A few weeks ago I was approached by the fine folks at San Diego Magazine and asked some Spring Training questions. I obliged. But I obliged a little to much, because it was just for a small section, so my answers were edited down just a tad.
Corey Brock & Padres outfielder Will Venable also contributed answers to the same questions. So you get a players, a beat writers & a superfans point of view on the ins and outs of Peoria. Not surprisingly, my original answers were strikingly similar to Corey's because quite frankly, he was the one who taught me everything I know about Spring Training. Now with my yearly pilgrimage to Peoria right around the corner, I thought I'd share with you my full answers to those questions. If you have any tips, feel free to share them with us in the comments section.
Where to stay?
Anywhere that is on the East side of the 101 really. I've stayed at a few different hotels and really haven't noticed a difference in the quality among them. Also, when you stay on that side, nearly everything is in walking distance. You want food? Then it's a short walk. You want drinks? You could practically crawl there (or crawl back if you had to many). You want baseball? You guessed it, just a stones throw away. But please don't throw any stones, you could get arrested.
Where to eat?
Firebirds (on 83rd & Stadium) is a pretty good sit down spot to eat. They cook up some excellent steaks & burgers there and it's a relatively quiet atmosphere. Of course I'm never one to turn down a double-double so there's always good 'ol reliable In-N-Out (on 83rd & Bell).
Where to drink?
Being that we are really spoiled in San Diego with all our craft beers, here's a tip: if you want those types of beers go to Total Wine & More (75th in Glendale). It's like the "Coscto of beers" and they even let you mix and match your six packs. But of course you'd just be returning to your room to drink them. So if you want to go out and don't mind your usual run of the mill beers, then check out these spots: Salty Senorita (on Paradise) is a great place to go for drinks after games. It's literally in the parking lot of the Peoria Sports Complex and their chips and salsa are awesome. Another good spot is the Moon Tavern. You never know who you will run into at that place. The Fox and Hound also has tons of TVs, so if a day full of watching baseball wasn't enough for you, then you can go here and watch even more baseball until your head explodes.
Best Ball Park to Visit (Besides Peoria Sports Complex- Home of the Padres)
I really like Goodyear and, even though the hated Dodgers play there, I like Camelback Ranch. Both are really cool ballparks but being that all the ballparks are so close to one another, I highly recommend going to as many different ones as possible to get the full Spring Training experience. The majority of the parks are on the newer side, so all of them are unique in their own way.
Favorite non-baseball activity in the desert?
I hear there's plenty of golf courses out there, but that really isn't my thing. The Jobing.com arena is about 15 minutes away and is the home of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes, I've been to a few games before and it's always a good time.
I'm a subscriber, so I got my issue in the mail yesterday but the issue will be on newsstands starting March 1st. Make sure to pick up a copy!