Leading Off: Fun times during spring training in Arizona
03/06/2013 12:00 AM
03/06/2013 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?"
What is your favorite part of spring training?
I've never been.
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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
About This BlogMatt Kawahara has covered baseball for The Sacramento Bee for three years. Kawahara, a McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley graduate, joined The Bee in 2010. Before joining Sports, he was a general assignment news reporter. Reach Kawahara at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @matthewkawahara.
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