Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day One - Baseball is Back (Finally)

Well, folks. It's here. Baseball is finally back. It seems like years since the last time I was in the stands, taking in all the sights and sounds of baseball. To me, the off-season always seems to be excruciatingly long. I can't imagine how long it must seem to most of you, who don't have the opportunity to attend baseball games in October and November via the Arizona Fall League. Must seem like forever. Apparently, Felipe Alou is another person who couldn't wait for baseball to begin. I know he is a Spring Training regular, but I didn't expect to see him on day one.

It is still cold here (for Arizona). I was up and out of the condo at 9:00 am, even though I thought all I would be seeing at that time was stretching and running drills. But at least it's baseball. I got to the park about 10 minutes into the preliminary stretching. Come to find out, that the Giants are now doing their running and conditioning AFTER practice instead of before as in past years. Anyone considering coming out to a practice, get there early. I would say the drills began at about 9:20 or so. Today the Giants completed the day's drills, took 2 rounds of patting practice for the catchers, did their running and conditioning and were off the field by 11:40 am.

The Giants have one of the smallest camps in recent memory. They passed out a roster of all players in camp and I counted only 58 players. Seems like last year there were 65 or so and the year before there were well over 70. Sheer numbers should also help keep the practices shorter. I didn't see a large number of position players around. The only ones I saw were Fred Lewis, Aaron Rowand and Kevin Frandsen. Most early arrivals just hit. I think Rowand just hit in the cages today. Towards the end of the practice, while the pitchers were running, Kevin Frandsen took a ton of ground balls at 2B on the half field. This field is way in the back and I could just barely see the 2B area through an open gate. I was unable to get any photos.

Surprisingly, I did not see Pablo Sandoval, even though he is listed as a catcher on the roster they passed out. Someone told me they got a glimpse of him taking balls at 1B on the practice field, but I didn't see him. With the need for catchers early in Spring Training (there are 4 non-roster catchers in camp) and the talk about Pablo being a 3rd catcher on the team this year, I was very surprised that he wasn't working out with the pitchers and catchers. Seems strange.

I think I will keep it relatively short today. I took many more photos than are posted here, but I generally just try and pick out a good overview day by day and try not to repeat the same players too much. As in past years, if you request photos of a certain player, I will try and fill your request. Obviously, I can't post all 182 photos I took, or even close to that many.

I am also going to re-post a post that I wrote last year explaining the layout and limitations of the stadium and facility. It's starting to cloud up in Scottsdale now, hopefully the weather will allow for a full workout tomorrow.

8 comments:

Ralpus said...

Who is that chubby guy behind Felipe Alou?

Giantfan9 said...

Just part of the stadium staff.

Anonymous said...

I love Felipe.





Ginger

Anonymous said...

I just have to say thank you. Today it is cold and rainy in the Bay Area. Your posts today made the day 100% better.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Appreciate the Giants info - especially about the kids.

Anonymous said...

ya thats a tun for the updating. Im from Montana and this is gotta be the best the way to get Spring Training Info

Will said...

Sandoval was definitely there, just not working out. I caught him for an autograph around 11:00.

manipaha said...

Glad you are there taking photos