Kevin C. tours Zona

Driving around the greater Phoenix area, from Mesa to Peoria to Surprise and then back to Mesa, sometimes all in one day, has proven to be an eye-opening experience. Much of Arizona, it seems, is one big strip mall, at least the part that isn’t desert or the Grand Canyon. It seems wherever they can slap up a shopping center, they stick one in, building up the area at an astonishing rate. When I travel to parts of the country I don’t often see, I try to look for something that makes it unique. Other than some beautiful sunsets and how some of the mountains take on an wonderful coloring late in the day, there is nothing unique here

That is, unless, you stop to consider the Arizona Fall League. The circuit has proven to be everything its reputation says it is. The players are talented and exciting, the scouts and front office types can’t stay away and the baseball is pretty darn good. I got to Peoria and Mesa today, with a chance to look at four of the six teams in the league.

Josh Fields extended his hitting streak to 10 games — eight behind what is believed to be the league mark. He seems like a great guy from the few minutes I spent with him. He was able to poke fun at himself and came off as very humble, not trying to be a BMOC that he clearly could have been after being a two-sport star at Oklahoma State.

I also got to talk to Gary Pettis, who was the Mets first base coach for two of the years I covered the team.It was great to catch up with him, get his take on the league and what its like to be a manager.Keep an eye on him, he could be a big league manager before long.

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