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Play strikeball

Believe me, that was the biggest news coming out of this strange, ghostly spring training as La Russa’s Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants prepared to open against each other Friday at Phoenix Memorial Stadium.Oh, and the Giants announced their starting lineup, starring right handed replacement pitcher Tim Burcham.Tim who?"I don’t know who he is," " said one Giants trainer, scanning the backs of the horde of minor leaguers and would be big leaguers Thursday for Burcham at the Giants practice field. "I don’t know what he looks like." He had to radio another trainer to get the description.This is what passes for excitement here as strikeball does its best to try to deaden baseball’s ritual shakedown and warm up in the Arizona desert.Many fans are staying away. Ticket sales are down by half. Thursday, only a dozen fans rattled around in the A’s newly refurbished stadium in Phoenix and the Giants quarters in Scottsdale, far short of
replica ray ban sunglasses the usual 200 jostling for dugout position and autographs. Thursday. and get a table amid the hundreds of signed balls, photos and jerseys.Still, even without the lure
fake ray bans of baseball’s biggest stars, even with the bitterness and grinding tedium of the 205 day strike, the sky is as big as ever here, the blooming desert perfumes the air, and baseball burns bright in many hearts."This part stays the same’And even the reality of exhibition games without real players hasn’t killed hopes that talks between the owners and players taking place just up the road from the Giants and A’s parks will end the strike before the real season starts."We’re here for baseball," said Savio Leardini, 78, inspecting the A’s new state of the art practice fields at Papago Park.Leardini, a retired C sugar employee from Crockett, and his close friend Faye Viery, 72, of Vallejo, are here for their 11th straight year. Part of the A’s Boosters, a familiar spring contingent, they drive down in a motor home and stay for the month as much for the weather and the camaraderie of spring training friendships as for the baseball."We don’t know what we’re going to see on Friday," said Leardini, "but we’ll see some kind of baseball."Both Viery and Leardini say they aren’t
cheap ray ban outlet taking sides in what he calls "the mix up." In fact, he just blocks it out. Gesturing to the unknown players in green and gold taking ground balls and batting practice, he said "This part stays the same."Over at the Giants practice fields in Indian School Park, Marilee and Ken Whitsett had made their 10th annual trek from Sacramento, with three other couples. They didn’t consider not coming because they didn’t want to lose their prime seats for the Giants spring training."It’s still baseball’ "If they’re going to play baseball, and all the teams are the same, then it’s OK. It’s baseball," said Marilee
cheap ray bans Whitsett. "I like Little League. I like high school baseball." Giants third base coach Wendell Kim said much the same."I’m still throwing ground balls and batting practice. It’s just the faces that change. It’s still fun, it’s still baseball."But is it really, without the booming bat and miracle catches of a Barry Bonds, without the nimbleness of a Robby Thompson turning a double play?Articles Connexes:

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