I’ve tried to let this topic go since last week’s Robert Haack Diamonds Post Game Show, but I simply can’t! I received an e-mail during the show talking about the problems a listener had getting a bar to turn the Bucks game on. After reading that email, I received a call from another listener in Cedarburg claiming to be a bar/restaurant owner and he pretty much stated that the Bucks aren’t that good and he doesn’t go out of his way to have the game on but would turn it on if somebody asked for it. That call was followed by Saz, the owner of Saz’s, who couldn’t believe what he heard that owner say, and stressed how important it is to have local establishments supporting the local teams in town.
After having thought about this for a few days, I am more adamant than ever that as a fan, if a local establishment doesn’t care enough to support the local sports teams, then I see no reason why I should support them. You are free to agree or disagree with me on this, but I’ve heard local owners of bars and restaurants complain about “chain” places taking business away from them and they couldn’t understand how people would go there over their business. If that’s the sentiment of most local owners, then you will surely understand my stance as a sports fan to not support any business that doesn’t support the local teams.
Are you a Brewers fan? If you are and you’ve never been to spring training before, let me tell you to add it your bucket list. I know in the middle of the winter in Wisconsin, you probably can’t wait for baseball to start at Miller Park. There isn’t much better then showing up at Maryvale Baseball Park in Arizona to smell the different things cooking in the concession stands. Then it’s the crack of the bat coming from the field as you’re walking up to the gate, under the beautiful sunny skies in Arizona.
If you have kids who are baseball fans, they also can take advantage in the mornings at the minor league complex right across from a parking lot from the major league complex where all the players go to do their morning drills. You can sit right behind the backstop screen and watch each group of players do their drills while they are on the field you are sitting at. Then when the morning stuff is done, they head across the parking lot back to the major league clubhouse, but along the way they will sign autographs for the kids.
The other great part of Cactus League action is the fact that everything is so close together, with most team’s ballparks being within 30 minutes or so of another one. Looking for things to do? I like The Tempe Marketplace, which brings great shopping and different places to eat. If you’re a college student, hanging out on Mill Road in Tempe is the place to be. I’m a big fan of going to Scottsdale, but to be honest, it’s a little too rich for my blood, but if you are well off you can certainly have a good time.
So once you've crossed off Brewers Spring Training from your bucket list, let me know what you think!