Getting up early, we headed over to the Peoria Sports Complex to try to catch some Padre players at the practice fields before the games started. We found out there was a 9:45AM game due to the rain out the previous night, so a lot of players were playing, while the rest ran drills on the practice fields. We took some pictures and headed inside for the Padres Membership Meeting where we saw out ticket rep Hayley Hallum and got to chat with her. Randy Jones walked up and I talked to him about knowing his former teammate Dave Freisleben on Facebook. I passed on a message to Randy from Dave stating that Dave had just gone fishing with former Padres pitcher Larry Hardy, to which Randy replied, “Larry must have been desperate to go fishing with Dave.” I laughed and Randy said he was going to get in touch with Dave.
Lunch was served. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chili and potato salad and lots of wine (which The Baseball PHD made sure to get a glass or 2 while we were there.) The meeting started off with one of the Seidler’s family members coming up to speak. He talked about the excitement of owning the Padres and then introduced Randy Jones, who was making the rounds going to each table and making people laugh and feel welcome to be there. General Manager Josh Byrnes came up and took questions from the audience. I asked Josh if the Padres had done any re-evaluation of how they handle pitchers in the minors after last year and he said that had made no “drastic changes” and that “last year was a fluke as far as the injuries to the pitchers.” Clayton Richard and Anthony Bass came over and signed autographs and chatted with the fans. It was a great experience.
With the meeting over, we walked to our seats and sat down and watched the game. The only excitement for the Padres was Kyle Blanks hitting a huge home run to left center. We got to see Jeff Gyorko play second base as well as hit a shot to right for a hit. We left the game in the 7th to head back to the hotel so we could get ready for some WBC Baseball; Team USA vs.Team Italy.
Arriving in Chase Field, we walked around the stadium and took pictures before heading to our seats right behind the pool in center field. Team Italy was starting Padres outfielder Chris Denorfia in center field, so I spent most of the game yelling, “Deno” at the top of my lungs. Not sure if he ever heard me though. Team Italy jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Team USA came back and took the lead for good on a David Wright grand slam. We got up and moved to some different seats in left field and then down the third base line. Game ended with Team USA beating Team Italy 6-2. We drove home happy, but tired after a very long day.