Let me take you down, 'cause I'm going to Salt River Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Salt River Fields forever...
-- with apologies to Lennon and McCartney
Getting this one up early, in case anyone else is going and is interested in a meet-up somewhere. We'll be getting there about 12-ish, so as to give us time to walk around and take in the place [particularly Mrs. SnakePit, who has not yet been closer than the parking lot!] It's going to be a sell-out, so figure we should leave in plenty of time in case of unexpected chaos. The game is also going to be televised, on Fox Sports Arizona Plus: please see the previous post for details of the channels there. AZ line-up after the jump.
- Kelly Johnson 2B
- Gerardo Parra RF
- Stephen Drew SS
- Chris Young CF
- Geoff Blum 3B
- Wily Mo Pena LF
- Juan Miranda 1B
- Henry Blanco C
Aaron Heilman RHP
followed by Zach Duke, Mike Hampton, Juan Gutierrez, Micah Owings, Jordan Norberto, Brian Sweeney
The weather here in Phoenix is actually a bit gray this morning. They're expecting a temperature around game time of 60 degrees with a 20% chance of rain this afternoon, and almost guaranteed for later on tonight - hopefully, it'll hold back. Wouldn't be the best way to open the new park, with a rain-out. Did they check to make sure the stadium wasn't built on an ancient burial ground? From what I recall, that rarely ends well. Oh, well. If I'm not back by 7pm... Wait longer.
Gibson has switched most of the line-up out from yesterday; Pena is the only holdover, which is about what you'd expect at this point in spring training. The most interesting thing will be seeing Heilman as a starter. From what I can tell, it'll be his first appearance at all in that role since May 2005. [Edit: xmet says he started for the Cubs in the pre-season a couple of years back] That's one of the things about spring: while the likes of Joe Saunders can feel free to fiddle with their arsenal, try out new pitches, etc. those who are hoping for a job can't afford to do that. Heilman needs to come out of the gate with all guns blazing, and hopefully, throwing strikes.
We'll be back with a full report on the day's proceedings later; we may be heading off to see The Aquabats in Mesa tonight (if energy and enthusiasm holds up!), but should able to squeeze in a recap between that and the game.