especially since the seats were tilted towards home plate.
The giant videoboard was absolutely magnificent. It was wider-than-widescreen and the video was beautiful. They had to put some random things in around the video and the linescore to fill in space, but even so, it was gorgeous. One of the things I didn’t particularly appreciate was the fact that miscellaneous boards were sprinkled EVERYWHERE. It took me two innings to find the strikeout count, and another half inning to find the pitch count. The out-of-town scoreboards hang on the walls. Other than that, it was awesome.
I didn’t eat anything while I was there, having eaten a turkey sandwich before leaving, but they let us bring food inside. Non-alcoholic drinks are also allowed in as long as they’re unopened (sealed). I went in search of an ice cream helmet since my friend’s little sister collects them, and I found a vendor near 328 who was just the cutest, sweetest thing. He gave me way too much ice cream and even held onto it while I ran to the nearest ATM to get cash. Side note–Chase Field means Chase ATMs, so thank you for not making me pay outrageous fees! Anyhow, he was blonde and extremely adorable so if you’re sitting in the top deck of Chase, be sure to drop by and say what up?!
I loved the stadium and was sad to leave in the seventh inning when the niece and nephew grew impatient. Speaking of kids, Chase Field had a great playground called The Sandlot. I didn’t go down there myself but apparently the kids loved it. All in all, I absolutely loved the stadium. Maybe because it felt like home. Who knows? For whatever reason, I adored it.
We left at five to drive back. It was cooler but I’d suggest leaving the driving for after the sun’s gone down because it gets really hot really fast. Our car made it despite the heat in the Valley, and we brought back enough Blue Bell to feed a small family for a month or two. If you’ve never had Blue Bell, try it if you’re ever anywhere they sell it.
In other news…
Today, I went to go see the Rockies take on the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Here’s what I learned:
1. I can’t do no-hitters. Every time one has begun in my presence, it fails completely. Jason Hammel and Doug Davis, for example.
2. I sunburn really easily. OW OW OW.
3. Troy Tulowitzki is hella hot. I know I knew that already, but suga honey iced tea, Christ on a bike, good God almighty hot damn.
And here are some stories:
1. Mark Strittmatter (please tell me that’s correctly spelled/first named or I’ll feel like an idiot) is awesome. He was asking kids trick questions and giving them a ball if they got it right and he asked the kid next to me: “say silk five times. What do cows drink? Nope, water!” So I figured, my friends have all done all of those to me. I told him to ask me one and he said if I got it right he’d give me the ball, but if I missed he’d give it to the kid. So he asked, “What do people in Kentucky call their capital? ‘Louissville” or “Louieville”? And I said, “Trick question! ‘Loo-vull!” “Nope, Frankfurt!” We both cracked up. I looked at him and said, “Mark, I’m coming up to Denver in August. I WILL GET YOU!” He laughed and when he got back to the bullpen he started telling someone else (pitching coach?) about it and they both laughed. Then when they were going back to the dugout I yelled “Mark, I WILL GET YOU!” and he cracked up again. I LOVE THAT MAN. And I WILL GET HIM.
2. Someone tossed me a ball. I’m ashamed to say that I couldn’t figure out who because I couldn’t see his number and I don’t watch enough games to know our bullpen’s faces. But it’s all rubbed up and kind of grassy so I think it might be a game-used ball.
3. There was a really cute, sweet usher down by the right field foul pole. We talked a lot. He was so sweet!
4. Spilly came out to sign. Here’s what you need to know about Dodger Stadium: getting away team autographs is nigh impossible. There are these baseline box seats that are really expensive and you can’t even go down for autos without a ticket, so those block off eight rows all the way over to the foul pole. So he went over to sign for kids in DODGERS SHIRTS and I waved him over toward me while wearing my TROY TULOWITZKI AUTHENTIC JERSEY and he just waved back! I yelled “No, Spilly, come over here!” and he waved me towards where he wa
s going with a smile, I yelled back “I’M NOT RICH!” and he laughed… and nobody signed for me. ****.
And here’s the conclusion:
What a pitching duel. That aside, I HATE DODGERS FANS SO MUCH. I had a whole section behind me (I was in the front row) yelling “TROY TULOWITZKI SUCKS” and “**** THE ROCKIES.” Because I was in right field I was right by Hawper, and the guys kept yelling “BRAD HAWPE YOU SUCK” and I yelled right back “SORRY YOU’RE JEALOUS OF HIS #2 IN THE NL BATTING AVERAGE!” I neglected to mention the “SORRY YOUR BEST HITTER WAS A HUGE CHEATER” because really, they were so drunk off their ***** I don’t think they would have cared–Dodgers fans don’t care anyway (more on that later). So basically, the only Dodgers fans I ran into that weren’t ******** were the ones I’m related to. The end.
– The trip to PETCO Park was delayed from Monday until Thursday, so I’ll be there tomorrow/today (depending on your time zone; I should be sleeping).
– I’m so fricking sunburned. WOW.
– I love my suitemates. Facebook rocks.
– People need to realize they can’t have it both ways. You can’t denounce cheating and in the same breath cheer for Manny or Roger or Barry, or, I hate to say it, Andy Pettitte (we all know how much I loved him once upon a pre-juicing time). You can’t get mad when other teams’ players dope but allow your own players to do it. Grow up, people. If you’re going to support it, at least be honest. I’ve had several Twitter conversations about this.
– I hate the trade deadline.
first image courtesy of diamondbacks.mlb.com
second image courtesy of Getty Images