Plenty of good seats still available.  This pretty much sums up today’s game against Lake Elsinore that was played at their Major League affiliate’s (San Diego Padres) PETCO Park.  Once a season, Lake Elsinore plays a “home” game at this venue, with the Quakes winning the scheduling lottery for the game this season.

At the outset, playing in a Major League ballpark seems like an incredible experience.  However, my feelings about the entire event, and shared by several of my teammates, are mixed.  Upon arrival, we were ushered into an auxiliary locker room, which was not much more than shower and bathroom facilities with a bunch of chairs lined up along the walls.  This was not a huge deal, especially after being in Modesto’s clubhouse, but things were a bit cramps.  Just outside of our locker room was our “training room.”  This was nothing more than a table cordoned off from the staging area, which runs around the entire bottom level of the stadium, by curtains.  Again, not a huge issue, just a little different.

Our pregame was limited to hitting in the batting cages under the stadium, pitchers’ bullpens and sides, and infield.  I understand that wear and tear on the field is trying to be kept at a minimum, but an abbreviated batting practice on the field would not have done too much damage and enhanced the overall experience.  College tournaments are played at Major League stadiums and they always seem to come out alright; taking a light batting practice on the field would have gone mostly unnoticed.  

We were told not to wear metal spikes during pregame; it was either turfs or molded cleats.  For me, this was a bigger issue since I only wear metal spikes on the field (I have never felt comfortable in molded cleats since I am always on the dirt).  Relegated to my turfs, I kept longer throwing to a minimum to prevent slipping and blowing out a groin.  Another pregame quirk included the starting pitchers having to do their long-toss on the warning track.  Seriously, are two short long-toss sessions really going to tear up a field?

As for the game itself, we came out on the short end of the affair.  It was a cool experience playing in a stadium that large, albeit eerily quiet amidst all of those empty seats.  Overall, today’s venue enhances the desire to achieve our goal of playing in the Big Leagues.  At times, this occurred at the expense of us feeling like strangers in our own profession.  However, this will be remembered for a while.


One Response to “PETCO”

  1. mb Says:

    Thanks for the blogs. Good luck in the pros

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