Mar 6, 2012, 7:36 AM EST
I’d have a nice picture of an Arizona sunrise here for you, but as I am typing this it is 5AM local time and it’s still dark. Stupid body, thinking it’s still on Eastern Standard Time. I’m guessing the sun will be up soon anyway. It’s the desert. The sun tends to shine here.
I got in to Phoenix late yesterday, somehow resisted the urge to immediately go to In-N-Out Burger, to get a gigantic plate of Mexican food or a Sonoran hot dog. I may fall off the wagon later this week, but I’m at least attempting to be healthy for now. Of course given that the hotel gave me a smoking room for some reason and my lungs and nasal passages are already burning with the rich tobacco flavor of the furnishings of my room, I probably shouldn’t get too hung up on health. Heck, I should probably go buy a pack of smokes and just go with it, right? Then it’s settled.
Enough of that. I’m here for baseball. And a little later this morning I’ll be heading to the other side of Tempe, to Tempe Diablo Stadium, spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Which makes them the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Tempe for the next month or so. Stuff I hope to figure out:
- How the big splashes this offseason by Jerry DiPoto are fitting in. You know, guys like LaTroy Hawkins and Chris Iannetta. Wait, what? Why are you looking at me like that?
- How good Kendrys Morales looks. I know he’s supposed to be good to go this year, but one of the most striking things of last spring was seeing Morales barley be able to walk around, all the while the team’s official position on him was that he was doing OK. That changed pretty quickly after the games started. I’m sure he’s fine now — it’s been a year — but I do want to see the difference.
- I also would like to anger all of my analytical friends and delve into the world of intangibles and mood-analysis and see if there’s a different feel around Angels camp this year. Last year there was a sense that the Angels were in for a dreary season. They overperformed spring expectations, but in early March it seemed a little quiet and almost dour at Tempe Diablo. Will things seem more upbeat, both among players and fans and the overall zeitgeist now that they have Pujols and Wilson and buckets and buckets of hope? My normal left-brained self is not ashamed to admit that I care about such things.
Finally, it looks like I’m going to get a chance to interview Torii Hunter for NBC SportsTalk tonight. If you have anything you’re dying to know from the man, leave it in the comments. And don’t worry: I already plan on asking him what kind of tree he’d be if, in fact, he were a tree. This isn’t my first trip around the block with this Media Professional thing, you know.
I’ll check in with you from Angels camp later this morning.
- Report: Padres acquire catcher Derek Norris from Athletics 21
- The Matt Kemp trade is expected to go down as planned 12
- St. Petersburg City Council votes down deal to allow Rays to look for new stadium site 76
- What will the future of Cuban players in MLB look like? 25
- Royals sign Edinson Volquez for two years, $20 million 29
- Rays, Padres, Nationals agree to 11-player trade 97
- Sergio Romo re-signs with the Giants for $15 million 15
- So, apparently we’re sweating the Matt Kemp physical now 46
- Baseball’s highest-ranking Hispanic woman employee sues for discrimination (163)
- The United States will seek to normalize relations with Cuba (144)
- Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Rangers, and Astros interested in Phillies’ Cole Hamels (111)
- Rays, Padres, Nationals agree to 11-player trade (97)
- Chase Headley signs a four-year deal with the Yankees worth at least $52 million. (95)