Opening Day for the San Francisco Giants (vs. the Dodgers) in Scottsdale
We'll say this about the Giants-Dodgers rivalry: It gets normally sedate California fans riled up. Even at a Spring Training game -- opening day at the Giants' Old Town Scottsdale park -- they were excited for this match-up between divisional rivals who'll play each other another 10 times this season.
Though the game was a bust (slow-moving Dodgers blowout that ended 16-7) the tension between contingents made for a fun day at the ballpark, and should provide for a few more memorable afternoons, now that LA has a new stadium in Glendale. There was plenty of taunting, too. Giants fans were especially hard on Dodger shortstop Chin-Lung Hu, who was, at one point, on first, prompting much comment.
Other than the heckling, the talk in the stands was all about how empty the stadium looked. We haven't seen any hard numbers, but officials have told local media they expect overall numbers to be up, while individual game numbers are down.
Two new stadiums opening (the other is the Cleveland Indians' park in Goodyear, which opened yesterday) obviously help them play with the figures a bit, but everyone we heard talking though this was a pitifully small crowd for opening day at one of the Valley's most popular parks.
Check out our slideshow for more from Scottsdale.