While we are stuck in the Derby City finishing up the media guide and the first edition of the program, Matt Andrews, the voice of the Bats, is enjoying sunshine and baseball in Goodyear, Arizona. We had to twist his arm a bit, but we were able to talk Matty into doing a daily post on The Bats Signal, which will provide Bats fans with an inside look at everything that is going down in spring training.
And now I present to you, Matt A’s intial post…
Day One from the Valley of the Sun is in the books. It was a good start to this four day adventure out west to catch a glimpse of the Bats and Reds of 2012. I have two other previous trips to Phoenix on the ledger. Suffice to say 2003 was far more memorable than 2007 – for many reasons – and both trips involved my beloved Buckeyes playing for rings!
It is year three for the Reds training in Goodyear, AZ, and while I had heard folks rave about the change, I can easily see why. My gracious “tour guide” for this four day adventure is my friend, and former colleague, former radio voice of the Bats, Jim Kelch. Now working for the Reds in a radio/tv capacity, Jim and I (Ha! Gemini) had planned to do this last year. However, and not to my chagrin, the U of L women pulled the upset of Xavier in round two a year ago, and punched my ticket the next day to Spokane, WA, as opposed to Phoenix, AZ! Gladly, the trip went on standby for another spring. So this year the week between the Big East Tournament on the women’s side and the first round of the NCAA Tournament fit in nicely.
Wheels down at 9 local time yesterday. Jim rolled up in his bright red Dodge Charger (no joke, as if they hand picked these cars for the Reds employees!) to pick me up and away we went. Breakfast at a local establishment and then off to the Maryvale Baseball Park for a tilt with the defending NL Central Champion Brewers.
Mike Leake started opposite Zack Greinke and both pitched well. Highlights included a Juan Fransisco (Bats/Reds) blast, a Todd Frazier RBI double, Chris Valaika batting leadoff (after off-season ACL surgery, it was good to see Val in his element) and two good innings from Carlos Fisher. Ryan Braun did take Sean Marshall deep to delight the crowd of over 4,000. Reds a winner 8-6 to go to 3-2 on the spring. I enjoyed the game from the Reds on Radio (Internet yeterday) booth…Never gets old.
After watching the Cards beat down Marquette we enjoyed a postgame dinner with members of the Reds TV crew at Raul and Theresa’s (some of the finest Mexican I’ve ever tasted).
Day two will feature my first visit to the Reds complex in Goodyear. It’s a split squad day for the Reds, with the Royals visiting at 3:05 et. Jim and Jeff Brantley will have the Internet call today through reds.com or mlb.com.
My co-horts Nick Evans and Chad Fischer have twisted my arm and fingers into the Twitter world. You can follow me at @BatsRadio…Should be fun. As my mentor would say, #turnitup.
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