Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Break - Dodgers v Angels

After the weekend in Vegas, the Cactus League was our next destination. First up was the "Freeway Series" of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim. This rivalry has taken on different meaning as this is the second year the Dodgers have trained in the Cactus League, allowing fans of the team to easily make the trip to Arizona for Spring Training rather than trekking across the country to Florida.

Tempe's Diablo Stadium was the home for this battle. Although been around since the early 90s, it recently finished a renovation project that brings the entire Angel Spring Training operations to Tempe, rather than splitting them with Mesa. A little closer to home, the Angels' single A franchise is the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Since it is closer to Los Angeles, fans are now able to follow their team. Here they surround the Dodger dugout looking for a photo, autograph, or just a closer look to their favorite players.

Spring Training games have a different feel to them. Starters are routinely taken out after playing a few innings. But one difference between these exhibition games and the regular season is the structure. Above Dodger Manager Joe Torre meets with Angel Manager and former Dodger, Mike Scioscia. This meeting wasn't prior to first pitch, but in the middle of the first. This is when Joe made it to Tempe Diablo Stadium. Joe walked in from the right field fence with another of the team's coaches and stopped to meet with the Angels manager on the way to his dugout.

Scouts are plentiful at Spring Training games. This is an opportunity to watch many of the opposing team's entire roster. Not only can they acquire information for future scouting reports, but also evaluate talent for future trades.

Tempe Diablo Stadium is nestled into the hills. It is only a few minutes from downtown Tempe as well as Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

As the game worked its way into the later innings, some names began to sound familiar from their playing days for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Here former Kernel Freddy Sandeval steps up to the plate.
This game brought out the best of Angels and Dodgers fans. Although there were more Angel fans, the Dodger fans made more noise.
Indianola native, Casey Blake warms up prior to taking his turn in the box.

The newest Angel is Hideki Matsui. Matsui was picked up in the off-season after spending his entire MLB career with the New York Yankees. Against the Dodgers Matsui was the DH, where he most likely will fit into this team.

Also making an appearance is Ivan DeJesus. I am unaware of the relationship to former Chicago Cub SS, Ivan DeJesus.

A prominent figure sitting alongside the Angel dugout and right behind manager Mike Scioscia is team owner Arthur Moreno. The franchise has progressed well since he took over.

At the completion of the game members of the media took to the field to interview.

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