3/19/2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the ballpark, Tucson Electric Park to be exact, watching the San Diego Padres vs. the Chicago White Sox in a Spring Training game.

Spring Training seems to be in danger here in Tucson as the MLB teams want the city and county to spend millions (many millions) on new facilities or "upgrades". Tucson has been reluctant in these economic times to burden its citizens further with the requisite taxes such an outlay of cash would mean. Meanwhile, Phoenix which seems to have the same philosophy on taxes that many east coast cities do (never met a tax they didn't like) is eager to steal the teams away with sweet financial packages and deals. So, Spring Training in the nice intimate ballparks of Tucson may be a thing of the past as they move to multi-billion dollar stadiums in Phoenix.

With that in mind we decided to take advantage of the reasonable prices and enjoy a Tuesday afternoon game between my Pads and the Sox. There are some great advantages to small stadiums not the least of which is parking. Though we arrived minutes before the game thanks to a wrong turn (must learn to trust the GPS) we were able to park a reasonable distance from the gate. There were no long lines anywhere although the ballpark was about 3/4 full.

Once inside we stopped at Charro's which is a TEP standard for a Quesadilla (Michael) and Churro (Buck). We also got fresh squeezed lemonade. Unfortunately, during our walk to our seats we managed to miss the top of the first inning with the Pads scoring three runs.

Soon we found our seats which were just past the third base line and settled in for a warm afternoon. The temperature was around 70 which made a warm but not too warm day. Like most smaller ballparks you're close enough to the action to really enjoy it. The fans down front enjoyed chatting with the third base coach and Chicago's guy, Cox, seemed pretty friendly with the fans.

San Diego seems to be a little weak at shortstop, they had two errors but I think they only were charged with one. We saw a lot of double plays on San Diego's part during the afternoon and one nice home run. The final score was San Diego 5, Chicago 0.

After our ballgame we checked out one of Tucson's oldest local grocers, the Rincon Market. I'd expected something a little more unusual from some of the stuff I'd heard. But, it was fairly standard for groceries. Their baked goods looked really good and they have a hot foods department, but I wasn't too keen on eating in the grocery store so we decided to lunch at Chuy's.

After we ate we looked at cameras. We decided to just buy a digital camera since we were spending so much on disposable film cameras lately (almost $100 since leaving SC with processing!) We tried Best Buy first and found one we liked, a Canon Powershot 8 megapixel. Unfortunately, they were out and didn't know when they'd have more. So we decided to try Circuit City and found exactly the same price. It's a great camera and I'm very pleased so far with its capabilities.

We finished off the day with a "quick" trip to Basha's for some breakfast groceries. Of course, no trip to the grocery store is ever quick. Well, it can be quick but it never seems to be cheap. I have noticed that food out here seems be a bit more expensive than South Carolina. We talked a little about joining Costco for some of the things we get regularly (my fries, household supplies, etc.)

All in all a very enjoyable day in Tucson.

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