Two years and three spring trainings into Arizona

15 02 2012

Today marks the second anniversary of my first day living in this state. It definitely had its ups and downs but certainly more ups.

The day after I moved in in 2010, I was up and off to Seattle Mariners spring training, working for the Associated Press. I did it again in 2011, and I’m back at it in 2012 with a different twist.

The routine of spring remains the same, however. Good to see my Japanese media friends and my former colleagues from Washington state. The stories I write will be fewer and farther between but I will still be writing them, such as this one.

Now for two photos from Wednesday in Peoria with the M’s:

Ball in flight from Iwakuma

Kevin Millwood throws with Brandon League and Hector Noesi flanking him

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My year in review, adios 2011

30 12 2011

Another great year in “mi vida deportiva,” but not just in my life of sports, but life in general. I’ll skip the worst of the year and focus on the best moments. Because I can.

Year 2 in Arizona is coming to a close, but it began with the BCS national championship game here in Glendale, and I was fortunate enough to cover it. Even though my beloved Oregon Ducks lost, I was pretty proud of their effort and I can say that I was there. 

Later in January 2011 I took my first trip to the new Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore., new home for Oregon basketball. Awesome place. I’ll always cherish old McArthur Court though.

In February my wife bought me an I-phone for Valentine’s Day. She keeps wanting me to say that the device has made my life better and easier, so I’ll say it: she’s right. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty sweet.

February and March were spent covering Major League Soccer training and baseball spring training. I was very busy, needless to say.

After celebrating the end of spring training with dinner at Morton’s — ooh, swanky! — baseball season began. I went home to Portland in April for my birthday and attended the inaugural Portland Timbers match at Jeld-Wen Field. It poured rain all night, but I was under the overhang and stayed dry and the Timbers thrilled the sellout crowd with the win.

Later in April I went to the two Phoenix Coyotes NHL playoff games against Detroit. The Coyotes got dominated but the atmosphere in Jobing.com Arena was fun. It’s cool to have an NHL team right in my own back yard.

At the end of the month I took my wife to see my favorite rap artist ever, DJ Quik. And we met Mr. Blake in person! Great night.

Then, it was off to see the world. Read the rest of this entry »





Playoff baseball is not so bad

7 10 2011

It’s been 10 years since I covered a major-league baseball playoff game. The last one was in in the Bronx when the Yankees and Seattle Mariners were in the American League Championship Series.

Tuesday night I was at the Arizona-Milwaukee game in Phoenix. Did some work, saw a few friends, took a few pictures from Game 3 of the National League Division Series.

I’m sure the manager of the Brewers was playing around, but it was a bit odd when he asked reporters a question to start his comments after the game. 

The atmosphere at games that really count in baseball is just more electric. It’s great to go to games all season, but when it’s crunch time, fans really let loose when big plays happen. I saw a grand-slam home run from this guy Tuesday night, Paul Goldschmidt, and that’s pretty rare especially in postseason. (Arizona hit another the next night, rare, yeah right!)

More work here, and another photo below.

(Update: Just got denied my credential request for championship series, but it might all be for not as Arizona was in a tough spot against Milwaukee in the deciding Game 5 as I wrote this).





Starting sports weekend with a celebration

24 09 2011

Big sports weekend for me. Off to Tucson soon to see my Ducks play the Arizona Wildcats — ESPN night game!

Last night I got to be up close and personal as the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrated clinching the NL West championship. It’s something they hadn’t done since 2007, and the team media relations people let media members down on the field to witness the moment right after the final out.

I also got into the clubhouse, where I found myself avoiding champagne being squirted and splashed everywhere. I got hit with a little.

It was quite a scene in there, guys drinking champagne and beer, running out of the clubhouse back onto the field, having their names chanted by fans. I guess you can’t expect a sellout crowd here in Phoenix for even a big game such as Friday night’s, in which the Diamondbacks were one win away from clinching the division, but about 42,600 was pretty big.

They had really nothing to cheer about until the final innings and at the end. But they were loud. And with the last out, here was the scene:

I wrote up a post with quotes from players and others associated with the team for SB Nation Arizona. Here’s video I shot of the party on the field, thanks to Seth Pollack for the cool flip cam.

 

 





Writers write, and I did a lot of it this week

17 09 2011

Can’t stress the title of this post enough. If writing is what you do and what you like, you do it as often as you can. So I write during a lot of whatever spare time I find when not editing or teaching.

Allow me to share with you a look back on my week of writing.

On Monday it was Arizona State football. QB Brock Osweiler is fantastic with the media. Read about his roommate on the road in this early preview of the ASU-Illinois game. 

Wednesday, my short story about Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jordan Harvey appeared on Soccer by Ives. He looks exactly like former Portland Trailblazers center Joel Przybilla. Here’s what Joel looks like:

Thursday I got kind of fired up about the Dodgers-Diamondbacks, Clayton Kershaw-Gerardo Parra flap. So I took this view for SB Nation Arizona. 

Read the rest of this entry »





Remembering 2001 with the Diamondbacks

10 09 2011

What a year, one none of us will ever forget.

One of the things I remember from that year, besides the obvious, was the World Series. A classic. Felt so bad for Byun-Hyun Kim, the Arizona Diamondbacks closer who blew two games with mistake pitches the Yankees hit for home runs.

Of course, the Diamondbacks won that Fall Classic in seven games. I watched it on TV. Almost 10 years later, members of that 2001 team are here in Phoenix for a reunion.

I just always thought the D-backs were so lucky to win that year. It seemed like all the sentiment was for the Yankees after what happened in New York. But that Arizona team was the best money could buy, with Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson and Steve Finley and Luis Gonzalez.

The reunion was pretty emotional for folks from here who are fans. And there’s a huge crowd at Chase Field tonight for this…

…and the reunion.

Photos:

Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling after throwing out the first pitch Saturday.

 

 





Labor Day Weekend 2011 – Sade, College Football, Food & Film

5 09 2011

Let’s just take this one at a time.

Friday night was the Sade/John Legend concert in Phoenix. We went, and man that Sade put on a good show. I always kind of liked her music and took one for the team (aka wife) more than anything else in going, and I wish I could have heard the one song I wanted her to perform, but it was still quite a concert. Loved the mulitmedia action as the backdrop for the stage.

Video time:

Took a few photos with the Iphone too.

Read the rest of this entry »