Pitchers and Catchers Report!

That’s right!  As of today it officially time for Spring Training.  Typically, I start thinking about the new baseball season about the time Christmas ends… and the rest of the world waits until the Super Bowl’s done to think about it.  This year I’m especially excited.  I actually have baseball plans from now until April!

First off, the All-Star Game is going to be held at Angel Stadium this year.  I’m going to do whatever I can to get into the game itself as well as the Home Run Derby.  But tickets for the other, lesser known festivities go on sale at the end of February.  Who’s gonna be in line for tickets?  This guy.

After that, there’s Spring Training games in Arizona (and Florida).  I’m about a six-hour drive from Cactus League action and,yet, I’ve never been.  Well, this year I’m going.  My wife and I are joining a couple of friends for two games toward the end of March.  Maybe I’ll love it–maybe I’ll never want to go back.  I’m going this year, for sure.  The tickets arrived last week and the hotel is booked!  I’m hoping to snag some baseballs and get some autographs.  Any advice?  Anyone know anything about access to places and players for AZ games?

And once Spring Training ends I’m planning on hitting up the Angels/Padres exhibition on April 1st.  Sure, it’s not a REAL game but it’ll be my only chance to see the Halos play before I leave for New York–where I’m planning to see a Mets game at Citi Field.  Either April 7th or 8th.  If anyone has advice for Citi Field snagging, feel free to leave a comment.

So, who’s excited?  Me.  And the season can’t get here fast enough.

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11 comments

  1. cougar914

    awesome that you may get to go to the all star game or home run derby, i was able to get to the home run derby in pittsburgh in 2006, try your best to get an outfield seat for that, hr derby balls are great commemoratives

  2. crzblue2

    Oh you re going to love Spring Training! I am a Dodger fan and I’ve been to Vero Beach a few times and last year I went to Camelback.
    I am going to try to go to the All-Star game and the fan-fest. I went to the one at San Francisco before.
    Good luck!
    Emma
    http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/

  3. bloggingboutbaseball

    COUGAR – I’m going to do anything I can to get in… we’ll see. And, yes, an outfield seat is a high priority. Thanks!

  4. yankeehater626

    Matt,

    I’m pretty pumped for Baseball! This is the first year since 2003 that I won’t being going to spring training. It’s pretty amazing. There’s a road that has a speed limit of about 40 MPH that you drive to enter the parking lot. Alot of people stand in the parking lot near the main practice field but that’s not the best place. Go back down the road that you drove along in between the two foul poles of the two practice fields. My dad and I usually snag 10-20 balls an hour there because there are two fields and we are the only ones. Maybe have your wife stand at the fence and tell you righty or lefty and you stand on the other side of the street and move back and forth. Also, by the 4th inning, go down to right field where the Angels club house is. They all have to exit and you can get some good autographs, but most starters leave between the third and 5th innings. Also the visiting team comes in from right field and you can get autographs coming in (I got Lincecum, Randy johnson, and Molina) last year. Also, the Angels sign between the practice fields and the stadium. Also, there’s a dumpster I’ll email you about that the players throw out there broken bats in. I’ve gotten 30 bats over the last 6 years. About half are minor league bats, but I’ve gotten 2 Mathis, 3 Brandon Wood, 1 Napoli, 2 Figgins, 1 Erstad, 1 Aybar, and 1 Kotchman bats. Your best bet is to get to the stadium by 9:30, whether or not its a home game, because they workout there before heading to away games.

    All Star Game wise, my dad and I just bought 2 strips for section 112 Row 7, so I’m pretty excited. We have season tix in 213 but the Angels are moving those down the foul line, but if your interested in buying those, we have two, let me know.

    Have fun and I hope to see you out at the Big A a lot this year

    Warren

  5. raysrenegade

    Talked to Scoptt Kazmir yesterday, and he is excited about this season.
    He likes the team chemistry and the way Angels Pitching Coach Mike Butcher runs his squad.
    Always great when one of your pitchers’ is happy just after hitting camp when the workouts increase, and the pressure becomes greater.
    Looking forward to a tighter division out West this season, but the Angels still have the keys to the door.

    Rays Renegade

    http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

  6. baseballexperiences

    Matt- which stadium u going to for s.t.? when I go to arizona in the summer we usually stay next to the mariners/padres home, PEORIA SPORTS COMPLEX. if your going there, i can give u some details. n when u go yo citi, def stay in left for most of the time. center is too far away, and right just flat outt sucks most the time. if you just want to make sure of getting ONE ball, go down the lf line for visitors pitchers warming up, theres usually not much competition, and if u want a gamer, the ump tunnel is pretty easy. Joe

  7. cookandsonbats

    Hey, Matt. We bought our Angel Stadium tickets yesterday. We’ll be there June 14th against Milwaukee. I wanted to get in the RF MVP seats, but they were gone. So, we’ll be in LF behind the bullpens. The Angels must have tons of season ticket holders because I tried several different options and couldn’t get anything I wanted. Oh, well. LF looks cool.
    -Todd
    http://cookandsonbats.mlblogs.com

  8. raysfanboy

    I can’t wait for the games in Florida (and Arizona) to get started. Was hoping we’d steal the Cubs from Hohokam Park and get them near my house over here, but ah well. I’ll be hitting a Rays game no doubt this spring. You should definitely make the 6 hour drive to catch your guys in action.

    http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com

  9. bloggingboutbaseball

    EMMA – Thanks for the return comment on your blog. All that information is very helpful.
    WARREN – Thanks for the e-mail information. I’ll see you around the stadium in April.
    RENEGADE – You got to talk to Kazmir? Great! And the division is ours to lose/win, that’s for sure.
    JOE – I’ll be at Camelback and Scottsdale. Dodgers and Giants… and I’ll e-mail you about New York.
    TODD – Great! June 14th is after I graduate so I should be able to make it to that game… I’ll give you guys a few insider tips, too. I hope to see you soon!
    FANBOY – I’m excited, too. If all goes well on this trip in ’10 then I’m sure I’ll do it again in ’11.

  10. gregb123

    Hey Matt, it’s Greg (from Zack’s blog and the Ballhawk League). I was at Camelback Ranch this week and I thought I’d give you some info about the place. First of all, you’re going to LOVE it! It’s fantastic. The gates to the back fields open four hours before gametime, and you’re allowed to go all over the place back there. You can walk right up to all the fields of both the White Sox and Dodgers in the morning, as well as watch guys in the batting cages and open bullpens. As for the stadium itself, I suggest entering through the CF gate (gates open 90 minutes before first pitch) and running straight to the berm in right field. If there’s BP, plenty of homers should be coming your way. The left field berm, for some reason, is much less awesome.

    And enjoy Citi Field in April. There’s a good chance I’ll be at one of those Marlins games. Hopefully I’ll see you there.

    If you have any specific questions about either Camelback or Citi Field, send me an email at gbarasch.student@manhattan.edu

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