In our full-timing travels we now have hit the preseason baseball ‘bifecta’ -- we have seen Spring Training games in both the Grapefruit League in Florida and now in the Cactus League here in Arizona.
On Monday we headed over to Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix for a game between the “visiting” Chicago White Sox and the “home” Milwaukee Brewers, an interleague rivalry of tremendous proportions among two of the three teams occupying space near the southwestern shoreline of Lake Michigan (the Chicago Cubs being the third).
As our hometown Detroit Tigers are training in Florida, we had to choose from those teams wintering in Arizona. We chose the White Sox as they are a divisional competitor of the Tigers. We saw the White Sox’s ace, Chris Sale, start the game and pitch as if he was in midseason form. That wasn’t a good sign for our Tigers. And that Adam Dunn who plays first base for the White Sox is just a behemoth of a guy.
It was an amazing weather day for baseball – thoroughly sunny with temperatures in the low 80’s. Fortunately we had seats in the shade. It was a pretty low energy affair. The ballpark’s announcer didn’t even introduce the batters as they came to the plate. The only between-innings activity was a race among various forms of sausages. They were probably also in Spring Training as the Milwaukee Brewers are reported to feature the best sausage dogs in all of baseball.
The Brewers rallied from three runs down in the bottom of the eight and tied the game only to be unable to hold the White Sox in check. The Sox scored three in the top of the ninth to take the victory 6-3. It was a bit tough getting really into the game as we were not fans of either team. But it was a great warm up for the regular season to be at the game singing, “Take Me Out To The Ballpark…..” during the seventh-inning stretch. The Tigers will open at home in Detroit on March 31. Given the weather of the North this year, we wonder if the ground will still be frozen and if it will snow during that first game.