Tagged: spring training

Oh it hurts.

Ortiz sleeping on his shoulder wrong? It happens. Because I’m suffering from the same thing now. With a strained neck, I can’t tilt up or down and turn left or right without pain shooting across my shoulders and neck. And move only in slooooow motions. I don’t know how he even manages to exercise as it is. And no matter how I sleep, each night seems to get progressively more aggravating. As a restless sleeper, I can’t fall into deep slumber because my motions trigger painful flashes that then wake me up.

On the other hand, Beckett looks like he’s in great shape, taking care of himself in the off season and working his change-up. With Lester already strong in last year’s performance and still growing, Dice-K being, well, Dice-K, Beckett’s good performance only strengthens the returning pitcher core, not to mention the new additions to the team. As Beckett is a favourite of mine, I’m glad. I hope he comes back into this season in a big way.

New Year, New Season, New Team, New…

New computer, New bookmarks, New… everything.

A year ago come March, I was on my way flying down to Fort Myers to watch Spring Training. Dad calls me a lightweight fan, which sometimes is a true accusation as I have not yet figured out how to continue my devoted fanship from abroad at the same scale. But, for the record, he never took the trouble to fly to Spring Training while I had.

I loved it down there. I hope you fans all find one opportunity in your lifetime to watch your team’s Spring Training. It is a far less official and formal environment. Get your autographs, chat with your team- although not necessarily your favourite player- watch them play from up close a smaller and more intimate stadium.

This year, I see many new faces on the team that I don’t recognize. And a notable temporary absence from Dice-K for his attempt to repeat his success in clinching the World Baseball win. A hopefully fitter Beckett. And a lot more emphasis on minor league recruits.

I have placed my bets in Vegas for World Series players. I’ve generally adopted the approach of picking the underdogs, with a few tweaks. We’ll see how bad of a gamble this is. Royals, anyone? 

*sigh*

In conclusion. Three days is far too short. It’s like getting a lick of an ice cream cone than dropping it on the ground and watching it melt.

The painful part was leaving 30 degrees Celsius to land in 30 degrees Fahrenheit less than 2 hours later.

I did not watch Saturday’s game. Tickets sold out long before I had a chance to buy. Sure, I could buy from a scalper, but I never was a fan of them and what they represent. Instead, I settled with checking out a vastly entertaining Fleamasters Fleamarket and somewhat overpriced but tasty Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival.

The pricier but by far nicer place to stay: Sanibel Island. Beware the $6 toll to get on the island (but they are perfectly content to let you off the island without a fee).

My trip revolved around the Spring training games. Sleep in in the morning, go for a two hour swim at the resort pool. Back to the room, breakfast, shower, enjoying some sun on the patio, and a reluctant departure to head out for the day.

The City of Palms Stadium is surprisingly small, and close quarters. View of the field is fantastic. For $26, I sat on top of the visitor dugout. Shell out an addition $5, I sat behing home plate. Maximum capacity for the stadium is somewhere around 7,800. But during the Dodgers game, the tallied total attendance was somewhere around 8,070. Figure that one out.

After the game, I would explore a beach town. Naples on Thursday, and Sanibel on Friday. I did not spend nearly enough time there. Even for a non-beach-goer, I loved it down there. I had a whole list of things I wanted to do and that list grew faster than I was able to check the items off. At least now I know and can prioritise for next year.

Now, I need to convince my father to retire there. I’d go down there every spring to see the So- er, my folks.

Let’s go Home!

Ouch. I realise this is spring training, hence the opportunity for the coaches to play all his players and try to figure out the nuances of the teamwork in different configurations. That would easily explain why we watched each position be played by at least three players. But that knowledge didn’t alleviate the pain if watching a 7-run 9th inning by the visitors.
                              

Note: if anyone wishes to go to City of Palms stadium, realise that the visiting team dugout is on the 1st base side.

                           

Highlights:
– Wakefield. Looking as crisp as ever. I am relieved… especially given his heart-breaking sidelining in the post-season.
– Watching Lowe pitch. Horribly, but I hold a soft spot for anyone on the 2004 team (with the exception of Damon).
– Seeing the back of Torre’s head, rather up close.
– Watching a very crisp and solid double play at the top of the first… that could have been a triple play if it was warranted.
                            

It’s not even the season yet, and I already have more to add to Tales of Crazy Sox Fandom

At the top of the 9th, with a solid lead of 5-2, the Dodgers tie with a groan-inducing three-run homer. As the next few batter unfold in excrutiationg slowness, filling up all the bases, the fans started the ever present “Let’s goooo, Red Sox, clap clap clap-clap-clap.” The few but determined Dodgers fans countered quickly with their “Let’s gooo, Dodgers!” during the Red Sox claps. The two choruses went back and forth in perfect rhythm for quite a while, amusing not just the rest of the audience but the baseball players as well.

An exasperated voice finally shouts in his version, voicing the opinion of many: “Let’s go home!!!”

~crack~

As soon as he said that, Dodger’s Repko hits a home run into the left field, with the game winning grand slam.

Well, that’s not the “home” I would have wanted. But it did resolve that complaint and prevent extra innings.

                         

Tomorrow: Twins. I have landed a home plate box seat. Yippee.

I can feel Spring Training in the air!

Have you ever really looked to see where your team trains in the spring? Well, that makes you a better fan than I. I know it’s in Florida. Somewhere. Exhibition game is in three and a half weeks. I won’t go, but I’m already carving out time in March to head down south. Hmm. How far of a drive from Miami do you think it is? How many vacation days need I take to make a worthwhile trip out of this?

                

Thank goodness for the holidays. How else would I have gotten through the offseason, I don’t know. I’m read to kick back up. In the process of cleaning house, I found a clear Red Sox window decal and took my car in for a wash specifically to slap it on the rear window. At the rate I’m going, I might as well get a customised paint/detail job on the entire car and have it done in red. Given my next car is going to be a red Mini with white racing stripes, I’m not too far off as it is.

                  

There is anticipation of a new season that just excites a fan. The hope of the home team continuing a good thing, especially since the team is almost completely intact from last year’s champions. The hurt of the steroids report and accusations.

Finally, it’s the excitement of the young talent cropping up in teams across the country. Will the Rockies be able to come back strong? How will the Indians develop coherence in a statistically very strong roster? ]Who are the new or returning aces and will the remain aces? I feel, more than anything, that last year’s playoffs highlighted that there is a whole new generation of talent who are making a big bang almost immediately. In addition to seeing more of  the likes of Ellsbury, Lester, Buchholz and Pedroia, who will be the new kids following their footsteps?

                  

Indeed, the season is almost upon us.

Argh

For someone who normally doesn’t care about football, I’m taking the Patriots loss very very badly.

Congratulations, Giants, for a very well-played game. I’m no expert, but I believe the stars of the Pro Bowl were the NY defensive team.

                

Time to think about treating myself to a trip to Florida to watch spring training to cheer me up. And it, ironically, would be cheaper and easier than trying to get Fenway seats.