Monday, February 11, 2008

Welcome to Spring Training 2008


Well, it's about that time of year again. Pitchers and catchers report the day after tomorrow, and hold their first workout on Thursday. I am torn between thinking that this year flew by and thinking the off-season was just too damn long. Even though I spent October and November in Arizona going to 25 or so Arizona Fall League games and only had to go through December and January without baseball…….it still seems like a long time.

I came to Scottsdale a little early this year. I have been here since January 26th. It has been exceptionally cold here (for Phoenix). Yesterday was the first day to hit 75 degrees since Thanksgiving. There have been more days in the 50's than in the 60's and 70's since I have been here. I know that doesn't sound bad to those of you in cold weather locales…….but it is very cold for Phoenix. They have been running 10 degrees or so under average since I have been here. Apparently, Arizona didn't get the memo about Global Warming. Looks like it is warming up for Spring Training though as there are several days in a row forecast to be in the 70's. Of course it is predicted to drop down to 63 for the first workout on the 14th.

Once again I plan on attending most if not all of the Giants' practices and have tickets to every Giants Spring Training game (excluding away split squad games when the Giants are playing at home at the same time). I bought a new ultra-thin camera, so that should make it a little easier to haul the camera around and take photos. It only has a 7X optical zoom, whereas my other camera had a 12X zoom….but it is also a 7.1 megapixel camera whereas the other was only 4. I used the new camera on my Mediterranean trip during the off-season and it seemed to take really good photos……as long as I managed to hold the thing steady. I won't be able to get the close-ups that I could with the other camera, so I may end up alternating between the two. Although, I said the same thing on my vacation and after two days ended up using the ultra thin almost exclusively. It is just so darn easy to carry around.

I am going to try to provide as much "coverage" as I did last year. We have visitors due to stay with us for a little over half of the games in March, so I can't guarantee it. It depends on how things work out, how time consuming entertaining becomes and how drunk I get during the games in the days and restaurants/bars at night.

Throughout the Spring, feel free to comment by clicking on the "comments" link directly under each blog entry. I put the blog on "monitored comments" during the offseason so that I could try and avoid all the spammers that showed up. That means that right now if you leave a comment, I will have to approve it before it is actually published. I plan to take it off "monitored comments" once I am posting everyday and hope to leave it that way through Spring Training unless someone causes problems. The purpose of this blog is mostly to let Giants fans know what and how the team is doing. Not to mention that I will probably post more photos in one day than you will see in the press for the entirety of Spring Training. While I encourage you to comment on that day's activities and that day's player performance, I would appreciate it if this blog does not become yet another "the Giants suck" site. There are message boards and blogs galore devoted almost exclusively to bashing Brian Sabean, Peter Magowan and the 2005 through 2007 Giants teams. I would appreciate it if this blog did not go down that road. That doesn't mean you can't comment negatively about a specific player's spring performance…..….I know I will.

As in past years, if you would like to see a specific photo or subject addressed….just ask in the comments section. I will do my best to post photos of whoever you want to see. This site downsizes the photos for display in the blog……but if you click on the photo you will get a larger version. Feel free to save the photos and use them however you wish. I only ask that if you post it on another internet site, that you give me or this blog credit.

Well that's about it for introductions and ground rules. Welcome to Giants' Spring Training 2008.

GF9



31 comments:

rusto39 said...

Looking forward to another great spring. Thanks for all the information!!!

Anonymous said...

I have loved your blog ever since I discovered it a couple years ago and I look forward to your coverage of this spring too!

Juan said...

Hey GF9,

How about a shot of Franny's new guns?

Thanks for doing this again. It's really my favorite part of Spring Training.

cheers,

-chef

JMC said...

Fantastic - I can't wait to read all the daily updates. Here's my first photo request: Omar Vizquel - no not at the park, at a restaurant or something wearing some ridiculous sparkly or multicolored shirt. That's what I want to see.

Giantfan9 said...

Hey Chef...is that your dog? Cutest thing I have seen in awhile.

allfrank said...

Hello GF9. Is the photo from this year or last? Who is on hand now?

Giantfan9 said...

Hey jmc......sorry I wouldn't think of disturbing a player in a restaurant or when they are with friends and/or family. Not my style. I only bring my camera to the park. Unless I catch him coming to or from the parking lot......you will have to settle for "baseball" Omar.

I am a baseball fan....not a member of the paparazzi. ;-)

Giantfan9 said...

Hey allfrank.....last year. I haven't been down to the park yet this year. I doubt anyone is there and if they were......I don't think they would let fans in anyway.

Anonymous said...

Hey GF9 thanks for the blog again. If you see Jesse Foppert throwing, could you take a picture for me. Same goes for Merkin Valdez. Thanks

zito4cyyoung said...

Great to have this blog back...

You do a great service to Giants fans...

Pics of Rowand in black and orange and of course Timmy in action please.

zito4cyyoung said...

This blog is a welcome site! Thanks in advance for the great updates and pics...

Timmy in action pics and Rowand in black and orange!!

Anonymous said...

Great Job GF9!

I'm hoping to make it out this year for a bit! Your updates are always appreciated.

GO GIGANTES!!!

Big D said...

I am so glad to see you back, GF9. You rule!

JMC said...

GF9 - that's quite alright. I hope you know I was kidding (mostly).

Rockie said...

Your work in the spring is simply invaluable.

My heart raced a bit when I seen you let loose the first spot of the '08 season.

Going to be some great position battles for roster spots this season. Especially in the pen.

Thanx for sharing your experience once again!!

Todd & Tammy Cleek said...

Ah the first signs of Spring

Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing this again this year. I have you on my favorite sites and was so happy to see you're going to be here again for 2008! You do such an awesome job, pictures and descriptions. Thanks again it's so appreciated! God Bless you always!

shermanator said...

GF9 - great to have you back blogging - makes me feel like Spring is right around the corner. My first request for the ultra-slim (although it may crack the lens): Rags and Wilson buddy-buddy in the same frame.

Good Luck and have a great time!!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the detailed updates - and thank you again!!

Shawn said...

Finallyyy
I am so excited. I love your blog. Its the best way to get some hometown news all the way here in cold Boston

WalrusMan said...

Alright. I discovered your blog last year and I enjoyed it a lot.

A comment about your camera. If you blow the pictures up to around 177% you'll be at the same 4MP quality. That's about 12.5x zoom as well. So you can blow pictures up to around 150% of their size and have a better quality if you really wanted a closer shot. Otherwise the 7x will probably suffice for most times.

One request, by the end of Spring Training if you could find the best head on shot of every player (at least 25 man, maybe 40 man, and whatever else you've got) and post them. Living in WI without the TV to see them I don't know what kind of players we're talking about.

Giantfan9 said...

Hey Walrusnman,

I really don't know the technical intricacies of digital photography. I tried using the digital zoom on the new camera......and although the quality of the digital zoom seemed better than on 4MP camera...it was VERY hard to hold the camera still enough to get an in focus photo.

Are you saying that if I take the photos at the maximum optical zoom and blow the photos up via Photoshop...that it will have the same effect as using the digital zoom but will give me a better quality since obviously I won't have the "shaky photo" problem?

If I understand you correctly that is VERY good info. I did not know that.

GF9

Steveb said...

Hey GF8,

I'm looking forward to following your blog through spring training again this year. Your comments are great and I love the photos too, since I never get to see the players from my seat here in Tokyo.

danimal1730 said...

GF9 thanks so much for doing this every year. I read it religiously. You do a great job.

Jesse said...

I have been looking forward to your blog for months, thanks for being our eyes and ears down in AZ.

WalrusMan said...

Yes, that would be true GF9. The digital "zoom" in your camera is only the camera cropping the picture and blowing it up. The results can be replicated (and made better with a good photo editing program like Photoshop, even just Elements) in your computer. On all my cameras (and all the customers I sell cameras), I set the digital zoom to off. Too many people use it and then complain that the picture quality is bad. Say you use up your 2x optical zoom, you'll only have a 3.5 MP shot.

Kenn V said...

Great to see this starting back up. My biggest request is that you have fun. That really should be the point, and it shines through in your posts. Along with the great photos, your blog really makes me feel like I'm in AZ too. For little while at least.

TRAPPEDinLA said...

Hey GF9,

Thanks again for doing the blog, read it all of last year and thought you did a great job. Looking forward to it this year, and will be checking it often.

I'm looking into getting a new camera myself and liked the results of yours. Would you mind posting what camera you were using that gave the 7x zoom and 7.1MP? Thanks!

Giantfan9 said...

Hey Trappedinla

The camera is a Samsung L77. I got it because it had the highest optical zoom of any of the ulta compacts I saw. I really don't know a lot about photography, but it seems to take really good photos.

GF9

Keith said...

I always look forward to your ST updates. Thanks for keeping all of us hard-core Giants fans informed!

Keith

Mary said...

I love this blog!! I ran across it a couple years ago and have loved it ever since. I check it everyday after work. Makes me happy to have baseball back again!