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In the stands: Best bets for Giants spring games

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If you are traveling to Arizona fopr Spring Training 2007, you may want to consider the following big games when planning your itinerary. (Purchase tickets online at Tickets.com.)

March 1: Giants at Chicago Cubs (Mesa) Final score: Giants 9, Cubs 2
The first spring training game of the season has lots going for it. It’s on the radio (the soothing tones of Jon Miller and Duane Kuiper truly mean spring is just around the corner). It’s the first chanceto see real baseball since October. It’s the first look at new Chicago Cubs slugger Alfonso Soriano, left, in his new uniform. And it’s always fun to get a load of the thousands of blue-clad snowbirds from the Midwest who descend on the desert every spring to root on “Da Cubs.”

March 2: Brewers at Giants (Scottsdale)
The first spring training home game of the year for the Giants, at lovely little Scottsdale Stadium.

March 6: Angels at Giants (Scottsdale)
With the hated Dodgers training in Florida, games against the Angels and Vladimir Guerrero, left, are the only chance for hard-core Giants fans to chant “Beat L.A.!” until April.

March 9: A’s at Giants (Scottsdale)
The transbay rivalry is an underrated one, with Oakland fans hating the Giants for their great San Francisco stadium and the media attention they get, while Giants fans barely acknowledge the A’s exist. Even in mellow Scottsdale, expect some ribbing from both sides.

March 13: A’s at Giants (Scottsdale)
Depending on the unpredictable Arizona weather (it can be scorching hot, or cool and overcast), the first night game of the spring is sometimes one of the few chances to watch a game being played in double-digit temperatures. And night-game crowds are a wee bit rowdier, even in the Cactus League.

As the spring training schedule heads into its final days, now is the time the stars start getting more at-bats and innings under their belts. The intensity of play picks up perceptibly as players realize the regular season is just around the corner.

March 28: Brewers at Giants (Scottsdale)
The last spring training game beforethe teams head to the big cities means another Cactus League season is in the books. Put away the suntan lotion and prepare for your co-workers to compliment you on your new tan.

Get the latest news and exclusive features on our special Spring Training 2007 pages.

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