What is your favorite part of spring training?

Leading Off: Fun times during spring training in Arizona

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2013 - 2:03 pm | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2013 - 4:37 pm

Some highlights from a few days in Scottsdale, Ariz., enjoying the sun-drenched circus that is spring training:

• Giants infielder Kensuke Tanaka, No. 88 – that's "yaso kara hachi" (88) in Japanese – put on a show Saturday, going the other way for two hits, stealing a base, and starting the game at second with a sweet throw from deep up the middle to rob a Chicago Cubs player of a hit.

• Giant emeritus Will Clark and ex-Giants postseason hero Cody Ross (now with the Arizona Diamondbacks) remain fan favorites for a reason. Clark smiled and emphatically pointed to a fan hollering his name. Ross, walking past appreciative Giants' fans, turned when his name was called, busted out his big grin, pointed and tipped his cap.

• Giants left-hander Barry Zito is looking sharp. In three innings Sunday against the Diamondbacks, his breaking pitches snapped like firecrackers, reminding that his 15-8 record in 2012 was no fluke.

• John "Blue Moon" Odom, part of a great A's rotation in the late 1960s and early '70s, signed autographs, with proceeds going to charity, at Scottsdale Stadium. Odom, affable and smiling, has a strong handshake.

• Dinner at Don and Charlie's was worth the wait: Willie Mays signing autographs in the lobby; tons of baseball people milling around; Bud Selig in a back room holding court. Amazing steaks, too.

• The cost for a three-person round of "bomber"-size beers (24 ounces, lime included) of more than $40 is painful, regardless of the friendly and fun atmosphere.

What to watch

NBA, Kings at Warriors, 7:30 p.m., CSNCA: Remember when these teams used to play for the "Mayor's Cup?"

Today's poll

What is your favorite part of spring training?

• The games

• The restaurants

• The atmosphere

• I've never been.

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Tuesday's results

Whom should the Raiders select with the third pick of the NFL draft?

• Sharrif Floyd: 40%

• Bjoern Werner: 16%

• Star Lotuleiei: 25%

• Damontre Moore: 19%

Total votes: 370

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