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Sunday, March 25, 2012

How Much Wood Would A Grichuk Chuck? Angels 6, Rangers 5

It's probably beyond silly to try and pull anything of significance out of this game, other than Trevor Bell's surprisingly positive outing (4.1 IP, 3 K, 3 H, 1 BB), which even then failed to meet the minimum for a winning game (or a game of record). For myself, I found it impressive that I managed to make all but one of the substitutions based on the stadium announcer's calls, which at Hohokam amount to guttoral grunts.

One guy expected to win a role on the Rangers' 25-man roster (Michael Kirkman) stumbled badly and in fact took the loss, improbably on a Randall Grichuk RBI single. I could go on about Grichuk — a victim of unfortunate and star-crossed injuries — but I have my own burdens tonight, and so bid all of you a premature goodnight.

Update 3/26: For reasons I cannot entirely grasp myself (though "comedy" figures heavily), I must add that our experience at Tempe Diablo was one of the most annoying I have ever endured in any spring training game, ever, and that was due to the noticeably drunk Phillies fan sitting to Helen's right. He was so loud and grating that Helen got up in the third or so and wandered around the heavily populated stadium for much of the rest of the game. One of the many joys of spring training is the enhanced quality of the fans, in general; one does not make an extended vacation of baseball without being something of an epicurean. Fittingly, this dork was a local, using the day as an excuse to get blotto, I would gather, long before the game started, a first for us.

That brings to mind something else, something I am loathe to add, given this is the principal team I follow and write big annual checks to: Tempe Diablo is old. It is cramped. It lacks a complete outfield, cutting off a couple thousand paying customers. It has almost no shade in the sun. The food choices seem outdated and inadequate. Maybe it's just me, maybe it's just Helen, but it really feels like this is a park accommodating the Angels as they were before Mike Scioscia, a second-rate team without a history or a following.

I'm not sure I want them to move, and in fact I have a real moral reservation against it. Moving, after all, implies Arizona taxpayers will almost certainly be on the hook for whatever glossy stadium comes up. But it does seem to me as though you can see the end for this stadium.

MLB Gameday

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