And AWAAAAY We Go….

I know, I know. The season already started half a week ago and half a
world away, but for me it started TONIGHT with a terrific game in a
terrific brand new ballpark in the capital of the good old US of A. If
tonight’s game is any indication then it’s going to be a fine season.

Time to stop talking (ahem) and PLAY BALL! (CAUTION: Token Partisan Posting Ahead)

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Sports Programming Is So Very Fascist

I’m watching the NCAA tournament tonight in Phoenix, and my
local DirecTV CBS station is not broadcasting in HD. I am getting the UCLA game
in standard definition. Fortunately, I have the DTV March Madness package and
can get the game in HD there. Go figure. 

What I want to watch is the Arizona/WVa  game. The HD telecast is available on the
local CBS HD station IF you have an off-air antenna or cable. But I don’t.  I can get it on the local SDTV CBS station on DTV,
but the HD telecast is blacked out on my DTV March Madness package. If I pay $35
a day to watch college basketball, why can’t I watch the games I want?

I can’t wait for MLB Extra Innings to come along this year and finish robbing me blind.

Peanuts, Cracker Jacks and a Cookie

 

Crowd_1
Last Sunday, we made our way back up to Surprise for a game
between the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago Cubs. As expected, it was very
crowded what with it being a Sunday and of course the Cubs draw everywhere they
go.

Surprise Stadium, home of the Rangers and Royals, is
probably my favorite of all the Cactus League stadiums. If you have infield
tickets on the Rangers side (first base) you’ll be in the shade for pretty
much the entire game. As far as I know, it’s
the only venue to offer free parking for Cactus League games so the $22.00
ticket becomes quite attractive compared to the rest of the venues.

On our first visit February 29, we spent $70.00 before the
game even began (2 tickets, 2 beers, 2 hot dogs and a bag of peanuts) so this
weekend we decided to check out the Home Run Party Deck. The party deck is
located in the outfield. Tickets are $35.00 and include admission to the game,
2 drink vouchers and an all you can eat buffet. SWEET! This definitely sounded
like a better deal.

The Party Deck is not the place to go, however, if you want
to watch theHeads_2
game. If you get there early and score one of the seats along the
front row, the view is very good, but the trade-off is that you will be in
direct sunlight all day. From our table, which was in the second row under the
tent, there was nothing to watch except the Suns-Spurs game on the big screen
TV. The baseball game was such a laffer that everyone was more interested in
the basketball game anyway. There was a band playing prior to the game, and
they Sleep
played briefly between innings starting at about the end of the 6th
inning after they had caught up on their sleep from the night before. I was
disappointed that the buffet didn’t include hot dogs but instead consisted of
some semblance of Mexican fare. I’m not sure if it’s the same every Sunday or what
they do on the weekdays when I have seen the Party Deck extremely less crowded.

Now, here was the most pleasant surprise about the Party
Deck. EveryCookie_1
Sunday, they bring a baseball player up for about an hour to pose
for photos and sign autographs. Yesterday, it was former 2nd
baseman Cookie Rojas. Fergie Jenkins  will be the guest on March 16. On March 23 it
will be Rollie Fingers. That’s kind of a nice way to meet some former ballplayers,
and you don’t have to stay in the tent. You can walk around to other areas of
the ballpark. Also, here’s another little secret we discovered: you can upgrade
your game ticket to the Party Deck ticket for $10.00. I’m not sure if that
includes lawn tickets or not, but if you have $22.00 seats you can get into the
party tent for an extra $10.00. If you buy them ahead of time at the box office
they are $35.00.
 

Listen. Do You Want To Know A Secret?

 Here’s the "Surprise": Before the first pitch was thrown we had spent $70. Bill_stadium_2





The stadium couldn’t have been more than half full. The hot dogs and peanuts were good. The beer was warm. But the weather was BEAUTIFUL! Ballpark_1





(And I’m still trying to figure out WYSIWYG)

UGH

After three decades of broadcasting Atlanta Braves games nationally ascable’s pioneering "Superstation," TBS steps up as a bona fide baseball
network this season with a package of featured Sunday games.


Opening plans for "Sunday MLB on TBS," a schedule of Sunday afternoon games throughout the 2008 season, were revealed Wednesday.

Does this mean my Extra Innings games on Sunday are going to be blacked out?

Sticker Shock

Cactus_leagueThis week we went to pick up tickets for the Feb 29th game in Surprise between the Rangers and Angels. (Funny, I think we saw them play each other there last year.) By the way, that’s a great name for a ballpark. Imagine my "surprise" to find out that infield box seats for a Spring Training game are now higher than our seats in the front row Down the Left Field Line at Chase Field.

ODDS and ENDS

Stephen Drew has arrived at camp – get ready for this, Ladies – "thicker".