JLaff's big freakin' Spring Training diary

This year I took my first trip to Spring Training, which coincided perfectly with my Spring Break. I took around 1500 pictures in all over four days, and had an amazing time. I'm definitely going back next year, although probably driving instead of flying and relying on walking/public transportation.

These were my first A's games with my new Olympus E-Volt E500... and the pictures came out amazing!

Sunday vs. Seattle

I learned one thing right off the bat - old people are honest. When I got on the shuttle that morning to go to the airport, there was a little old lady in the van as well. A little while later, we picked up a girl about my age. As the girl was walking to the van, the old lady said to me, "If she's cute, I'll let her sit next to you. If she's ugly, she can sit next to me." I had no idea how to react.

The girl came, and she was pretty cute. The old lady stiffed me and had the girl sit by her. So not fair.

Anyway, after I flew to Phoenix and checked into my ghetto Motel 6 room (I am a starving college student, after all), I was finally ready to see what I've been missing all these years.

It was magnificent. Something just felt right as I walked into Phoenix Muni. There was an old-timey baseball song playing as the A's were taking batting practice. The sun was glowing, warm enough to be comfortable, but not hot enough for me to be sweating like Joe Blanton all game.

Spring Training does feel more intimate than games at the Coliseum. For one, the ushers are one hell of a lot nicer. I have taken to referring to most major league ushers as "Ticket Nazis." I understand that they're trying to do their job and keep the bleacher riff-raff out of the good sections, but I have been treated pretty rudely when just trying to get a picture or two of the starting pitcher in the bullpen before the game.

Anyway, ushers at Phoenix Muni were nice almost to a fault. It was a refreshing change to hear, "Oh, let me get out of your way!" when trying to get a picture between innings. With things other than photos, ushers were pretty hospitable. They looked like they really loved to be there.

Anyway... here are some of Sunday's pictures, in no particular order:
Swisher & Buck (and Larry Davis)




More Buck

Donnie Murphy

Conner Robertson


View the rest of that game's photos here.

Monday vs. Colorado

Gaudin in the bullpen

Kendall and Buckley

Gaudin in-game

Chavvy and Piazza after Eric's HR



Jay Marshall

End of game

See the rest of the gallery here and Rockies pictures here.

Tuesday - Tour of Chase Field, Phoenix

View the gallery if you're interested, here. A couple pictures A's fans might like:

An ad with Byrnes

Even this guy gets his own ad!

Wednesday vs. Los Angeles of Anaheim

Jay Witasick

Uh, who's pitching?


Swisher in high socks (he pulled them back down for the game)

Kurt Suzuki

Durazo throwing... luckily, he was unharmed

Haren in the bullpen

Haren pitching

Pizza man


The rest of the gallery is here.

That's all. I had a great time and am looking forward to going next year!

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