Blast from the Past: Arizona Dreamin’

I usually make one or two trips out to Phoenix each year. Spring training has become a must, and I always enjoy taking in some Arizona Fall League games. Today, we’re all about the AFL… and whatever else happened to come with it on a particular journey… and whatever else that triggers in my mind, which you may recall is a scary place to be:

  • In 2001, I was impressed by a kid from Rancho Bernardo named Hank Blalock. Incidentally, his name used to appear at Ducksnorts with some regularity. The following year, while comparing a young Adam Dunn to Brian Giles and a young Albert Pujols to Manny Ramirez, we tossed around the possibility of acquiring Blalock to play second base to accommodate Sean Burroughs, whom we later compared favorably to the Rangers third baseman. It was a nice thought, anyway. Actually, it was two nice thoughts — that the Padres might acquire Blalock and that Burroughs might be good. Oh well. Speaking of Blalock, and since this bullet point seems to have taken on a life of its own, remember when the Oakland A’s were trying to extract him as compensation for the Rangers’ signing of Grady Fuson? If you don’t, it’s probably because you were still wondering how well Mel Proctor’s replacement would do alongside Mark Grant:

    I don’t know much about Vasgersian but almost anything has to be an improvement over Proctor, who seemed like a really good guy but not a very good announcer.

    Uh, yeah; I’d say that worked out okay. And I’m still gonna miss Matt.

  • Hello, we were talking about the AFL? Right, then. In 2004, I was watching Jeremy Hermida, buying some cool baseball books (speaking of Grant, here’s a fun scouting report on him from one of those books), and getting seriously lost on McDowell Road. Good times. That IHOP was pretty funky, although I’ve eaten in funkier places. Cafe Westminster off the 405 at 3 a.m. circa 1987 comes to mind.

Eh, I thought I had more stuff for you. Maybe I do, but I’m too lazy to go find it. Stay funky…

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