Sunday, March 28, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Spring Training baseball offers the best of the Big Leagues, plus you get perfect weather, small, intimate ballparks, and the chance to see favorite players and young up-and-comers up close.
And, it's affordable.
Unless you want to see the Dodgers, that is.
For most of the teams that hold camp in Arizona, you can snag a ticket behind home plate for as low as $17, although $23 is more typical. If you don't mind sitting on the lawn in the outfield, you can watch a game live and have a picnic for $5 or $6.
But for the Dodgers, be prepared to pay $42 to $47 -- PLUS Ticketmaster's "convenient" extra fees -- for the top tickets. And the "cheap" seats on the lawn behind the outfield wall? $10-12.
Here's a comparison of ticket prices behind home plate for the Cactus League's clubs:
- Colorado $17
- Arizona $18
- Milwaukee $21
- Oakland $21
- Cleveland/Cincinnati $23
- Seattle/San Diego $23
- Texas/Kansas City $23
- San Francisco $24-30
- Chicago Cubs $28-30
- Angels $29
- Dodgers/White Sox $42-47
But just because you play in a new ballpark (Camelback opened for business last spring), does that mean you have the green light to charge double what many other teams charge?
Sure, it can be argued that Dodgers Cactus League tickets are affordable -- but that's only by comparison to the prices they charge at Dodger Stadium.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
He will be remembered by many for his role as Jim Phelps on the TV series Mission: Impossible, but Peter Graves will also be recalled for another equally famous character he played.
Graves went from dramatic actor to straight-faced comedian when he took the role of Captain Clarence Oveur in the comedy classic, Airplane! It was a role that put him at the controls of Trans American flight "two-zero-niner" along with co-pilot Roger Murdock, played by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Graves died Sunday at his home in Pacific Palisades, California. He was 83.
Here's a look at the famous take-off scene, with Captain Oveur and Murdock having some degree of difficulty with each other's names.
He's got four World Series rings, and even pitched four no-hitters, including the rarest of all feats, a perfect game.
Few "men" could connect against Koufax, but at least one "individual" had him figured out -- a horse.
In the 1963 episode "Leo Durocher meets Mister Ed", Wilbur and Ed pay a visit to Dodger Stadium, and Ed shows off by hitting an inside the park home run off Hall of Famer Koufax.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The fans like the Cactus League, the teams like the Cactus League, and Ticketmaster and Tickets.com just LOVE the Cactus League.
During Spring Training, you can still get good tickets for most teams for much less than the cost of regular season games. But just like the regular season, both ticketing agencies will be sure to extract a hefty sum from your wallet.
So although you can buy a ticket with a face value of as low as $6 (lawn seats), be prepared to tack on some sizable fees.
Here’s the REAL cost of your tickets.
Using an example of a high-end ticket for the Dodgers -- a $42 seat behind home plate for the Dodgers -- you’ll have to add a $4.50 convenience fee. Then add a $2.50 charge to print your own ticket (unless you want to pay considerably more for UPS delivery). AND don’t forget your $3 order fee. So your $42 ticket really costs $52.
What’s that? You want to pick up your ticket at the Will Call window? Sorry. The Dodgers and White Sox don’t offer that option. You’ll have to pay to have your ticket delivered whether you like it or not.
Total cost of having to do business with Ticketmaster: an extra 23.8% on top of the ticket face value.
Pricing out a Tickets.com simple $6 lawn seat for the Padres, you’ll have to add a $1.50 convenience fee and a $3 order fee. In other words, Tickets.com just added on an extra 66% to the cost of your ticket.
On a $23 ticket, your convenience fee is $4, plus the $3 order fee. So Tickets.com is “only” taking an extra 30.4% on top of face value.
And remember, this is assuming you pick your ticket at the Will Call window at the stadium. But Tickets.com will try to convince you to use their “print at home” feature for an extra $2.25.
Oh, and did you want insurance? Tickets.com will try to sell you that too. Pay $6, and you MIGHT be able to get your money back -- if the reason for canceling your tickets is covered.
Monday, March 8, 2010
This man signing autographs at the Cincinnati Reds' training camp was a member of one of baseball's great dynasties - "The Big Red Machine".
George Foster -- "The Destroyer" as he was known during those days -- is a five-time All-Star, has two World Series rings, and was the Major Leagues' home run leader in 1977 and 1978.
He was a key member of the Big Red Machine, along with Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion, and Ken Griffey Sr. With skipper Sparky Anderson at the helm, they dominated the National League in the 1970s.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Peoria Sports Complex -- home of the Mariners and Padres:
Today's Cactus League results:
Cubs (ss) @ White Sox ... RAINED OUT
Dodgers @ Cubs (ss) ... RAINED OUT
Rangers @ Indians ... RAINED OUT
A's @ Angels ... RAINED OUT
Padres @ Mariners ... RAINED OUT
Giants @ Royals ... RAINED OUT
Reds @ Brewers ... RAINED OUT
The last time there were rainouts in the Cactus League? 2006.
It's an unusual day in the desert.
Here's hoping it lets up by first pitch at 1:05 at the Peoria Sports Complex. Looking forward to this afternoon's game between the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.
Stopped by Phoenix Municipal Stadium to check up on the Oakland A's this morning, at their morning practice. Love the location of the stadium, set in Papago Park. Very scenic backdrop.
Photos to come.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Fifteen clubs flock to Arizona for this time-honored annual event, and with them, come baseball fans from across the country.
Restaurants, hotels, car rental companies and other merchants cheer the arrival of the teams, their fans, and visiting journalists. If you're in the service industry in Arizona, March is like Christmas.
This year, the Cactus League welcomes a new arrival - the Cincinnati Reds.
Until now, the Reds had been a member of the Grapefruit League, setting up camp in Florida each year.
But now they're sharing the new complex in Goodyear with their cross-state rival, the Cleveland Indians.
The Indians were one of the original clubs to begin play in Arizona. In 1946, they, along with the New York Giants, were the first teams to move west.
Cleveland began play that year in Tucson at Hi Corbett Field. In 1993, they departed for the Grapefruit League, but last year returned to Arizona, to the then brand-new Goodyear Ballpark.
With the arrival of the Reds, the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues are now evenly split - 15 teams a piece.