We departed San Diego early Sunday morning and made our way east to Phoenix. The winds were blowing out of the north so we had to dodge tumbleweeds and brave some low visibility dust storms crossing the road but managed to arrive without incident.
We made decent time so we stopped by the practice fields before going into the ballpark. All the major leaguers had already gone in for lunch, but the minor league mini-camp was still in full swing. GM Josh Byrnes and AJ Hinch were watching on as many of the team’s top young prospects were going through various drills on different fields. On one field, veteran Andy Ashby was offering tips to one future Padre while Jose Valentin threw batting practice to other Padres hopefuls. So nice to be back in Peoria.
We then headed into the ballpark where the Peoria Sports Complex was celebrating it’s 20th anniversary.
For the 3rd straight day, the Padres would face the Seattle Mariners (whom they share the facility with). The teams split the first 2 games. Today’s starting pitchers were Erasmo Ramirez for Seattle and Freddy Garcia for the Padres.
If you followed along on last year’s trip, the Padres lost every game we attended. Unfortunately, the Mariners scored 5 in the 1st inning and never looked back. Seattle would eventually win 8-3 and the streak continues.
After the game, we checked into the hotel, and headed over to the Elephant Bar to lift our spirits. As per the usual, they treated us well and while we enjoyed some delicious appetizers such as the Tempura Salmon Roll and a new BBQ Chicken Flatbread, our memories of the loss quickly turned into anticipation for the next flavorful course and the next game on the schedule; Padres at the Brewers in Maryvale tomorrow.
I managed to get 31 autographs today which is a pretty good number since I’m just starting to figure out who is who out there. The windy conditions bring out a lot of jackets so no jersey names or numbers to make it easier to identify who is who.
The Padres are wearing their new spring training/ batting practice hats. All MLB teams got new ones this year. The Padres somehow failed to get these hats in at the stadium gift shop yet. Pretty disappointing since the same shop has the new Mariners cap.