Parting Thoughts from Camelback Ranch

I’m back home now.  I feel as though I should be hopping on a shuttle and going somewhere in Glendale but alas, I am back to my routine life.  I have been thinking about Camelback and thought I should voice some of my parting thoughts.

I was not sure what I would find once I arrived.  I always travel alone and do Dodger activities on my own.  So I was a bit nervous about where I would go and what I would do.  I tried to work out the details about lodging, travel, and dining but Camelback itself was a mystery.  I had seen pictures of Camelback Stadium but to see it in person is impressive.  The residents of Glendale are in awe at how fast the whole project progressed.  Fourteen months.  You usually can’t even get a home addition done in 14 months.  It is well planned out. 

I felt that this was a true experience in seeing another side of the team.  Usually at the games, the fans can’t get very close.  It was exciting to watch them walk by so closely.  And it was interesting to actually talk to many of them..  There was a variety of spectators: young and old, all eager to get the baseball experience.  I was amazed at the places that these fans came from:  parts of Canada to everywhere, U.S.A.  Most of them wanted a glimpse of our Manny. 

Speaking of Manny.  I’m not sure what happened in the Red Sox Nation but I don’t even want to speculate in deference to Julia (of Julia Rants).  I don’t know how I would feel if I were a Red Sox fan.  But I as a Dodger fan, am enarmored by Manny.  Seeing him in person definitely put stars in my eyes.  I have seen him once before last season up close and personal and even snagged an autograph but to see him during ST was an experience.  He is definitely a personality bigger than life.  Everyone loves him, the press, the fans, the kids.  He not only can hit but he is MANNY.  The whole attitude changed when he arrived at Camelback, an aura of hope.  Most speculators give the Dodgers a clear shot at that big prize, the world champs.  Could it be????

I think that my most prized memory of Camelback was having a one to one encounter with James Loney and Matt Kemp.  I had a chance meeting where the stars were all aligned and in my favor.  I wrotre about this meeting elsewhere in my blog but I had to bring it up one more time.  They are absolutely the nicest, sweetest guys on earth, very unaffected by it all.  Anyone who says anything negative about them better answer to me!!!  I will always treasure the pictures that I took (on my Iphone.  I didn’t even have my camera with me)  Why am I so lucky??  We talked for a while while they walked to the car.  The next day, I saw them at batting practice and they both remembered me.  And who am I??  A Dodger fan, through and through.  I bleed Dodger blue.  I told Matt that I was surprised no one else recognized him, and he gave me that adorable smile of his and said, “I’m nobody.”  Is that unbelievable. 

I will definitely go back to Camelback next year for a longer time.  It will be a tradition for me.  I would advise everybody to take time to go.  It is only a 5 hour drive from the LA area.  I flew but that’s because I went solo.  The tickets are different prices but all the seats are great. 

Dodgers, I love you.  I can’t wait until Opening Day.  I live for baseball!!


  1. Dodger4life

    Nice post Cat…. I love the Dodgers with you 🙂
    GO DODGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. oldbrooklynfan

    Great Blog CAT. All this experience, I think it will hit you again and again whenever you watch a game from either your seats at Dodger Stadium or from home on your T.V. set.

  3. juliasrants

    Hi Cat – Ah – where to begin with Manny. He faked injuries, threw a travel secretary to the ground (the gentleman is in his 60s) because he couldn’t honor Manny’s request for 14 tickets two hours before the game, he stood at home plate and watched 3 strikes go by – and never lifted his bat – because he was mad he had to play, he complained that he “suffered” while he played in Boston (I guess $160 million wasn’t enough) and now he is dissing Big Papi! There is no question that Manny has talent, but if he becomes unhappy – you might end up with something you don’t want. Our team became happy and played more like a team once Manny was traded. And most of us in Red Sox Nation were glad to see him leave. Talent isn’t enough to compensate for everything else that went with it. Good luck with Manny – if history is any indication, you’ll need it! I’ll be happy to add you to my list when I do my next update!


  4. bluenosedodger

    Julia, I live on the east coast of Canada and am very familiar with Manny’s doings in Boston. His constant wanting out, which he forced. And the team got better when he left. I was not very excited with he became a Dodger.

    However, he did energize the Dodgers and I think will continue to, as you say, as long as he is happy. But, how can he not be happy? The fans adore him, his team mates like him, the press flocks to him. His $1M contribution to charity in his contract is a positive also. I think Ned was very wise to get a one year deal done with a Manny option on a second year. Wise financially and acceptable to Manny. He can leave if unhappy or to pursue another FA contract or better still stay because he likes it in LA.

    I don’t anticipate any Manny problems, other than fielding issues. We did get better when Manny arrived. We had a good September, and here I will get Cat stirred up a bit. A number of writers attribute the improved attitude, not only to Manny arriving, but to Jeff Kent being injured and not being in the club house. Our success this year relies on continued progress for our young players, not on Manny. He is just the catalyst.

    Canada has been eliminated from the WBC – no arms. I really don’t mind as we couldn’t go very far at our best and now Russell will be back in camp. He should be there working with the pitchers.


  5. heartruss

    Harold, I’m sad that Canada already is out but Russell will be back at Camelback Ranch which is the postivel. Thanks for posting.

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