2012 MLB Spring Training from Arizona

Baseball is almost a religion for a great many people, and I’m sorry but I just don’t understand it. There, I said it. I just don’t get it. Sure I love baseball, I just don’t make it my religion.

As a kid growing up in Oakland California I can remember a nice old man who lived next door who would sit in his backyard during those warm summer days and listen to the Oakland Athletics baseball games on the radio. I would hear the sounds of the game on the radio drifting over the fence and when I am covering a spring training game I am reminded of my childhood and the warm summer days hearing A’s baseball on the radio.

I love to cover spring training games because the atmosphere is so relaxed and both the fans and the players just seem to be having fun. You also get to see the young upstart players and the iconic players get out there and enjoy the game of baseball before the long season begins.

Let’s start the show with some pitcher images.

MAR 14 2012: San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson (38) on the mound during a MLB Spring Training game against the Cleveland Indians at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Brian ‘fear the beard’ Wilson takes the mound during a San Francisco Giants game.

To see more spring training baseball click the more link below:

MAR 14 2012: Cleveland Indians pitcher Joe Smith (38) on the mound during a MLB Spring Training game against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Joe Smith of the Cleveland Indians has a great side-arm pitching style that just looked awesome and reminded me of the movie ‘Money Ball.’ It sure made for some cool images.

MAR 09 2012: Oakland Athletics pitcher Evan Scribner (58) on the mound during an MLB Spring Training game against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Athletics defeated the Rockies 6-4.

Sometimes it’s a question of arm up, or arm down? Like this shot of A’s pitcher Evan Scribner, my vote is for arm down.

MAR 06 2012: Texas Rangers pitcher Cody Eppley (50) delivers a pitch during an MLB Spring Training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Rangers defeated the Diamondbacks 16-3.

With Texas Rangers pitcher Cody Eppley his arm is kinda up, but not bent at the elbow so I like this one best.

MAR 09 2012: Colorado Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood (32) on the mound during an MLB Spring Training game against the Oakland Athletics at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Athletics defeated the Rockies 6-4.

I liked this classic pose of Colorado Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood on the mound, arm up and bent at the elbow.

I got some shots of Tyler with his arm down too and they are nice, but I think I like the arm up shot better.

Here is the one of Evan with his arm up, I think I like the one with his arm down better.

MAR 09 2012: Colorado Rockies pitcher Rafael Betancourt (63) on the mound during an MLB Spring Training game against the Oakland Athletics at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Athletics defeated the Rockies 6-4.

Colorado Rockies pitcher Rafael Betancourt with both arm and glove up made for an interesting pose.

When Brian Wilson first took the field, both myself and the other photographer in the photo-well said the beard looks fake, and from a distance it did look fake but after we zoomed into our images on the backs of our cameras we could tell it was real.

The crowd at the ballpark roared when they saw Wilson take the field, it was magical. Who would believe a baseball pitcher would generate a ‘rockstar’ following.

While Wilson was on the mound I was madly clicking away for the perfect shot and hoping for just the right moment where I could get a good shot that would showcase his iconic beard.

MAR 06 2012: Texas Rangers pitcher Mark Hamburger (58) delivers a pitch during an MLB Spring Training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Rangers defeated the Diamondbacks 16-3.

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick has you shooting almost directly into the sun for these right-handed pitcher shots, that can make getting good focus lock difficult and the hopes of getting a great shot about a 70/30 possibility.

MAR 09 2012: Colorado Rockies Jordan Pacheco (22) at the plate during an MLB Spring Training game against the Oakland Athletics at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Athletics defeated the Rockies 6-4.

OK, enough pitcher shots how about some batters.

MAR 09 2012: Oakland Athletics Jemile Weeks (19) bunt  pops out during an MLB Spring Training game against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Athletics defeated the Rockies 6-4.

Jemile Weeks is a popular player and another one of those players that has reached ‘rockstar’ status.

MAR 14 2012: San Francisco Giants Buster Posey (28) at the plate during a MLB Spring Training game against the Cleveland Indians at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona.

After a season-ending broken leg last year when Buster Posey is playing the fans come out to see the game.

MAR 06 2012: Texas Rangers Greg Miclat (65) at the plate during an MLB Spring Training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Rangers defeated the Diamondbacks 16-3.

Most of the time when there is a right-handed batter at the plate all you are going to get is shots of the player’s back, well unless the player takes a huge swing or connects for a home run. The great thing is, even if it’s a foul ball your shot looks like a grand slam home run and there is really no way to tell the difference.

MAR 06 2012: Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero (26) at the plate during a MLB Spring Training game against the Texas Rangers at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Rangers defeated the Diamondbacks 16-3.

As a photographer we are always looking for a shot of the exact moment that the bat hits the ball, but most of the time when you get those shots you can not see the player’s eyes, so those aren’t as great as you might think.

Some players just have such great looks that you almost have to grab shots of them in the dugout, like San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval (48).

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Henry Blanco (12) had some great light falling on him in the dugout so I made sure to make a few nice frames.

As with this shot of Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra (8) I think the catch-light in the eyes makes all the difference.

Both the fans and the players always have these great mirrored sunglasses and I try to take advantage of the reflections for some great images like this San Francisco Giants fan on a beautiful sunny day of baseball at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale Arizona.

This kids glasses had some nice reflections and I was working hard to keep myself out of the picture and the reflection in his glasses.

I was trying to get this kind of shot with the player reflected in the glasses of this kid but the stadium security guy killed some of my shots by just doing his job, I don’t blame him, I just wish he could have been a few more steps away.

Back to a couple of pitcher shots, I tried shooting left-handed pitchers from the first base photo-well but the images just didn’t look as good, maybe later in the afternoon this shot would be cool, but this one just didn’t seem as nice as the others.

A final bonus Brian Wilson shot to end this post.

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2 thoughts on “2012 MLB Spring Training from Arizona

    • I couldn’t agree more, drives me crazy too. All you can do it try to educate people about copyright laws and images usage and hope for the best.

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