Sunday, February 15, 2009

Layout of Scottsdale Stadium Practice Facilities

I wanted to compose a post to let people know the layout and limitations of the practice facilities at Scottsdale Stadium. That way you have some sort of idea of what I can do and what I can't do as far as observing players and taking photos.

The site includes 2 full fields. The main stadium field and a practice field. The practice field is behind that screen on the right side of this photo, beyond the RF corner. If you click on it to get the larger version of the photo, you can see the outfield fence of the practice field behind that screen. If you get right up against the fence and screen in the far right of this can sort of kind of see what is happening on the practice field......but you can not make out detail and you certainly can't take decent photos. There is an area behind the raised patio area you see in the photo that is called the "gang pitching mounds". It is simply 8 mounds and 8 plates strung out side by side so that 8 pitchers can throw their bullpen sessions at the same time (that's why so many catchers are invited to Spring Training). Further back behind the gang mounds is a practice infield (no outfield, just the infield). Players can take ground balls and practice bunting on this field. The batting cages are located behind the open gate you see located directly under the patio.

The raised patio provides a PERFECT observation deck from which to watch activity happening on the practice field and the gang mounds. The problem is......the Giants allow fans to observe practices from the main stadium along the 1B line.......only. Not only can't you go up on the patio......but you also can't go on the 3B side of the stadium or in the outfield. Therefore it is impossible for me to get photos of the pitchers throwing bullpen sessions or of any activity occurring on the practice field. Not to mention the fact that my photos of players batting will always show the back of left handed hitters and the front of right handed hitters.

The Giants tend to use a kind of "seniority" system when deciding who practices on what field. The youngsters (or non-25 man roster types) tend to practice on the practice field, while the veterans tend to practice on the main field. Two of the biggest requests for photos in past years have been for pitchers throwing and for young players. I will try my best, but unless they practice on the main field.......I will not be able to get their photos. Also, I can get photos of pitchers soft tossing, but I will not be able to get photos of them actually pitching until live batting practice starts ...probably around the middle or end of next week.

That's about it. I just wanted people to know the physical layout and the restrictions the Giants have placed on the fans. So if you make a request for photos of a specific player and I don't get it for you, doesn't mean I am disregarding you. It just may be that the limitations of the facility and the rules enforced by the Giants make it impossible for me to actually get the photo you ask for.


Anonymous said...

Great job as usual GF9!.

Those new throwback uni's are pretty sweet.

Giantfan9 said...

I actually don't like them. They look like high school uniforms. I like the cap though.

Juan said...

Hey GF9,

Have you considered trying to get a press pass? Not for the clubhouse or anything, but for a little more freedom for you to wander about. Could be worth it.

Thanks for what you do. We all love it!

Jesse said...

Hey Giants Fan,

I live in Scottsdale, and wondered if the Giants had ever practiced or ever practice at the field on the corner of Hayden and Camelback? The facility is right behind my apartment, and I tend to work out at the gym connected to it, and there are signs that point to the field and say "Giants players and personnel only" Just curious to see if you knew.

Thanks for your help!

Jeff Fletcher said...

Nice photos. Makes me feel like I'm there.

I put a link to you on my blog...

Jeff Fletcher said...

Hey Jesse, I can tell you the Giants used to work out there all the time, and now it's their minor league facility. The minor leaguers will be there for most of March.

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