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?
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.
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.
Top Stories at Dodgers Nation
- Yasiel Puig Has Bitter Words for the Dodgers
- Manny Machado Is Already Counting The Padres Out
- Dave Roberts Talks Dodgers Opening Day Starter, Kershaw Unlikely
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).
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!
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?