Monthly Archives: March 2009

We woke up early (tried for 4:30AM, but it was really more like 5:00AM) and got the last of the things ready for the car.  Four trips later, the car was loaded up, so we went to the hotel kitchen to get a bite to eat for the road and got started.  The sun had only been up for a little while when we hit the road.

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Today was the last baseball game of the trip and the Athletics hosted the cross-bay rival Giants.  The game wasn’t so great from the perspective of the A’s, except for the five innings thrown by Trevor Cahill.  The only thing bad that happened to him was Travis Ishikawa belted the first of his two homeruns.  After that though, the Giants stepped it up and scored seven more to win 8-4.  One of the most interesting parts of the game, even though it was at the expense of the A’s, was when Bobby Crosby came up to hit with runners Matt Carson on first and Aaron Cunningham on second.  Crosby hit the ball to the thirdbaseman Ryan Rohlinger, who immediately tagged Carson going to third, tossed the ball to Matt Downs at second to force out Cunningham and then threw it to Scott McClain at first to get Crosby out.  Triple play.  You don’t see those very often.

It was a quicker game than all the rest so we actually got back to the hotel pretty quick.  We don’t have anything else planned since we’d like to get to bed early tonight.  If we can wake up early enough and get rolling, we might be at home by bedtime tomorrow.  Off to dinner and to organize our stuff for the car!

We got up earlier than normal today s o we could get to the Phoenix Zoo shortly after it opened.  It was nice to be able to go everywhere without trying to navigate people, but that changed about thirty minutes in when the kids on field trips arrived.  It was one of the busiest days of the year for the Zoo, since it’s spring break for a lot of kids and some schools in session bring their kids here for a field trip.

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Today was the only ‘road trip’ of our games this week.  We ate breakfast and hopped in the car for the hour drive up to Surprise, Arizona.  Surprise Stadium is in the middle of the Surprise Recreation Campus, which includes practice fields, picnic grounds, a library, tennis courts, community pool and a water park.  Both the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals share the baseball facility.  It’s really a nice place to watch a game.  We were in the upper level in the last row and it seemed like we were so close to the field.  I wish all major league parks could be like this.

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Today we went on a ninty minute drive up I17 to the town of Campe Verde and the wild animal park nearby called Out of Africa.  We left about an hour late and the place was pretty packed.  While on the the ‘safari’ ride, the driver said that they normally get 500 people but today they expected 1500.  Spring break is the busiest time of the year for them.

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Today was a long day.  We got to Phoenix Muni early, almost too early.  Parking was open, but the stadium wasn’t, so we went inside the shop to browse around.  I bought myself another straw hat, since you can never have too many of them.  When we finally got inside, we headed over near the A’s dugout area.  I snapped a bunch of pictures of the players taking batting practice and throwing the ball around.

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Today was the first baseball game of the trip, with the A’s hosting the Dodgers split squad.  After allowing the Dodgers to put up four runs in the second, they came back and scored nine in the third.  They wanted to coast home, but the Dodgers put up four runs in the ninth to bring it to 10-8 before the game ended.  I ate a footlong hot dog with kraut, onions and peppers.  As my mustache grows, I have to relearn how to eat certain things, and dogs are one of those things.

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We are tired.  Last night we all had some kind of problems sleeping.  Hunter decided that he couldn’t keep so much milk in his stomach, and burped up a lot of it all over Heather and the bed.  He had to get new clothes on and calmed down enough to go back to sleep.  I had to put on headphones and find a radio station to listen to in order to get to sleep, but then woke up a couple hours later and couldn’t immediately return to sleep.  Eventually I did, but not before listening to a bunch of oldie songs on Cola 99.9FM.  Reminds me of the old KFRC.

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We left this morning for our trip to Arizona. The main attractions are four spring training baseball games featuring the Oakland Athletics, visiting San Jose Sharks at Phoenix Coyotes and a couple zoos.

We planned on leaving at about nine am this morning, but we had a missing kitty to find.  We weren’t sure if she had snuck outside while we were packing the car, so we couldn’t leave until we knew where she was.  It turned out she was spooked by the vacuum as I cleaned the car out and she hid in our bedroom under the comforter.  Anyway, we finally got on the road about ten o’clock and headed toward I5.

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[originally posted on Fear the Fin]

I follow a great NFL stats blog called Advanced NFL Stats, that uses live win-probability modeling to determine which of the two teams is most likely to win. This football off-season the author of that blog has started looking at other sports, hockey being one of them. The post on March 9th was his first about modeling hockey games. In the post, he describes the Poisson equation and how to determine the probability of a team scoring or allowing a certain amount of goals, and through that, the possibility of them winning games.  Go ahead and read his post. I’ll wait….. OK! So I thought it might be neat to see what the Sharks numbers were…

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