Hence Gonzalez in the batting cage was well past his usual bedtime, but looking pretty impressive.
"We're all very excited to be here," Gonzalez said before the Dodgers' workout. "We'll have a few hits, see how the ball carries, but it all looks like a real ballpark."
Vin Scully, the 86-year-old Dodgers' announcer, proclaimed after he got off the plane that "it's great to be here," and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and his Diamondbacks counterpart Kirk Gibson later gave the ball field a similar thumbs-up.
"No question, everyone is saying that having a chance to start the season here in Sydney, to be able to get out of spring training a bit early, it's great," said Mattingly. "Let's get this thing started."
Gibson said he had fond memories of Australia because he spent his honeymoon here in 1985 "and that part worked out pretty good, so I hope this does."
"Of all the historic places we've played over the years, you walk in and you can see they've put a lot of work into the field," Gibson added. "And I've been told by (Diamondbacks' Australian relief pitcher) Ryan Rowland-Smith, it's fair dinkum."
Translated, that means he thinks it's a pretty good place to play baseball.
Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was in the best position to judge the change to Sydney Cricket Ground, having been part of a promotional visit here last year.
"When I was here it was set up for cricket matches, but you wouldn't know that walking out there today," he said. "Very impressed."
Goldschmidt said he was surprised by the distance in foul territory between the baselines and the stands. That's in keeping with the natural shape of a cricket ground, where the batting "wicket" is usually closer to the center of the ground and the entire field is in play.
"Foul territory, that's going to be the big difference," Goldschmidt said. "But baseball stadiums are different in the States, so it'll just take some adjusting. We'll work it out in the next few days."