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Spring Training: Cactus League Unplugged

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Well the Yankees are about where I expected as spring training moves into its midway point. With injuries already rearing their ugly head and a lot of growth needed, I am confident the Yankees will be competitive this year. And although I am used to following the Grapefruit League, this year, I had the opportunity to support teams out west in the Cactus League. So, if you bear with me, I will give you my take in Spring Training: Cactus League Unplugged.

Game 1: San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, home of the both the Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Absolutely beautiful ballpark with great energy on a Monday afternoon. An absolute picturesque day for baseball. 

The game had depth, with a ton of back and forth, trading spaces for the lead. What was particularly fun was that the Giants seemed more like the New York Mets with Michael Conforto, and J.D. Davis headlining. Also present was the Panda himself Pablo Sandoval

It was a treat to see Kris Bryant at first base. He hit a bomb to give his team the lead for a time. The Rockies did eventually push through with a 12-10 win. And yes, you could not only get a sausage sandwich and a bag of peanuts but a fruit stick- literally just that, fruit on a stick.

Game 2: Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ- aka little Wrigley Field. What a different experience. The field was outstanding giving it a Chicago feel in the middle of the desert. Chicago Dogs and Vienna Beef were plentiful. 

And on deck for all to enjoy was former Yankee Mike Tauchman who launched one out to the fences and gave the Cubs the lead in a tightly matched game. Alson the roster was Cody Bellinger, Dansby Swanson and former Met Dom Smith. For the Angels, yes, I believe he knew I was coming and performed exactly as I would expect- Aaron Hicks. What did he do you ask- struck out looking. Yep, I heckled. No, I am not ashamed. 

I enjoyed a Chicago Dog, a tour of little Wrigley, including roof top seating and some interesting beers. The staff could not have been more accommodating, thanking me for coming out. 

I drove past a few other parks including Diablo Stadium in Tempe, home of the Angels, which has some charm according to the locals. On the outskirts of Arizona State University, the park totes images of Mike Trout around campus, hoping to drive in some college students to its old school abode.  

Spring Training Cactus League style was a unforgettable experience. And although I wish I was in Florida visiting the Yankees, it was interesting to see how the other half or so lives out west. As we move into the midpoint of spring training, I am getting excited for what’s ahead. Will the Yankees jump out ahead? Will they gel? Will they stay healthy? Answers for another time but the anticipation is amazing- I hope this feeling lasts. 

–Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Senior Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof


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