Vegas, Phoenix, Denver Trip, Day 4.

So one thing I forgot to mention about the previous day: Jean lives in Sun City… and after dinner, and as the Cubs were getting humiliated again, Rachel and I decided we’d go for a little walk around the neighborhood. Jean warned us to be sure we knew where we were going, because it just so happens that this entire neighborhood was designed by Daedalus, and with coyotes roaming free out in this area, we could very much end up another victim of this modern day Labyrinth. [I hope you enjoyed today’s mythology lesson.] Anyway, the neighborhood was confusing, and it’s easy to get lost. So Rachel and I went for a walk, and then we got lost… a little bit of walking, and Rachel figured it out, and we made it back to Jean’s house… but I thought that was kinda funny.

We woke up after getting to sleep in a decent amount (10ish?) and the first mission was to remove the top from the Jeep. It was trickier than I expect, but I suppose if it was easy to do, you’d have a lot of Jeep with tops blowing off on the highway, and parked jeeps with their tops pulled off as if they were part of “Jeeps Gone Wild” or something. With the Jeep taken care of we headed back inside, where we had breakfast. Jean has fruit trees in her back yard: [White] Grapefruit, Orange, Tangelo, and part of a branch of Pink Grapefruit. We had a White Grapefruit for breakfast. All I’ve ever had before was red grapefruit, and I do not like red grapefruit, so I was skeptical. It was the most fantastic thing I had tasted in a long, long time. Also, the idea of having fruit trees in your backyard really interests me. That seems like the greatest thing ever: “Would you like a snack? Why not go in the back yard and grab one that the earth has created just for you.” Fantastic!

The main events for today were a tour of Chase Field (Formerly Bank One Ballpark), home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and then a Cubs vs. Diamondbacks game. “Woot!”. So we hopped in the car, and drove in to Phoenix. We parked, and showed up to the stadium in plenty of time, and the tour started. The stadium itself was quite nice. Some key features: They have a roof that can open or close, depending on the heat, and I suppose if someday it rained in this state. They also have a pool out in right field that people can hang out in during the game. The Diamondbacks are also the youngest team to win a World Series, beating the Yankees [yea!] back in 2001, so there is quite a lot of stuff in the stadium celebrating that, and rightfully so. They also have a lot of information spread out throughout the stadium about the history of baseball, baseball stadiums, broadcasters, the World Series, the All-Star Game, etc. It was all quite interesting. Our tour guide was also quite knowledgeable, and as there were Cubs fans, Dodgers fans, Diamondback fans, etc. in the crowd (maybe 10-12 people on the tour) he would point out particular facts and information about those teams as well, and then quiz us and make us feel stupid.. until we pointed out that Nomar was on the Dodgers, not the Cubs. Also, Chase field is one of only two fields that feature the old style “Catcher’s Walk” between the plate and the pitcher’s mound. Anyone know the other field? [Mark does]. One more trivia question: MLB retired Jackie Robinson’s number 42 a number of years ago. No new players could take #42, and so only players who were already #42 could keep that number until they retired. At present, there is only 1 player left with #42. Know who it is?

So the tour continued, and then we were in the visitor’s dugout. It was awesome. As we were hanging out there, some Cub players showed up far out in the outfield, and were warming up. Shortly after that, the tour was done. We had a few hours to burn before the game, so I called up my brother, and he gave us some directions, and we headed out towards his school. We showed up, and after finding the secret passageways to actually get to the school, we made it into his classroom in time to see him finish up his class (Latin… Nerds!). He showed us around the school, then we headed back to his place, and we met up with Rebecca and Steven, and met my new niece, Emma. We then took off for this nice pizza restaurant, and had some lunch and just kinda hung out for a while. It was a lot of fun. Soon it was time for the game, and we headed back to the stadium.

I won’t say too much about the game, save for a few little points:

  • I took many, many pictures. This should surprise no one. The odd part was that there wasn’t anything particularly interesting that happened the entire game, especially on the Cubs’ side. They didn’t score any runs, and had very few hits.
  • There were many more Cub fans than Diamondback fans. I’d put the breakdown at at least 2/3 Cubs to 1/3 Diamondbacks.. and it could’ve been 3/4ths…
  • There was a “Cubs fan” behind us who was very loud, very stupid, and I wanted him to die. First off, he was a “Cub fan” who hated everything about the Cubs. He hated the manager, he hated all of the players, he hated the owner, and I’d assume he hated Wrigley as well. Perhaps he liked the logo, or the supposed “kewl factor” of being a Cubs fan.. like how all those preppy kids are pretending to be “geeks and nerds” now because it has a weird kewl factor right now. Here’s the deal: You’re not, stop trying to cash in on something just cause it’s popular now. That doesn’t make you kewl, it makes you a poseur. Why aren’t you still “totally into Swing music!” and wearing your trucker hat? ESAD. This guy was so very loud and annoying (Think “Home! Home!” and you get the idea) that he made parts of the game truly painful. At one point, his solution to the Cubs slump was to get rid of the entire team except Ronny Cedeno, fire Dusty Baker right now, and get rid of Jim Hendry. I didn’t hear it, but I also assume they have to leave Chicago, and change their name. This kid was annoying. I cheered when he left in the 7th.
  • The Phoenix Suns were playing the Lakers in Game 6 (in LA) at the same time as the Cubs game, and so most of the TVs in the suites and boxes were on the Basketball game, and whenever they flashed the score on the big screen, the crowd went crazy. [FYI: The Suns won in overtime. We made it home to Jean’s to see the last 6 minutes of the 4th quarter, and the overtime. It was an exciting game and great for anyone who follows the Suns’ fantasy basketball rankings. The Suns beat the Lakers in game 7, and everyone in the entire world was happy about that. OH, except that idiot who “would put $20 on the Lakers right now! Let’s go! 20 buck!]
  • Glendon Rusch was brought in from the bullpen, and did not give up a home run. I think that’s a record.
  • Cubs lost, and looked awful.
  • The Stadium was beautiful, and we had good seats.

That was pretty much the whole day. A great day in terms of “I love-a the baseball” but a Cubs win would have been nice. One little/final sidenote: JEan is a big Diamondbacks fan.. so when we returned, I asked “Did you enjoy the game?” And she laughed, and enthusiastically replied “Yes, I did!”. Tomorrow is Tuscon!


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