Desert first — then the Far East
Before this star-studded collection of Major League All-Stars departs Monday for a fascinating trip to Tokyo, they have gathered here in the Desert for workouts this weekend. Sorry, you residents of Arizona, the gatherings are closed to the public.
For us media members lucky enough to get through the gates, there wasn’t a heck of a lot of excitement today, but it was hard not to marvel at the collection of stars sharing the field. Ryan Howard, David Wright, Andruw Jones, Jose Reyes, Jermaine Dye, mercy. Lots of studs.
Phoenix is a good, blissful place to kind of chill out before the electricity and frenzied excitement that will be Tokyo, and the other stops in Japan.
I must say, it’s kind of strange to watch Major Leaguers go through the paces of Spring Training in late October, when the World Series is winding down. The guys who didn’t make the playoffs have been off for the last month, and now, all of a sudden, they are starting it up again.
I suppose this tour represents the International coming out party of Ryan Howard. Do you think he can match the 515-foot homer that Big Papi hit in Japan two years ago? Don’t be surprised by anything this man does. He did swat 58 home runs this season, after all, and has the smile and the personality that will allow him to easily embrace the Big Attraction role that he will surely play during this tour. Life isn’t so bad for Bruce Bochy right now. He became the Giants manager today, and, tomorrow, he comes out here to manage these All-Stars. Just FYI, i’ll be blogging regularly until this tour ends on Nov. 9. So come back here early and often for updates of the games and the sights.