FanPost

A Visit To Camelback Ranch

Al has given you the recap, so I can fill in some the details.... Z's homer was a....bomb. He lined it right over the power alley fence....the wall is marked 380 to left-center, so it was 400' -- easily.  Koyie Hill's HR was a towering shot, to the RF power alley....there was no doubt about that blast, right off his bat.  4-4, with a FC...not bad for the young man. I wish he'd back up Soto, but I'd bet that won't be the case.

Z's effort on the mound was good -- it looks better in the box score than in reality, though, as his pitch count was near 60 through his 5 innings of work. (I've left the notebook with my "exact" count at my hotel)

If Jake Fox was trying to earn a roster spot....he didn't help himself in the 4-hole, as he looked tight at the plate --  only really coming through with a single in the 8th, when the outcome was not in doubt.

Randy Wolf's line of 10 hits in 4 innings, with 7 earned runs...a tad inflated. The 4-run second inning got away from him on Hill's first hit, an infield "single." Casey Blake got his glove on this soft roller right at him...but kicked it.  This play should have been made, for the second out of the inning.  IMHO, it was an error, not a hit. This put Hill on first. Corey Koskie, who doubled prior to Hill's at bat,  took third. (Sure would be nice to see him make the squad....more on him, later)

Andres Blanco then singled in Koskie, setting the stage for Zambrano's dinger.  So, Wolf could have been tagged with unearned runs, or who knows -- the inning goes  another way. In any event, Wolf wasn't sharp.  The bottom of the order knocked him around, as you know -- in the 4th.

The Cubs pen looked good against  the "A" and "AA" Dodgers. Sean Marshall dispatched the Dodgers in the 6th on 9 pitches.

Now...the "Ranch." It's quite a facility, and when it's completely finished, it will be quite the showplace of the Cactus League. ("Bandstand" and all. I couldn't find that on the map. Yes, you get a map of the grounds.)

This now becomes my favorite park. It serves Vienna Hot Dogs/Italian Beef.  The Dodger fans will forsake Farmer John's "Dodger Dogs" when they get a load of these. You can get the entire dressed dog for 5.25, at specific stands. There are Vienna carts -- just the dog, relish, and mustard. (Love that snap! of the casing.)

If you like Connie's pizza -- it's also available. The food seems to be skewed toward Chicago visitors, which is good -- "Arnie" from the Back O' The Yards will love it, as will "Heather" from Santa Monica, who will swear off her vegan lifestyle after an Italian Beef from the Nort' side.

Today's crowd (sorry Al, I don't remember if you stated this in the recap) was a Cactus League record -- 13,046. At least, that's what they announced. I saw plenty of empty seats, though. (The 100-dollar section, right behind the plate, and just to the left and right looked filled.)

Access.....oooh, this makes Ho Ho Kam look _easy_ to get in and out of. It's grid-lock, folks. An hour after the game, Camelback Rd was still bumper-to-bumper. Thankfully, it's a short jaunt to the Loop 101. Tip -- don't take the first parking entrance, just past 107th street. You'll park in the dirt. (Unless, you want to park in dirt. if so, go for it.)

Go to "Ballpark Boulevard," west of the complex. You'll be directed into a paved lot.  It's 5-bucks.

The complex features a "replica" US Cellular Field and Dodger Stadium.  Don't look for the 35th Street Train viaduct. Thankfully, Glendale/Phoenix had the good sense not to get THAT realistic.

Rather, these two diamonds replicate the dimensions of both ballparks. They are marked poorly, though. Just look for the two diamonds with some cement seating and a small scoreboard. (At least, I think these are the fields in question. The dimensions were not marked on the fences.)

And, by the way, just WHERE is this place? Phoenix? Glendale? Phoenix police patrol the area. Camelback Rd is marked with the Phoenix City Logo. Where's Glendale? Can somebody clue me in on this strange Arizona-zoning? (No pun intended.) I can see University Of Phoenix Stadium in the distance from the parking lot. That, I know...iS Glendale.

 

 

 

 

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

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