We enjoy baseball games but the going to baseball games is not fun. Paying to park your car miles away from the stadium then paying exorbitant prices to watch the game is only part of the reason it has been a long time since our last baseball game. Another major reason has been the weather, you go early in the year and it will likely be cold and rainy. Late in the year and it will be hot and humid.
Now compare that to our experience on opening day of the Cactus League in Arizona. As you can see from the pictures the sky was blue and the temperature was in the low 70's. Our parking was free and just across the street from the 1st base entrance to the park. Our tickets were also significantly cheaper than at Royals stadium in Kansas City. We were told not to expect a big crowd since neither the Royals and Rangers are the big draw that the Cubs and the local team the Arizona Diamondbacks are so we were sure surprised when there were lines at the ticket windows. With the weather being so bad back in Kansas City maybe more people decided to come to the Phoenix area.
The larger than expected crowd also affected the concession stands which were running out of food and drink left and right. Now we have not paid concession stand prices for a long time so we do not know if this is out of order or just normal these days but Bob paid $6.50 for an italian sausage and peppers on a bun and $4.50 for a diet coke. If these prices are also much lower than what is paid at Royals Stadium then all we can say is WOW!!
Our first impressions of watching this game is that the Royals players seemed less developed physically than the Rangers; it looked like a pro team playing a college team to be honest. Rangers were 6'2" 225 lbs while the Royals looked like 5'10" 180 lbs. When the Rangers starters walked past us we thought we were looking at a football team while the Royals looked like soccer players. As the game progressed it took on the nature of batting practice except the poor Royals pitchers did not have the screen to duck behind. Also as the game progressed it became more apparent that the Rangers also had more talent top to bottom than the Royals. At the end of the game you could tell it had an impact on the announcer who announced the game summary as "for the Rangers 13 hits, I mean 13 runs 21 hits 2 errors", guess when he sees a double digit number it usually is hits and not runs.
The Royal still have Zack Greinke who pitched one the second day of Cactus League and the Royals won 4-2 at least temporarily wiping the bad taste out of their mouths due to the 13-3 shellacking on Opening Day.
We have really enjoyed our stay in the Phoenix area, the weather has been great, the park we are staying at is real nice, we have found great places to eat all of which will be documented in a future blog entry.
Till next time,
Bob & Jo
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