For our final game yesterday we returned to Scottsdale Stadium to watch the Giants take on the defending National League Champion Colorado Rockies. Last season, of course, the Rox put together an incredible late-season run (going 14-1 after September 16th) before getting swept in the World Series by the Boston Red Sox. The Rockies have what the Giants don't: young stud hitters or solid veteran power at almost every position around the diamond. Still, Sports Weekly doubts that Colorado can duplicate last year's surprising success. In their pre-Spring Training preview issue, analyst Paul White predicts that "Nothing can be as good as last September and October, and it won't be. The Rockies contend all year, but the pitching isn't good enough to get them into the playoffs."
This guy (with a Coach bag!) tracked every pitch thrown by Giants starter Pat Misch. This led to speculation among our crew that perhaps he was a White Sox scout looking at Misch as part of a possible deal for White Sox 3rd baseman Joe Crede. There's no question that Crede would probably add some much needed pop to the light hitting Giants lineup. However, most in the Giants Blogosphere feel that getting Crede is really just, er, spitting into the wind and that it doesn't make sense to give up anything of value to get him, as getting him won't significantly change the Giants fortunes this year.
Another truth about Spring Training is that Arizona -- even in early March -- is just really super warm and dry for a bunch of Bay Area visitors to take for extended periods. After the game on Sunday, we were all really hot and parched. Even hydrating like crazy only helps a little bit. I mean, it's great to visit (especially in March for baseball), but I don't know how people live down there year round, especially in summer. On our way back to the hotel to head for the airport, we found this weird little piece of public art: a "misting fountain" that casts cooling spray up from a horseshoe-shaped stone pit. It was a nice find, and we hung out there and cooled down after a long hot Spring Training day. Pictured below are Denny, Craig and Bill cooling off:
Our crew's final Spring record was an even 1-1-1 (.500). Which is much better than the Giants current Spring record of 3-9 (.250 - worst in the NL). Bottom line, the Giants have not played well so far this spring. However, if the Giants record were the reverse at 9-3 I can just hear the remarks of "well, it's only Spring Training" and whatnot. What does it all mean? Exactly nothing, at this point. I could make a big deal of pointing out that last year the Arizona Diamondbacks made the playoffs with just the 14th best offense in the majors and by winning 32 one-run games. But then, I am a bona fide cockeyed optimist.
What is certain is this -- we will be back next year. And the Dodgers still suck.