Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It's time for spring training

I’ve never been to spring training.
Well, not really. Years ago, I spent a day or so in Vero Beach and saw the Los Angeles Dodgers. I still chuckle when I recall while the team was doing laps, a few of the veterans hid behind a backstop at the far side of the facility.
They stood there and chatted, waiting for the guys to come around again, and then they promptly joined their teammates.
Man, there’s no way this team is going to do much of anything this season, I thought.
So what happens? The Dodgers made it all the way to the World Series that year, only to fall to the Oakland A’s.
So much for the value of spring training.
Still, I would love to go to Lakeland to watch the Detroit Tigers.
Spring training seems to be much more intimate than when the teams come north. The ballparks are much smaller, therefore the players are more accessible.
We’ve gone down to the West Palm area in Florida for years. The place we stay is near Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. Both the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals use the stadium and the surrounding facilities for spring training.

It’s a great environment. While we have never gone down in the spring time, we are there during the summer. While we are in Florida, we go see the Jupiter Hammerheads, a Class A team that plays in the Florida State League.
Tickets are cheap, site lines are fantastic, and parking is free. Hot dogs go for a couple of bucks, and you don’t need to re-mortgage your house for a few beers.
Take me out to the ballgame. Especially if the game is in Florida at a minor league ballpark.



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