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Dodgers: Enjoying Spring Training Games – Even The Bad Ones

Rich Hill throwing a bullpen in Spring Training on March 3, 2019 (Photo Credit: Tim Rogers)

A few days ago we watched the Dodgers have a Spring Training meltdown when they gave up 8 runs in the 8th inning against the White Sox. Many Dodgers fans wanted the game to just end as the Dodgers put on an awful show. However, I still enjoyed the game and this article will explain my thoughts and some more great things about Spring Training.

The Games Don’t Count

Many of you who read this stress out during regular season games. Isn’t it nice to be able to watch a baseball game and not really care about the score? How nice is it to watch your favorite players after not having baseball for so long?

Gavin Lux at Spring Training on March 3, 2019 (Photo Credit: Tim Rogers)

Big Time Prospects

Almost every Spring Training game brings out some of the top prospects into a game. How cool has it been to watch Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin dominate on the mound? We’ve had the chance to see our young catchers, Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith, play quite a bit. Alex Verdugo has had a nice spring and seems poised to make the Opening Day roster. Gavin Lux has received plenty of playing time and we’ve seen some good things from him but also a possible weakness in his throwing. We read and hear about these prospects and what they can do, but it is great to either watch them in person or on a broadcast.

Lesser Known Prospects

For each game the teams bring on some players from the Minor League side of camp to play in the Major League games. I was told they get an extra $80 for those games. If you haven’t heard by now the minor leaguers do not get paid in Spring Training  (except for some meal money) and aren’t paid a salary until they are assigned to a team during the regular season. Those extra dollars can’t hurt. I’ve been able to watch the spring debuts of Jeter Downs (he’s making quite a name for himself these last few games) and Cody Thomas on the Major League diamond along with many Quakes from 2018. This is a time where their family might fly out to watch their chance to play with the big leaguers. To watch some dreams come true for these young players is awesome.

D.J. Peters heading out to a Spring Training workout on March 3, 2019 (Photo Credit: Tim Rogers)

Consider Going To A Game

Since there are a lot of games, it gives more fans a chance to get out to Spring Training and watch a game. Before the game you can watch the Dodgers get their workouts in on the side fields before going the actual game starts. There is a relaxed vibe at the games and you can get an excellent seat for a pretty decent price, especially compared to a regular season game. The drive is a bit long from Southern California but sometimes there are some great prices for flights it you like that option.

All the teams based in Arizona for Spring Training are within about a half hour of each other so if the Dodgers have a “road” game, they don’t have to travel very far and neither do you. They also have split squad games where they split into two squads and one plays at home while the other plays on the road. Sometimes one of the games is during the day while the other one is at night. There are some good opportunities to catch games over two days and get the full experience of a home and road game.


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Food

There are many excellent food options in Arizona. The crew at Dodgers Nation visited Chompie’s, Short Leash Hot Dogs and Rollover Doughnuts and Giordano’s Pizza during our trip there in early March. Personally, I also hit Waffle House twice that weekend. Our own FRG is a big fan of breakfast in Arizona and I agree. For those of us who have a certain addiction to a certain Southern California burger place, they have In-N-Out Burger in Arizona and have at least one decent chain of taco shops, Filiberto’s. They even have the alleged best burger joint according to some folks from Texas, Whataburger, so I tried it (it’s not close to the best).

Video Coverage

A negative about Spring Training is that the video coverage is spotty. It seems that over 50% of the games are televised either by the Dodgers or the opposing team so it’s better than nothing.  The Dodgers mix up the announcers a bit so this weekend we get Ned Colletti and Tim Neverett, Charley Steiner’s part-time replacement. As a side note, I’d like to see Alanna Rizzo get a shot in the booth. To be honest, is there any reason all these games shouldn’t be televised and available to all? Awful!

Final Thoughts

The Spring Training games are a great way to get baseball season underway. Enjoying it in person or on a video feed/TV is something I look forward to every season. It’s probably getting too late to plan for a trip to Camelback Ranch to watch a Spring Training game this year, but consider it for next year. For now I hope you can enjoy some stress-free baseball and watching some possible future Dodger stars. You need to watch the whole game though to see most of those prospects so I recommend watching all 9 innings. Of course, the games need to be available! Oh, by the way, the Dodgers will be playing in Southern California next Sunday. See you there?

Written by Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger

6 Comments

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  1. Great positive stuff Tim thanks, I moved to AZ 2 years ago and have enjoyed Spring Baseball the last two years. Downs looks to be a very good addition in an area the Dodgers were not as strong as other positions in the Minor Leagues.

    Verdugo has been very good, Pederson is having a really challenging Spring. They have given Rios, DJ Peters and Paulo Orlando quite a bit of playing time. Miller looks solid. And the Pitchers….When you watch the games you are struck with the incredible depth on the Farm and in the Majors the Dodgers have in Pitching. First people forget that Urias was touted as a #1 rotation pitcher before those injuries he has a 4 pitch repertoire and is throwing around 97. To have Urias, Stripling, Ferguson all with experience and as extras is amazing.

    Then you see talent like Gonsolin and May and the Dodger rotation is in great shape for the future. Plus there are others like White, Santana etc.

    The present and future look bright for the Dodgers.

  2. tmaxter, about the only concern so far really for me is the plan for a platoon at 2nd base. It’s an important middle infield position and to be honest Kike has earned the starting spot for now.

  3. The Dodger Spring training games were so good this weekend with Ned Colletti and Tim Neverette Announcing they are so knowledgeable about the players and their back grounds and the history about baseball hope to hear them together on T.V. I was very impressed. They both have a lot of history too.

    • Stephanie completely agree with you and Ned Colletti has saw a great feel and appreciation of talent. His team signed Puig, Urias and Seager in the same week in 2012 as he mentioned.

      Enjoy seeing some of the possible near and far futures for the Dodgers, Rios, Gonsolin, Downs and others.

      Garcia, Barnes and Gonsolin having great Springs.

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