Pitchers and catchers report next month. Heck, just seven weeks today is the first game of Cactus League play. Man, I want just to stare at the picture above from now 'til then... But it's time to start planning the first couple of SnakePit social gatherings for 2013.
Tickets for the Diamondbacks' spring training games at Salt River Fields went on sale to all and sundry, so that means its time to get the wheels in motion for the annual SnakePit picnic on the outfield lawn. Sadly, this will not be able to involve cheering on SnakePit Foreign Favorite, Jeff Francoeur, because the game against his Kansas City Royals at SRF, takes place on a Wednesday afternoon, which is hardly optimum for most. [That said, the idea of following the Diamondbacks to Surprise for the March 23rd game does appeal - though from what I can see, there are no lawn seats available? Maybe Frenchie bought them all, to get himself a bit of peace...]
I've concentrated on the second-half of March, on the basis that we don't want to be watching the Arizona AnyoneKnowWhoThatIsBacks. There are three possible dates there, for games at Salt River Fields that are either on the weekend or in the evening:
- Sun, Mar 17 vs Los Angeles Dodgers, 1:10 pm
- Sun, Mar 24 vs. Seattle Mariners, 1:10 pm
- Tue, Mar 26 vs. Los Angeles Angels, 7:10 pm
I am leaning towards the latter two, but that's just maybe not wanting to hang out with hordes of Dodger fans (even though it'd only be from the third through the seventh innings...). The appeal of the Tuesday game is being out of the blazing heat of the afternoon: one of the worst cases of sunburn I ever had was the first time we went to a Cactus League game during the day. As we found out last year, it is just more far more pleasant in the evening. However, I appreciate if there is to be a Tucson contingent, a weekday night might be problematic, so if that's the case, I'll just lather up with the SPF eight billion and drink lots of liquids. Especially foamy, somewhat hoppy liquids...
This is completely informal, in the sense that it's just a case of everyone buying their own tickets for the outfield lawn and showing up on the day. Previous 'Fests have typically seen us congregate at the bottom of the berm in right-field, but we're flexible. There may be other get-togethers as and when desired - I think it was last year, that there was a 'charmer Spring Training Fest as well - and it's definitely one of the best months to live in Arizona, especially if you're a baseball fan. But, wait! There's more! For the World Baseball Classic will also be taking place, returning to our state for the first time since 2006.
For that, we need to be a bit more organized. The Salt River games are during the day in the week, so probably won't work, which means we need to be going to Chase - which doesn't have a lawn [poor planning there!] and requires actual tickets to be purchased. So we'll be doing a bulk package on that, and will be collecting money from people in due course, once single-game tickets are available. In the meantime,. we should first decide what game to attend: The weekend possibilities are:
- Sat, Mar 9 Canada @ Mexico 12:30 PM
- Sat, Mar 9 United States @ Italy 7:00 PM
- Sun, Mar 10 United States @ Canada 1:00 PM
Any preferences or thoughts? They all have pluses and minuses, it seems. USA vs. Canada would have the best line-ups, but I like the idea of seeing the Italian minnows in the biggest game of their lives. Meanwhile Canada vs. Mexico would likely be easier to get tickets, and provide a nice, low-impact i.e. "who cares?" kinda of afternoon, eh? Any of the three would likely be preceded or followed by a session at the Rose and Crown. Votes in the comments. Once some kind of consensus is reached, I'll throw up a PayPal button, for people to commit financially to showing up! For our usual bullpen seats, tix are $20 when bought on strips, so I'd expect maybe $25 for a single game.