Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Now & then, in recent months especially, Your Humble Narrator feels slightly cranky about his adopted home state. When I do, I find it helpful to remember that Arizona, for all its undoubted faults, is still a place where you can go to a baseball game in mid-November.
This past Saturday evening The Wife & I went to the lovely newish ballpark at Camelback Ranch—the shared spring training home of the Dodgers & the White Sox—& watched the Phoenix Desert Dogs defeat the Peoria Saguaros, 8-1, in the MLB-sponsored league made up of promising prospects. It was jacket weather, but very tolerable, & the concession stand sold hot chocolate. Then this afternoon I went to Phoenix Municipal Stadium & watched while, in the most flawless baseball weather ever, the Dogs defeated the Scottsdale Scorpions, 2-1.

Both games were inexpensive ($6 maximum for the general-seating tickets), sparsely attended seven-innings affairs—they even featured a “Fifth Inning Stretch” with an even more halfhearted rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” than usual. It’s hard to imagine a more relaxed, less nerve-wracking professional sporting event to go to. I recommend them.

I do, however, have a suggestion for the Fall League. Most of the teams are named after desert fauna or flora: the Phoenix Desert Dogs, Scottsdale Scorpions, Peoria Saguaros, Peoria Javelinas. The only exceptions are the Mesa Solar Sox, which is a very cool name, & the Surprise Rafters.

Which is not a cool name.

Since this…
 …is the Rafter logo, I gather it refers to some sort of recreational river rafting, & not, as I supposed when I first saw it, to large heavy beams of wood. But somehow the name just doesn’t sing to me. I tried to think of what desert critter or shrub that hasn’t already been taken would be better—Surprise Tarantulas? Surprise Ocotillos? Surprise Chuckwallas? Surprise Chollas? Surprise Side-Blotched Lizards? Surprise Harris Antelope Squirrels?

Then it came to me: The Surprise Snowbirds. Think about it—the logo could be a bird, barreling down the baseline in a powerchair, carrying an oxygen tank…

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