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SnakePitSpringTrainingFest: March 9

The time has come to start thinking about dates for the annual get together on the lawn at Salt River Fields. And one date in particular...

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The schedule for spring games is really weird this year, with a 10-day gap in the middle, while the team heads Down Under for the opening contests against the Dodgers, then returning to Arizona for five more meaningless exhibitions, at Salt River and Chase Fields, before the rest of the regular season gets under way on April 1. This probably also explains why we're starting off our Cactus League play against the Dodgers on the February 26, rather than our traditional opener against the Rockies - Los Angeles will also be reporting early, to get their reps in before heading off down to Australia.

Assuming we were looking at a weekend contest, the options this year are rather limited: there's not a Saturday game at Salt River after March 1, which is disappointing. And on March 1, it's a pair of split-squad games: though I do like the idea of going to SRF in the evening, a split-squad game that early in spring training is more like watching a defensive line scrimmage, with jersey numbers mostly in the "illegal driving speed" ranges. I'd rather be yelling at people I know, thank you very much (speaking of which, in case you were wondering - and I know you were - Frenchie comes to SRF on the afternoon of March 12, which is a Tuesday, so that's right out).

Sundays were slightly better, I think, with two possible games: vs. the San Diego Padres on March 9, and the Milwaukee Brewers on March 16. Since we won't be around for the latter, the decision is thus simple and made for us. SnakePitSpringFest 2014 will be at Salt River Fields on Sunday March 9. Tickets are available here: it's $11 for a lawn seat, and since there's no assigned seating, everyone just buys their own. I would strongly encourage you to get in early, because there's a good chance weekend games at SRF sell-out, and if you end up having to buy spring training tickets from a scalper, you'll be sorry, and we will all have to laugh and point at you.

These are entirely informal get-togethers: you need no invite or formal RSVP. Previously, we have usually arrived early, and lurked low down on the lawn in right-field, and yelled absurdist heckles at whoever - on both teams - has the misfortune to play in front of us. Bring sun-screen, because it will be warm, and the dispensers at the top of the berm will likely run out. Bring water in the usual sealed plastic containers, because it will be warm. Bring a comfy cushion to sit on, because grass os less than pillowy once into the third hour. And did I mention it'll be warm? No, really: my worst Arizona sunburn ever came from my first spring training game, because I thought "It's March. How warm can it be?"

We'll probably end up going to various other spring games around the valley, one way or another, but this is the big one: so hope to see some of you there for that!