One of a series of observations from our annual Cactus League pilgrimage:
Maybe this should be expected for the first exhibition meeting of Los Angeles’ two Major League Baseball teams. Yet it still seemed like a Hollywood production when the Freeway Rivalry resumed for its 2012 edition.
In the parking lot of Tempe Diablo Stadium was ESPN’s Spring Training van. It’s not exactly the Madden Cruiser, but it’s been making stops at Arizona and Florida spring training sites and today was the day it turned into Angels’ camp. [click to continue…]
A drawing of the proposed Sacramento sports arena.
We survived Leap Day with all of its sales and freebies. Heck, I even stopped at Subway to get my free cookie.
But let’s take a leap of another kind. Let’s put the cart before the horse on the new downtown sports arena in Sacramento, which goes to a city council vote on March 6.
We know it will be home to the Sacramento Kings when it is projected to open in time for the 2015-16 NBA season. But the big fallacy is the structure would be nothing more than a playground for the Maloofs.
On the contrary. Barring a playoffs run, the Kings would be expected to use the arena about 50 dates a year. That leaves 315 dates – OK 316 in the next leap year of 2016 – for concerts, truck pulls and ice shows. But more importantly, a modern arena will make Sacramento host to a number of sporting events that would either be new to the area or return a fan favorite.
Here’s a look at a few of the sporting events that would return – or stay – in Sacramento thanks to a new entertainment facility: [click to continue…]
Editor’s note: We originally published this last year, but – with a few updates – you’ll find more than a few things to do if you head to Arizona for Cactus League spring training games.
So you’re a fan of the Oakland A’s or San Francisco Giants?
So you’re making the pilgrimage to spring training?
So you want to do something in Phoenix besides eat and drink baseball? Or at least you want to make it fun for your significant other?
There are lots of things to do in the Valley of the Sun that don’t include a white ball with stitches. In fact, you may forget about the Cactus League with all of the area’s attractions. You just need to know where to find it.
Lucky for you, I grew up in Phoenix and, until last year, I made it back for 20 consecutive spring trainings. Here are 10 questions (and answers) of things you shouldn’t miss while you’re there. [click to continue…]
What will the season hold for the Sacramento Kings? It’s unclear, but a few observations were gleaned from their season-opening 100-91 victory over the Lakers on Monday:
1. Cousins grew up: If this game is any indication, DeMarcus Cousins is a dramatically different player than he was last season. He has matured physically and mentally.
He looks leaner and faster on court. It showed in more than the 12 points and 11 rebounds he contributed. He was pesky toward the Lakers’ big men, poking the ball away if he couldn’t haul down a rebound, and hard to get by, drawing a crucial charging foul by Kobe Bryant with 57 seconds left.
Cousins also kept his cool in situations he might have lost it last year. He still pouted after not drawing a foul on a few possessions, but when he was called for his third foul late in the first half, he bent over, talked to the ref and patted him on the butt when their discussion was over. He didn’t go nuts when he drew a double-technical with Lakers center Pau Gasol after the two got tangled up; he took a seat on the bench when coach Paul Westphal pulled him and cheered his team on. [click to continue…]
Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Photo courtesy of Flickr.com
It didn’t gain big headlines. In fact, the San Francisco Chronicle buried it on Page 7 of The Sporting Green. Yet news that the Oakland Athletics may be moving their spring training operations to Mesa, Ariz., could affect half the Cactus League when the dust has settled.
In case you missed it, the A’s have entered into an exclusive negotiating period through May 15 with Mesa to discuss playing at Hohokam Park in 2015. That is one year after the Cubs will have left for their new “Wrigleyville West” stadium, which Mesa is building it its Riverview area.
An A’s spring move from one Phoenix-area park to another has far-reaching ramifications, not just with the Cactus League but the rest of the spring training in Major League Baseball: [click to continue…]
Sometimes the world of sports and politics intersect. Sometimes sports and journalism intersect. But rarely do journalism, sports and politics all cross the way they did this week.
The topic was Sarah Palin, who is a subject of a new biography by Joe McGinniss that had excerpts leaked by, of all publications, The National Enquirer.
The Enquirer, which is is known for having questionable ethics, raised some eyebrows in the sports and political world when it reported that Palin in 1987 had a tryst with former University of Michigan basketball player Glen Rice, who would go on to moderate stardom in the NBA.
The hookup wouldn’t be of note unless you knew that Palin at the time was a sports anchor/reporter for KTUU-TV in Anchorage, Alaska. She was covering the Great Alaska Shootout, in which Michigan was competing.
If you haven’t noticed, someone involved here made a huge ethics violation and it was neither Rice nor The Enquirer. Gotcha! [click to continue…]
It made sense when the Sacramento Kings sold tickets on Groupon. It didn’t raise any red flags when the Golden State Warriors had tickets on Living Social. And it has been no big deal that the San Francisco Giants have been offering “dynamic pricing” for years.
Those moves made sense. They were all good marketing. But what showed up in email boxes Wednesday was more than a marketing ploy. It reeked of desperation.
The NFL direct- mail ad deal offered a “2 tickets for the price of 1″ promotion for two Raiders games this season at O.co Coliseum. Not just any Raiders home games, but Sept. 25 against the New York Jets and Oct. 2 against the New England Patriots.
That’s against one team that went to the last two AFC Championship Games and travels well and another team that has been one of the premier NFL franchises in the past decade. If you’re adding at home, that’s 1+1 = slow ticket sales.