Monday, April 6, 2009

Wheels Up

I've got one last post in me before I rejoin the real world. After 3 years we finally found the best way to transport the John Jacobson Memorial Edit Suite*.

An extension cord and the new wheels is all we need. Finally a good use for that stupid thing. The original idea was to have Curt drive while I rode shotgun, but apparently he thought he was better served going to Minnesota with the team. Dumbass, nailing morons on the freeway with my "trailer" is going to be awesome!

But alas, it was just me bringing home the memorial edit suite. I think I finally found a way to get rid of that stupid thing, cut the cord!!

Well, that's that for spring training**. Who knows what's next for this blog and the moron in charge of it. But for what it's worth, it's been a fun 3 years that I can relive thanks to the power of the internet because for some strange reason most of my memory is pretty hazy! I really have to thank the 2 people*** who encouraged me to start this 3 years ago, without them and their curiosity as to how I was going to survive spring training this never would have happened. For everyone else hope you at least got a couple laughs out of it, since I rarely hear from anyone I can only judge my work by how many times I make Dan and Curt laugh. Contrary to what Curt thinks**** writing the blog and hearing their reaction is the highlight of my morning.

With that I bid the blog farewell and some of you I'll see around the office, for the rest of you don't be strangers.


* No edit systems were harmed in the making of this blog.

** For those curious nothing that exciting happened on the trip back. I got to visit my brother and his lovely wife in California for a couple days and finally see their house. Apparently I'm a natural at Tiger Woods for Wii as in my first 5 rounds I had 2 double eagles and a hole in one, that's right Paul you got some practicing to do! Also got to see my aunt and uncle while I was there. I wish there was something more exciting to report, but sadly that isn't the case.

*** They know who they are and they are modest (well at least one is!) so I'll keep their identities secret. But again, thanks!

**** First off, I know it's a surprise Curt thinks. Curt actually thinks the highlight of my morning is picking which hockey team he should gamble on. While it's fun, that's alot of pressure! After our nights the last thing I need early in the morning is pressure.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

We're Live! Here People

After threatening all month to do so, today we finally got around to appearing on the Geoff Baker Live! webcast. If you blinked you missed us. But I'm here to provide proof. That's right, we're dorks!

Fooled 'Em Again

Another spring training in the books and we're all leaving relatively healthy and sane. Well, as healthy and sane as we arrived. Which as many of you know wasn't really the case to start with.

As Curt likes to say we fool everyone by pulling off this show everyday. You don't see the chaos behind the scenes everyday just the polished product on the air each night. Most days this show is held together with gaffer's tape and bubble gum. Between me and Curt throwing tapes, Jen and Nicole voicing highlights, Chris and Vocht* running tapes to feed, and Dan doing, well, whatever it is Dan does it's a miracle this show ever gets on air. Even though you'd think we'd have it down to a science after three years something new pops up every day to throw a monkey wrench into the works.

So how do you celebrate the final night in Peoria?

That's right start with the 3 liter** beer tower***. You haven't really lived until you've downed a beer tower. I don't really remember the rest of the night but I do remember waking up to this.

Just kidding. That is a months worth of show post postmortems. Each show takes so much out of us we have to unwind somehow. But you can tell we don't completely forget about our bodies as there are a couple gatorades sprinkled in there.

So now it is back to the cold northwest for a harsh blast of reality. Oh good!! See you all soon.

Editors note: Usually this would be the last post of the year but because I'm driving back this year there is the possibility something may show up in this space in the next couple days. So stay tuned.

* That is definitely one guy you don't want to get in the way of when he's running.

** Litre for our Canadian friends.

*** Or as I dubbed it, "The Beer Tower of Regret" or "The Beer Tower of Bad Decisions".

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Last Call

Today started off with some terrible news as Chris Shelton has been sent down to minor league camp. How can I possibly be expected to work when Shelly is no longer here? I thought this team was trying to win!

We'll just have to try and power through the last couple days down here. I'm sure we can somehow manage but it will be difficult.

Luckily Vocht brought a smile to my face minutes later when he got hit by baseball outside the practice field. That guy is priceless!

Yesterday we got our first glimpse at Goodyear and what a facility it is. An informal straw poll taken in our press box says it is our favorite stadium on the circuit.

After another grueling day toiling in the Arizona sun we headed to Thunderbird for our last hike there. I powered through the big loop in a shade over an hour (1:04) which was about 10 minutes better than my previous best. Who knew you could get in shape by actually going out and doing stuff? Weird.

Having done our daily exercise we decided to reward ourselves with a final trip to the Guilty Skirt. I know I said I was done with yesterday, but it's been such a big part of our lives since we've been down here that we felt obligated to at eat there one last time and say goodbye. Of course as things often work out our favorite waitress wasn't even working last night so the plan pretty much fell flat.

Dan and I decided that if we were going to say goodbye to the Skirt we owed it to ourselves to also say goodnight Moon.* So we ventured across the parking lot to the Moon and guess what happened? Again our favorite waitresses weren't working, so apparently Tuesday night is not Friday night in Peoria.

One last day to savor the sights and sounds of spring training. Can we just skip the game and get to enjoying our last night out? That's definitely what I'm looking forward to the most.

Stupid work getting in the way.

* Ha, I crack me up.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First Casualty of Spring

Monday was a pretty big day down here in Arizona. So big in fact that I'm lifting the freeze for "He who shall not be named"!

First off we headed down to Maryvale to see the Brewers and Mariners in action. Don't worry no bomb threats this year. The only thing imploding here was the Mariners bullpen. For what feels like the umpteenth time the last 2 years Lindbergh's own David Riske did not pitch. That brings the total times we've seen him in spring training to 1 inning in 3 years and give or take 10 games. Not all was lost as I did see him as he stretched with the team prior to the game. Also not in attendance Bob Eucker. That severly cut down my Mr. Belvedere jokes. The most entertaining part of the game was "Hwsnbn" route to the ball park. His gps got him not only lost but told him to take back to back u-turns. Yeah, try and wrap your head around that one!

After the Mariners game Paul, Dan, and I decided to take advantage of our last chance to see the Coyotes in action. We asked "hwsnbn" if he would like to join us but he declined. That was an awful decision on his part but more on that in a moment. This blog is first and foremost about me so let's get back on track.

This was our fourth Coyotes game and Dan was openly rooting for a shootout. I wouldn't have minded but I wouldn't say I was openly rooting for it. Once again the Coyotes disappointed us. Just kidding. They won on a power play goal in overtime 6-5. So Close!!

This is a picture of the actual overtime goal. As you can tell the people behind the goal were riveted... to their seats! Who says hockey can't work in Arizona?! On a good note, Shane Doan had a goal and an assist while Ed Jovanovksi chipped in an assist. Coyote fans might want me to start this blog in October next year seeing how the team has played since I started following them closely.

After the game we headed over to Saddleback Ranch for some post game celebratory beers. Again I couldn't convince Dan or Paul to ride the mechanical bull. Of course after the first display we saw on the bull I don't blame them. There was no following that, so we settled on drinking beers. Unfortunately we might have slightly overdone it. I know hard to believe. At least we didn't end up like this guy.

Yes, that is my college hero Ryan Leaf being led out of Montana bar. I have yet to stoop that low. Good to see he is still enjoying life though!

So Vocht decided to stay home and miss the fun of hockey which turned out to be a terrible decision*. During the 2nd intermission Dan got a text from him saying there had been a minor accident at the condo.

Doesn't look minor to me Vocht! He claims he was innocently typing at the dining room table when the table collapsed under the weight of a beta deck, monitor, and 2 laptops. Believe him if want. He then went to Walgreens to pick up some bandages for his seeping wounds and the clerk asked him "who was shot?". That's how good our neighborhood is!

Today we make our first ever journey to Goodyear to see the Indians. First impressions say it might be the best ballpark in the cactus league.

Now if they could just get rid of those pesky people from Cleveland!** Back to work, I'm a little behind today. Some would say I'm not prepared to work.

* Skipping any hockey game is a terrible decision in my opinion.

** Just kidding Todd!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Final Countdown

4 days to go and I've got to say I'm ready to be done. Sure the weather is nice but the overall toll spring training takes on my body takes a good 11 months to recover from.

Sadly there isn't a whole lot to update from the days I missed blogging. After hitting it hard Thursday night (maybe too hard) no one was really that motivated to do much Friday night. So we went out for the tourney games but I was about done before the Zags game even started. Apparently I wasn't the only one sleepwalking through the game as the Zags played just as crappy as I felt.

Saturday I got a visit from my brother and his wife. After a big breakfast we headed to Phoenix and the red-clad Tempe Diablo Stadium home of the Angels. The Mariners pitchers decided not to make the journey as they got spanked, which would be a theme for the weekend. Can't complain about the weather though as it was a beautiful day to watch a game that took 2 and a half hours to play 4 innings. In a move strange for spring training afterwards we went to the botanical gardens in Papago park. Yeah, plants and some glass fixtures. That was fun...

Speaking of not fun, my brother wanted to see the Guilty Skirt. Talk about bad times. Not only did it take 15 minutes to get served, but it was pretty lame. I hate to say it but I may be done with the Kilt. Strange that it works out we only have a couple days left down here.

Sunday brought the return of "The Iginitor" to Peoria Stadium. In true ignition fashion he made 2 outs in the same inning as the Royals batted around. Needless to say hopes are high for '09 Mariners as the pitching staff really seems to have it dialed in.

Today is old home day as we're in Renton south (Maryvale) and I've already seen David Riske. Guess I ought to work.

God I wish I was going to Disneyland.

Friday, March 27, 2009

10 Feet From Greatness

Something must've been wrong with us because I remember us being highly motivated to power through the show Thursday. Now I'm not saying we don't care about the show normally, just Thursday we seemed to care more than normal. Now why would that be? Oh yeah, to get out to watching basketball and perhaps a little drinking.

Unfortunately trying to rush through a show can also raise the tensions and I may have threatened to physically harm Dan during the show feed. Luckily alcohol is a great mender of fences*.

After feeding the show we headed over to McDuffy's for some basketball and some off track betting. Curt really is a degenerate. Dan and I stuck to just drinking, watching basketball, and mocking Curt's dead last horse choices!**

Also at McDuffy's KIRO was hosting their spring training show which lead to a pretty good story. This requires a flashback. So back we go to Wednesday when Curt and I hiked/ran Thunderbird. With about 3/4 mile to go I passed this little blonde and made a mental note that she was pretty cute at least what little I saw as I ran past her while trying to hold down my pancake breakfast. We never saw her come off the trail as she took another path to a different parking lot. Well back to Thursday at McDuffy's, Shannon Drayer comes up to me and asks why I didn't say hello at Thunderbird. Oh, whoops!

One of the guests on the spring training show was the Chris Shelton. Unfortunately we left just before the show started so he was still eating with his family and we decided it probably wasn't in our best interest to bother him. Later in the night I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have made the same decision. The perfect photo op would have to wait.

After leaving McDuffy's we headed over to the Guilty Skirt***. Suprisingly the biggest douche at the bar wasn't Jeff Weaver**** but rather this guy rooting for Duke. Needless to say the rest of the bar took lots of enjoyment in rooting for Villanova. Nothing like shutting up a douchey dukie.

Having not had enough after basketball we crossed the parking lot to the Moon Saloon*****. While we're sitting at the bar in comes this tall gangly dork wearing a Missouri hat and football jersey. I was just about to tell Curt get a load of this douche, when it I realized holy crap I know that guy!! It was J.D. Preuss. That's right, the Pru-dawg was in the house. I didn't really get to ask him what he was doing there. But seeing that it was 10:30 in a bar I'm probably pretty safe in assuming drinking was on the agenda.

Today is gonna hurt. But we gotta support the Zags right?

* Sure too much may lead to tearing those fences back down but those are the risks.

** To be fair he somehow ended up about even, we're not quite sure how.

*** What?!?! They have great HD bigscreens for watching sports and better food.

**** Yes, that Jeff Weaver who went 7-13 with a 6.20 ERA in 27 starts with the 2007 Mariners.

***** What?!?! They wear the tank tops because it is hot in Arizona. Don't blame us.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mmm, Pancakes

Wednesday was the last off day here at spring training. Strangely it didn't rain which seems to be a common theme on our off days. It did however allow us to sit around and do very little other than tie up a few loose ends around the booth.

My favorite part of off days is that we always go out for breakfast. Nothing like pancakes* to work off the activities of the night before. Just writing this now is making me hungry! I swear, just slather me in syrup and I'd be forever happy.

The only negative to my love of breakfast is that it puts me in a pancake coma afterwards. I can only watch so many episodes of Parental Control before I feel like I have to get off the couch and actually do something. So Curt and I decided to work off breakfast with a trip to Thunderbird.

Not the smartest of ideas. A) We decided to go in the heat of the day. B) The aforementioned pancakes. Ouch!! I felt like garbage but made it all the way around, though I lost to Curt for the first time so that was a bit disappointing. Had I been pulled over on the trail though I'm sure I would have failed a breathalyzer, no way my BSC (Blood Syrup Count) was under the legal limit. I'm pretty sure it's not a good sign when maple syrup is oozing out of your pores.

The rest of the day was pretty tame. Gotta rest up for the final week push to the finish. Although at dinner Dan did admire a guy's Michigan State Champ's Sports Bowl hat. Loser.

Some of you may have read about this attack in an Arizona bar. No worries, none of us were harmed. Though I haven't seen Allard in 2 days.

* Or french toast, or waffles, or scrambled eggs, or well you get the point!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dan is Just One of the Idiots*

What did I say before about how I felt towards spring training double headers? Oh yeah, I hate them! Well, we had another one Tuesday and we found the solution to getting through game 2. Alcohol.

Before we get to all that happened in game 2, and believe me alot happened, let me take a second to talk about the afternoon game. Chris Shelton had 3 hits (2 doubles). Only one of which I saw (the bloop single, yeah me!) Okay, that's enough about baseball.

After cranking out the Tuesday and Wednesday shows Lil' Kid, Jen, and I headed to Glendale for Mariners/Dodgers game. Technically we were still working as I had to deliver a tape to Curtis (more on that jerk later) for the game broadcast. It was on the ride over that Jen said Dan was just one of the idiots meaning the male species. I don't know whether to take that as a compliment that I wasn't named or offended that apparently I'm not even part of the human race. Dan then proved his idiocy by trying to take a shortcut that completely backfired**.

As we walked into the stadium we were greeted by the p.a. announcer saying: "Ladies and Gentlemen throwing out the first pitch for tonight's game is the captain of the Phoenix Coyotes Shane Doan!" I won't lie I almost fainted. A smart guy would have been better prepared for the situation, I'm not that guy.

With my heart still aflutter we went and got our first beers of the game and some dinner. Before we could even make it to our seats Manny Ramirez cranked out his first homer of the spring. Why can't all spring training games be like this?!

When we finally got settled Jen and I got into two epic arguments. The first being who should be the backup first baseman. I of course am in the Chris Shelton camp. She is president of the Mike Sweeney fan club. Her flimsy argument is Sweeney provides better clubhouse leadership because Shelton never talks. My rock solid belief is that winning cures all clubhouse ails so you keep the guy hitting .500 because it gives you the better chance to win. I'm pretty sure I came out on top, but really are there any winners when you are arguing about who should be the Mariners backup first baseman? I didn't think so.

The second one came as we began our next beer and a certain basketball team sat in front of us.

Yes, that's the Purdue basketball team. Jen was upset saying that it should've been the Huskies and not Purdue in Glendale for the regional finals. I on the other hand was more than happy to yell (yes, it needed to be shouted at the top of my lungs) that I loved Purdue basketball solely because they beat the Huskies. Jen was not amused. I might have also made a Stu reference about Jen's love of the Huskies basketball team that didn't fly to well. The highlight though was when he who shall not be named sat down next to us and asked where the Purdue basketball team was sitting. Apparently all the tall guys wearing Purdue paraphernalia wasn't clear enough.

But no worries, we made up later when I bought her an In 'n Out burger. We then made it permanent.

So back to the game. The only thing better than the Purdue basketball team sitting in front of us were Heckyll and Jeckyll*** behind us.

That's actually Felix (left) and Alex (right, of course) from Phoenix and they were quite the comedy duo. Alex informed us that Felix was good enough to be on the field but chose beer over baseball. They are also the ones that asked why the Purdue basketball team had no black players to which they responded "they're all at the mall". Felix and Alex also bought us a round so for that we are eternally grateful.

The stadium cleared out pretty quickly in the last couple innings.

Or as Jen put it: it's only a quarter full. Wow, that was so much funnier last night.

After In 'n Out we mysteriously found our way to the skirt. I know hard to believe. But I swear this time it was Jen suggesting to Kevin Calabro that we meet there. That's right we drank at the skirt with KC. What a day indeed!

Last, but least, you'll notice there is only one Curt reference today. After spending lots of quality time this weekend he jilted me Tuesday for his lifelong boyfriend Paul. Curt couldn't count the time down fast enough in the afternoon before he could leave and be reunited with Paul in the truck at Glendale. Needless to say I felt a little hurt, doesn't he remember the good times we've had? Then to rub my nose in it they showed up at the skirt but they were attached at the hip. Good thing I have Jen 4ever because otherwise I'd be really hurting today. Needless to say, Curt and I are feuding.

* There were enough blog post titles thrown out last night to last the rest of the trip and a smart guy would save them. But, hey, you didn't come here for smart, so here are the other titles (that I can remember)
-I love vodka
-Dan is just one of the idiots
-The black guys are all at the mall
-I love Purdue
-He chose beer over baseball
-Where is the Purdue basketball team?
-Nice shortcut, moron
-Dan's not as sorry as she is
-I'm not a dumbass!

** In his defense there is no good way to get from the freeway to ballpark in Glendale.

*** Or Statler and Waldorf if you prefer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Well, That's a Fire Hazard

Well Monday saw us take this ridiculous show on the road to Scottsdale. I don't believe, fingers crossed, there are any tickets to report on our trip over. Speed may have been issue in past years.

Well Rees, there is a story behind the title of the blog today thanks for asking. Our booth at the ballpark was about 10 feet by 10 feet with about a quarter of that taken up by the John Jacobson Memorial Edit Suite. Guess how many people we managed to cram into our booth at one point?

Well Jimmy, if you guessed 14, yes 14!! You are the big winner. It was an absolute mess and there were more people in the hall jealous they couldn't get in. There were about 8 conversations going on and people trying to yell things from the back of the booth to others already in conversations. Needless to say the guy trying to edit in the corner was not pleased.

Well, glad you asked Pike. Yes, I can hear you.

Well Lacey I'll tell you what I did to escape the crush of the booth. I went and got lunch because I was hungry (and it was free). It might have been the 2nd highlight of the day as I had spaghetti with Rick Rizzs, Peter Gammons, Steve Balboni, oh and Chris Allard. Nothing like a good free meal to escape the circus.

Well Doug, mine and Curt's alone time was cut drastically Monday. Because of the aforementioned overcrowding situation there was never less than 4 people in the booth. After so much quality time together over the weekend you'd think we needed a break from each other but that so wasn't the case.

Well Marina, Curt and I did finally get some alone time by going to hike Squaw Peak. Seeing the sun starting to set from the top of the mountain sitting by Curt was definitely the highlight of the day. Even if I was busy trying to catch my breath.

Well Brad, your time to the top of Squaw is finally in danger. Curt claims to be just 30 seconds behind. I can't vouch for that as I'm just happy to break 30 minutes, which I did. As an added bonus I didn't hurt anything so that's a win win!

Well Leif, yes we hit the Guilty Skirt* for dinner and to watch the WBC finals. Yes, we are all big dorks who after working baseball all day went out and watched more on TV. I'm told Japan won, I may have been distracted.

Well Powell, there was sideboob.

Well Larry, I think that about sums Monday down here. Better get back to work.

Well? Lil' Kid fell down a well? Better go fish him out again.

Well, all's well that ends well**.

* Not literally, that's assault.

** Today's post brought to you by the letters W, E, and L. Yes, I'm smarter than a 5th grader (no WSU jokes please) and realize this post is as annoying as hell. It's just my passive-aggressive way of expressing myself after editing the show.

If you feel slighted by not getting mentioned feel free to email me a request to get in the blog.

I will be more than happy to put you directly on the freeze out list.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Date Nights

Sorry for not posting yesterday. As Curt is fond of saying, yesterday was a bit of a pig fuck. Apparently the show is more important than the blog, and at least the show got done. Good times.

This weekend has been pretty special for me Curt as we've spent plenty of quality time together. Not that we don't on a daily basis, as there are long stretches where we're the only two in the booth, but this weekend I got all the Curt I could handle. I need a break.

Saturday started with the A's/Mariners which frankly I remember none of. Needless to say there was a little disappointment as we were saddled with a third wheel for the Canucks/Coyotes game. So we picked up "he who shall not be named"* and hit Chick-Fil-A for a romantic pregame chicken sandwich. The highlight of dinner being when "hwsnbn"** spilled ketchup all over himself, ha!

Before heading into the arena we caught some of the Gonzaga game. Well some of us saw part of it. Long story short I left to go to the hockey game and missed the exciting conclusion. But I did get to hear a very pro-Canucks crowd belt out the Canadian national anthem as this game was on Hockey Night in Canada. That's about where the Canuck cheering ended as the Coyotes curb stomped them 5-1.

Highlights of the game. The Canucks managed to score an own goal. Making this even funnier is Curt asked in the 1st period how often it happens which I'd venture a guess at about once every 2 years or so in the NHL, then Bam! 2nd period the Canucks are fishing the puck out of their own net. Weird.

Shane Doan and Ed Jovanovski scored back-to-back goals in the 2nd with Doan's holding up for the game winner. I really know how to pick 'em!

For the record this is the 2nd straight year we've seen the Canucks get crushed in Phoenix maybe we're just bad luck for the orcas.***

Before the game we walked right by some chick dressed up as Madonna's and George Micheal's love child (it was 80s night at the arena). We made some off-handed remark like "check out the get up on that chick". Turns out that chick, multi-olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken. If only I had been smart enough to have the camera ready to take a picture.

After the game our travelling 3some headed out for drinks. "Hwsnbn" out drank us 2 to 1. Of course he was done after 4 big beers in about 45 minutes. If I've learned anything**** sometimes moderation is best. Drunk in the corner is no way to go through life, plus it creeps the waitresses out.

Sunday Curt and I found our confines constricted even further as we crammed in the Mariners video room to watch the Cubs/Mariners. I don't mind being around Curt, I just need my space!

Having not had enough each other in the previous 48 hours Curt and I shared a romantic meal Sunday night. I think this literally might be my in the top 10 of my longest relationships.*****

* No, not Lord Voldemort.

** That's right I can't even type that twice.

*** More liked killed whales instead of killer whales.

**** And that is hardly the case.

***** Again, no disrespect to anyone reading this stupid little blog.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Big Limpin'

Maybe I should just accept the fact that my body is now more built for a sedentary on the couch lifestyle than it once was. Friday we hiked all of Thunderbird again and once more I spent the cool down sitting in the parking lot icing my ankle. It's becoming standard operating procedure. I'm starting to think I should be looking into an ankle-ectomy.

It wouldn't be a hike without some sort of ironic statement from my ipod evil. This time it was "When you were young" by the Killers as I limped the final half mile. I swear if I didn't think I'd sprain my ankle kicking it I would boot that stupid thing far into the desert night.

Being the moron I am, when we got back I considered trying to find a stream for game one of the Thunderbirds/Spokane playoff series. But I used all my remaining strength to stop myself from taking that next step towards complete dorkdom.

Today ought to be exciting as I get to spend the whole day with Curt. Guess I get to feel what it's like to be Paul. Hope I can fill his expensive shoes. After the Mariners game we're headed over Glendale to watch some Canucks/Coyotes action. Nothing like a romantic day with Curt.

One final note to those readers out there in blogland that are taking part in charity events tomorrow. Good luck and kick some ass!

UPDATE: So I was alerted by Curt to the fact we missed quite the event last night. Something cool actually happened in Surprise. Of course the Mariners weren't involved so there's that.

That's right, Wayne Gretzky and Muhammad Ali were at the Dodgers/Royals game. I'm just hoping Spike Owen will show up at a Mariners game. Some people have all the luck!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's Play Two

What's better than one game in jail? TWO!

Does that not look like the face of someone thrilled to be witnessing a spring doubleheader?

This job has its benefits* but sitting through 2 spring training games sweating it out in the press box is definitely not one of them. I love baseball as much, if not more, than the next guy but even I'm getting worn out. Takes a look at the calender, still have 2 MORE WEEKS of this?!?! CRAP.

The most exciting part of last nights game was the attack of the locusts**. They are huge and really just annoy the hell out of everyone, especially when they fly into the press box and hit Allard in the face***. This morning the stadium was littered with millions of carcasses reminding us of the plague that hit us last night. That's right, even God doesn't like spring training doubleheaders. On a side note, if a plague were to hit Phoenix it couldn't happen to a nicer city. In fact I heard the first ever plague started in a strip mall between a tanning salon and a cheap Chinese restaurant.

Curt was in a strangely chipper mood after the game, thanks mostly (or completely) to the fact he was reunited with his boyfriend Paul. I'm surprised they even ordered separate beers, they were almost united at the hip, might as well have shared a straw. I think Dan and I were cramping their style by sitting at the same table as them. Curt and Paul need their alone time.

* At least that's what I keep telling myself.

** Could very well be some other insect.

*** Oh wait, that was quite hilarious.

Editors note: In the interest of honesty for as much as I've railed against the double header I spent most the nightcap watching the Sounders inaugural MLS game on my laptop. That was much more exciting than the baseball.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Turn Down the Heat

It's not supposed to be 90 degrees in March. Some of us are melting, melting!

Wednesday was a pretty relaxed day at the ballpark with Mariners playing a night game at the retirement community. I was pretty sad* to miss the trip to Surprise, I hear the senior citizens get pretty wild at night. You mix the Geritol and the Metamucil and you get a pretty volatile mix.

Apparently I'm not the only one getting tired of spring training. Strange thing is I've been here even longer than Manny, yet he's already picking up cricket to pass the time. Great googly!

Must be fun to cover Manny, I'm not sure how much work I'd get done but it's definitely entertaining. The charisma in his pinky finger is enough to power a small country.

Oh Manny, I miss you!

Who's got two thumbs and loves hiking in 90 degree temperatures? This guy!! I wouldn't actually say I love it, I'm just dumb enough to go do it. Why not go hike 5 miles in the sweltering heat I say. Curt was on a mission to win the loop this time but of course I wasn't going to let him. While he built a pretty decent lead halfway through I started to run and caught him about 3/4 of the way through. Of course just after passing him I used my incredible athletic grace and rolled my ankle and nearly gave away the win. But I powered through (because I'm a hockey playing moron) and finished strong. Sitting in the parking lot with an ice bag** on my ankle wasn't nearly as cool though.

Ipod evil*** update. So Thursday as I was struggling to the summit of the 2nd hill I was greeted with "Resolve" by the Foo Fighters. I can't tell if it is passively-aggressively urging me on or openly mocking me. Either way it is dangerously close to being booted off the side of trail.

Big double header today. Guess I should get to work.

* No, not really

** The only reason we had ice at all was to cool the beer.

*** Patent Pending.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Don't Worry Boys, I've Got it Covered

When those words come tumbling off Curtis' lips you know to buckle up because anything can, and probably will, happen. That pretty much sums up our day off Tuesday. By the way, for the purpose of the blog I am temporarily lifting the freeze for today only.

Knowing there would be a full day off the next day, Monday we felt it was our duty to "train for Squaw Peak"*. Needless to say the training mostly consisted of 12 oz curls. Tuesday morning was going to hurt, little did I know how much!

After waking up too early, stupid biorhythms, Curt asked if I wanted to go hiking. Being an idiot, I agreed, so this time we actually headed out to Thunderbird park. It was as we left the parking lot that Curt mentioned that he felt like doing the bigger 5.8 mile loop. Jackass. I guess it was apropos that "Lunatic Fringe" by Red Rider** blaring from ipod nearly drowned out Curt. So we busted our humps up one hill and down then back up the other hill when I decided to run the final mile and a half. Mostly to impress the other people on the trail***. I'm pretty sure my ipod has it in for me as on the final little uphill of the trail as your legs are burning and lungs gasping for air, Shirley Manson of Garbage starts growling "this is not my idea of a good time" from my demon ipod. It truely is pure evil.

On a sidenote, don't you hate it when some horse's ass ruins your workout. Well it happened to me literally. Just as I crested the aforementioned final uphill, BAM! there was a pack of 3 morons on horses blocking the trail. Some people just have no consideration for others.

After feeling good about our workout we collected the Little Kid and Vocht and hit In 'n Out**** before heading to Turf Paradise for some horse racing.

As you can see, one of us... cough, cough, Curt... looks just like a track regular. Let the gambling commence!!

The big winner was Little Kid. God, I feel dirty just writing that! He hit 2 trifectas and also picked the winner in one of those races collecting about $250 in winnings. Obviously beers were on him.

Here he is pretending to be in the winners circle with his big money winning horse. Those two betting stubs netted him $190. Jerk!!

Having had no luck with some lame horses I decided to try and scare my horse into running faster by pretending to be a tiger. No such luck. Yes, I fully admit I'm a moron!

If you ever want to see a waste of money here you go...

Yes, that is our dead ticket pile. A lot of innocent soldiers died in this pile of betting casualties. As you can see there is a big ticket on the top courtesy of Kevin "gotta bet this one heavy" Vocht. I almost, and emphasize almost, feel bad for him because I was openly rooting for him to lose the 2nd race.

For the record 5 tickets were cashed in 8 races. Vocht actually cashed the first race then rolled it over to the 2nd and immediately lost it and tried playing catch up the rest of the day... bad idea. Dan cashed 3 times and walked away up a lot. Still a jerk. Uber-gambler Curt cashed a single ticket despite numerous times telling us he had each race figured out. In fact the only win he had was the late double when he picked the horses based on whether or not they had funny names to describe our night activities. Astute readers will note that leaves no wins for me, which is true, but I also bet the least. I guess I learned nothing that year working at Emerald Downs.

Can you spot the losers?

Luckily, no one gambled away the Suburban so after losing our shirts at the track we rolled over to Glendale for the Sharks/Coyotes game and more importantly my reunion with one Patrick Marleau. Gretzky must have lit into them the last couple days because it was a completely different Coyotes team than the one we saw look like a bad junior a team Saturday night. Or maybe he promised them all the green beer they could drink at the St. Patrick's Day***** party outside the stadium after the game (more on that later).

It was simply put one of the best games I've seen in a while. Don't believe me? Take a look at the boxscore. The Coyotes scored in the first and last 30 seconds of the game to win 4-3. Let's take a look at the awesome things that happened in between.

1) Patrick Marleau scored his 36th goal of the year to tie it at 3 in the 3rd period.

I am so jealous of Joe Thornton in this picture. Sure he has all the talent in the world and is a professional athlete. But look, he's getting a hug from Marleau. Oh to be that close!

2) There were 2 and a 1/2 fights!

The first of the night only counts as half because Rob Blake pulled Daniel Winnik's jersey completely off so the linesmen jumped in before any real punches were thrown (though they did get fighting majors). Jody Shelly and Brian McGrattan more than made up for it in the 2nd with a real heavyweight bout. This is why hockey is awesome.

3) Shane Doan played out of his mind and was named the number one star. He lit up the Sharks for a goal and 3 assists. Perhaps I should take credit as he probably feels jilted about being ditched from the blog.

As you can see, even Rob Blake tackling him couldn't stop him from scoring the game winner with 27 seconds left in the game.

There was only one negative from this game. Ed Jovanovski was initially credited with the Coyotes 2nd goal (assisted by Doan, naturally) only for it to be given to Kyle Turris during the intermission.

Does that not look like the picture of a guy celebrating a goal? I thought so.

We didn't actually see any Coyotes players at the outdoor party. But we did see the nominees for Arizona parents of the year.

Yes, that really is Dad's beer in the cup holder of the stroller and Mom carrying kid in one hand and a Miller Lite in the other. You stay classy Arizona!

* No need to worry Brad, your time is safe.

** Can be found on the soundtrack of the greatest movie ever made about high school wrestling "Vision Quest"

*** Hey, you never know who you'll meet out there.

**** Yep, the diet of champions.

***** I'm trying to get people to accept it was named for Marleau not some dude from Ireland.

Photos from Turf Paradise courtesy of Vocht

Monday, March 16, 2009

Long Time No Blog

Before I delve into what has been going on down here I have to say something off the top. I fully intended to post a new entry yesterday, not to throw the official photographer of the blog under the bus but he brought his camera to work but not the memory card. Without pictures I quickly lost any urge to work on the blog and I gotta tell you I was feeling alot funnier yesterday. Hopefully I can salvage this entry.

Now that I got that off my chest, where were we in our tale of awesome?

Oh yeah, Friday. We have definitely hit the midpoint as emotions and tempers were running high at Ho Ho Kam Park. It wasn't pretty. To be honest it all started pretty well as they apparently replaced their entire staff of crotchety old codgers with happy old codgers. They were actually helpful, nice, and everything. Weird. Ho Ho Kam also has the best feature of any spring training facility... free lunch*. How can you go wrong with that?

That's about where the fun stopped as we were then forced to slam the show together. Sometimes I kid (and people don't believe me) that I don't see any of the game down here, well Friday that truely was the case as a I didn't see a single pitch**. While I thought my day would be the one that deserved a night of heavy drinking, the Little Kid lapped my ass and decided he needed a few to forget his day. Being the good friend I am I just encouraged him to keep drinking. I'm a positive influence aren't I?

Saturday morning wasn't much better for the Little Kid. After a great breakfast at the 5 and Diner (have I mentioned how much I love breakfast, I had big stack of pancakes in case you were wondering) we watched (well Dan did) mighty Sparty lose in the Big 10 semi's.

Then we thought it would be smart to go hike Thunderbird in the heat of the day.

Best cure to a wicked hangover. Hiking in 80 degree heat! This is the Little Kid version of hell.

I don't know what exactly Allard's diet consists of but he might want to think about changing it.

As we started Jen said she might be slow as she had already run for an hour that morning.

What happened next?

Jen proceeded to kick our collective asses! This is as close as anyone would get and it was within the first half mile. Ringer!

Ever wonder what an extremely white dude wandering the desert in search of an ice rink looks like? Here's your answer:

Saturday night I found that ice rink in Glendale at the arena for the Predators and the Coyotes. Well, we were told the Coyotes would be there at least. There were some guys skating around in black Phoenix jerseys but they definitely weren't professional hockey players. Phoenix put up an astounding 8 shots on goal through 2 periods. Needless to say the highlight of the game was in warmups when a shot riccocheted up into the netting and fell just over the glass right smack onto a kids head. For those concerned, no the kid was not hurt, in fact he was laughing and didn't even get the puck. It was definitely worth the price of admission.

For the purposes of this blog we did get one important picture. As you can tell this a game action shot as Ed Jovanovski is standing around in one place like a pole.

Sunday saw another thrilling*** Mariners defeat at the hands of the White Sox. Yeah, let's just move on. We headed back to Glendale to do some awesome standups and catch some dinner. Dinner was at the Saddle Ranch Chop House in Westgate Center which had some nice scenery (in case you were wondering) but I couldn't convince Dan or the other camera guy to get on the mechanical bull. Wusses.

I have to say I'm looking forward to Tuesday night where I'll be reunited with one my all-time favorite flings Patrick Marleau (sorry to anyone else who might feel jilted reading this). From 1995 to 1997 we shared a bromance (albeit very one-sided) that culminated with him leading the Thunderbirds to the WHL finals. He was then drafted 2nd overall by the San Jose Sharks and the long distance thing just never really worked****. It's been 12 long years since the emotional break up and I for one am looking forward to the reunion.

* Unlike Curt I can make room to eat when it's free (and good is a bonus!)

** Which might actually have been a good thing.

*** Of course by thrilling I mean another double digit loss. Can't we get the mercy rule instituted in spring training?!

**** That is such a lie. I am so naming my first born son Patrick Trot Jacobson.

You just never know who you'll run into at spring training. Hi Nick Collison!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Out with a whimper

That pretty much describes both us and the Cougars last night. Lethargic and done in the first half. I had about as much as energy as Taylor Rochestie and all my shot attempts were all horribly off target as well. Apparently treating every night like it's Friday night will eventually catch up with you. We'll see if we can actually ramp it up for a Friday night, seeing as we have Saturday off I'm guessing we might be able to pull through. Speaking of Saturday we'll be headed out to Glendale to watch some sweet Coyotes action. Let the drooling commence!

Rumor has it that our trip in Arizona has hit the halfway mark. I can't really remember much baseball (other than Shelton has 3 homers) the work days just all kind of melt together.

I think I need a day or 2 to help recharge the batteries, so hopefully I'll bring the funny back in the near future.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We're all Arizonians

While I'm pretty sure Surprise stadium is actually hell, the Mariners are more than happy to provide the soundtrack to hell. There is nothing worse than the Mariners pre-game music selection. Trying to work with a hangover (more on that in a second) while having your ears attacked by crap like "Centerfield" and 18 different versions of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" is no freaking picnic. In my attempt to keep my sanity we've cranked up a little "Bad Obsession" by GnR, one of the favorite songs of tv's own Brad Adam.

So after a week away* we found our way back to the Guilty Skirt last night. The big draw was of course the numerous HD tvs so we could watch the Cougs crush the lame Ducks**. I swear that was the real reason, not the fact that it was the first day back at work from having her wisdom teeth removed for our favorite waitress***. We must have really celebrated that Cougar victory because my head is pounding right now and that's just for a first round win. Our show should really be sponsored by Chaser it would really help.

Alright that's about all the words I can muster today. Hopefully the show edits itself today because I can tell I'm going to be of no use. Plus, we just had our first Josh Hamilton sighting and he is my favorite Hamilton****.

* Yes, we were proud of ourselves that we could stay away a whole week.

** Sorry, Doug

*** Yes, I'm aware that it is very creepy that I know that.

**** Sorry Steve, but it's at least close.

For the record here is Rees' picture. I was squinting because of the sun but I can't for the life of me figure out what I'm doing with arms and shoulders.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Surprise, Police!

No, there aren't any legal problems to report*. The title is just an homage to perhaps my favorite Rees joke ever** since we are in the craptastic city of Surprise today. It seems fitting that 2 teams as awful as the Royals and Rangers would share a stadium in the middle of nowhere. If you ever want to feel young come to a game at the retirement community known as Surprise Stadium, I'm surprised the outfield berm isn't a cemetery just for convenience sake. Oh the irony, the sound system just kicked on playing Triumph's Magic Power which has a chorus of "I'm young, I'm wild, and I'm free" 3 things that definitely don't describe Surprise.

I've got to admit some days I'm just not prepared to blog and this is definitely one of those days. My official photographer and I can't get on the same page so there are no new pictures to post. I may or may not be a functioning alcoholic at this point, I'm pretty sure my liver is planning a early morning jail break from my abdomen. There are way too many waitresses I'm on a first name basis with. But worst of all right now I'm crammed in a tiny cell with Vocht, this most definitely is jail.

One thing I've learned in the last couple weeks is I really need a spring training for spring training. I should have been going out every 3rd or 4th night to get myself in shape so that I'd be fully prepared for the rigors of spring training. You'd think this was my first rodeo, for shame.

So in all the hoopla Monday of Dan's part-time job and our stalker I forgot to mention why we were even out there in the first place. We finally made it back to my favorite restaurant Wild Horse West. Their burgers might have been even better than I remembered. If Curt can do his 30 days of Chipotle*** diet, I am more than willing to go 30 days of Wild Horse West. Also of note is that we tried to go to Lake Pleasant but they wanted $6 just to park. God knows what they charge to actually see a lake in the middle of the desert, jerks.

* Keeps fingers crossed!

** I'm willing to bet you can coax it out of Rees if you want. But for the record it goes like this: Rees and I were walking around the stadium 2 years ago**** when we came upon a police officer on a segway. Rees then proceed to ask him "So when you have to go knock on someone's door do you say, Surprise! Police?" I thought it was funny, the booze might have helped.

*** Since replaced by Chick-Fil-A

**** He also has perhaps the worst picture of me ever taken that he likes to use as his desktop. I can't even really describe how awful it is.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Off Day Shenanigans

Is it a bad sign* when you wake up a 7:30 am still fully dressed (yes, including shoes) with the lights on and the door open? I may or may not have passed out Sunday after an evening at the Moon Saloon. Let's just say we might've over done it.

Good thing Monday was pretty much a day off down here, which of course meant it rained early in the morning**. Once the weather cleared up we did go out on a shoot, but really when said shoot is at a golf course how can you really complain? I know I can definitely find way but I probably shouldn't. So after a grueling day of "work" we set about the real business of the day, finding updates for the blog.

Having a day off down here is something so rare most of us weren't sure what to do with ourselves. Little Kid was so befuddled he went out and got a part-time job because he thought he was required to work everyday.

Unless the cows were dressed as cacti I'm not quite sure what Dan was guarding, not alot of cows in the middle of the desert. As you can see Dan was a natural at doing nothing since he's had plenty of practice every day down here doing just that. That sign isn't just going to hold itself up!

While taking Dan out to his job we discovered we were being stalked. Believe me, we were as surprised as anyone!

Note to Ms. Mackrow, when stalking someone you shouldn't put your name on a sign indicating your location. Like we'd really fall for the old boat parking in the middle of desert trick! I mean we might not be smart individually but with the power of group thinking even we can figure these things out out***.

Though we might've had the day off from work that doesn't mean we took the night off from going out. Oh no my friends, we were back out and enjoying the Peoria nightlife at the Fox and the Hound. However, we might have over done it**** as walking into the ballpark Tuesday was pretty tough.

Spring training is really taking a toll on Curt. Looks like it going to be a long season for him.

The only person excited to be at the ballpark was Dan because the loveable losers***** known as the Cubs were in town and we all know Dan is gay for the Cubs. We have to lock him in the booth to keep him from over-excitedly hugging Ryan Theriot. Speaking of, it's my shift to watch the window to make sure he doesn't jump out and run through the stands towards the Cubs dugout.

Back to the grind.

* Or an awesome one?

** Every off day the last 3 years (I believe that would be 3 total, maybe) it has rained. The odds of this occuring have to be monumentally low. Curt of course has the exact line and is betting it hard.

*** Not even remotely true.

**** I know that's hard to believe with us.

***** Nobody loves a loser, just win something already, damn it!

Day Off

Of all things we actually have most of Monday off, so the blog has decided to take the day off as well. See you tomorrow same bat time, same bat channel.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday Boring Sunday

It's only been a week of shows (I think) but it seems like forever. Sure there is the occasional moment to break up the daily monotony of showing up in the booth but the days really start running together. Honestly sometimes it takes all the energy I can muster to keep my mind focused on work. My favorite* question: What would it look like if we were covering the Boise State Broncos?

Speaking of blue things** Saturday continued are tour of former Red Sox greats as we visited Glendale to see Manny Ramirez and that new team he plays for. We weren't alone in deciding to check out Manny and the new digs, just shy of 12,000 people showed up which is by far the biggest crowd we've seen so far. We got to see him take a few cuts in the cage but he was done before the gates opened for everyone else to see. He did however put on a show*** in the field. Everyone loves Manny.

Saturday night after scaling Squaw Peak (I hate that stupid hill!) we were all pretty burnt out so we stayed in and watched Dumb and Dumber****.

I blame this dork. Who is either pointing out the biggest nerd in the press box or indicating just exactly where his bald spot starts.

That's about it for today, I'm off to peruse the crowd and perhaps do a little work*****.

* Well favorite for a family friendly blog.

** Get your mind out of the gutter.

*** Going back on a fly ball he literally turned all the way around to his right, all the way around to his left, jumped and missed the ball by 3 feet. How does he not a mantle full of gold gloves?

**** Perfect for our condo as Curt's favorite saying is "Not a single smart guy has walked through our condo door yet!"

***** Not likely.

Vocht has changed more tires on the edit suite than a Nascar pit crew. Sadly, I think a stock car is actually lighter. God, I hate that thing.