22 March 2008

Phoenician Adventure

Yesterday was my big Spring Break vacation, since I had to be on call all during the first part of break. Me and three friends decided to go down to Phoenix (Mesa) and watch the Cubs take on the Rockies at Hohokam Stadium. We left around 11am and got to Scottsdale around 1:30, where we stopped at Chipotle's and got some food - which, if you've never had it before, was really good and I highly recommend it.

Then - more driving, and we got to Hohokam Stadium.... wait for it.... just in time for the top of the eighth inning. Apparently, SOMEONE (*cough RYAN cough*) forgot that all MLB game times are in Eastern Standard Time, and that 4:05 pm Eastern is 1:05 pm Mountain! So, much deliberation later, we decided that our only logical course of action was to drive all the way across the Phoenix desert to Peoria, Arizona to the Peoria Sports Complex to watch the Seattle Mariners take on the San Diego Padres.

En route, I got to play tour guide for my friends, as two of them are from Chicago and one from Wisconsin, so they'd never seen Phoenix before. I was pointing out Arizona's sacred landmarks: Bank One Ballpark (yes, I know they now call it "Chase Field", but it will ALWAYS be BOB to me), America West Arena, the banking district skyscrapers, the weird curvy-shaped building which I think is a roller rink, etc.

Well, we arrived for the game about two hours before start time, which was 7:05pm (Mountain, we checked!), bought our tickets for the bleachers just off first base, and decided the only logical course of action was to go pre-game a little bit over at McDuffy's Sports Grill, where they had about 500,000 televisions all showing the Duke-Belmont and Texas A&M-BYU NCAA games. (Okay, not 500,000, but maybe more like 40.) So we rooted for them for a while, with everyone but me rallying for a Belmont upset over Duke and all of us pulling for A&M. Well, both my teams won, and as the clock on that game ran out, we had about 30 minutes to game time for baseball, so we headed back to the stadium.

Now, if you've never been to the PSC (Peoria Sports Complex), it's a collection of multiple baseball, football, and other fields for spring training and I would imagine for Little League and stuff, with one big stadium seating roughly 10,000 smack in the center. We were there. Section 218, row JJ, kind of between first base and the outfielders, about 20 or so rows up from field level. The grass was green, the stadium lights were on as the sun sank below the red Phoenix sky, and the vendors were in full force.

Without giving you the complete play-by-play (which I could, because I like to score the games I watch, so I have a record of the play-by-play), there were a few key highlights:

Mariners batting: Ichiro Suzuki was everything the sportscasters describe him as - a major newsmaker, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs, and a stolen base. Raul Ibanez went 3-for-3 with a run scored, and Jose Vidro went 1-for-4 with 2 sacrifice flies and 2 RBIs.

Padres batting: Adrian Gonzalez went 2-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored, while the catcher Bard went 2-for-3 with an RBI, but he was also thrown out when he overran first base, which was mainly stupidity on his part. One of the best parts of the game came in the bottom of the ninth, Mariners 6, Padres 4, Mitch Headley up to bat. Right before he came to the plate, I remarked offhand that I could feel it and that he was going to hit a 2-run home run right then. AND HE DID! I called that bad boy, which tied the game and sent it into extra innings!

Mariners pitching: Miguel Batista went 6.0 innings, allowed 3 runs on seven
hits, and struck out 7.

Beyond that, the game was awesome, ending in a 6-6 tie (apparently known as 'kissing your sister'), and we left at just past 10pm in the beautiful 75-degree night air. After the game, it was too early to just go back to Flagstaff right away, so we decided to hit up the Big Bang, a dueling piano bar on Mill Avenue on the ASU campus. We were there for about 2 hours listening to them jam out to everything from piano-played rap (an interesting combination to say the least) to 80's rock-and-roll to hip-hop tunes and everything in between. After that, we were all pretty exhausted, so we drove back to Flag, and crashed into bed around 4am.

That was pretty much my Spring Break adventure, the rest of the time being spent sleeping, watching the rest of Season 4 of "24" and being on call in my building for 72-hours. Now it's back to the grindstone, and an exam on Monday (today) for which I am cursing the name of my professor, a paper tomorrow, and another paper Wednesday. Thank God I only have about 7 weeks left until I'm done with school, because Senioritis has hit me BAD!

1 comment:

  1. Oh senioritis...I got it my junior year of high school and have been battling it ever since.

    Sounds like a great spring break. I'm going to see if I can get tickets for the season opener of the Nats on Sunday.