We apologize in advance for the feelings of nostalgia that are bound to come with reading the Phoenix edition of the On the Road blog. First, seeing the lush lawn and blazing sun will harken fans back to a time in Montreal that feels like it was a lot longer than seven months ago, when flip flops and T-shirts were the outfits of choice and there wasn’t a snow bank or winter tire to be seen for miles. Second, seeing photos of spring training in action is sure to re-open old wounds for Expos fans who would love nothing more than to see Nos Amours hit the diamond on a sunny day, even under the roof at the Big O. For this edition of the blog, we hit up Camelback Ranch to watch the White Sox take on the Mariners in Cactus League exhibition action from prime seats on the centerfield lawn.
For just $11, we were able to get within a warning track of Seattle and Chicago’s boys of summer. The official spring training facility of the Sox and Dodgers until they relocate to their permanent digs in Chicago and LA, respectively, for the regular season in April, the “Ranch” has room for 13,000 fans, but also features a dozen smaller diamonds for local teams to get their swing on. While we weren’t able to stay until the final pitch, we can confirm the Mariners pulled off a comeback, registering five unanswered runs to win 7-4.
While we were cheering more for a day in the sun than for either team in particular, we have to admit we had a soft spot for Seattle after noticing former Expos center fielder Endy “Bagel” Chavez on the roster. One of the last 10 active players remaining in the league to have played in Montreal, the 36-year-old slugger – who played for the ‘Spos from 2002 to 2004 – finished his day having gone 1-for-4.