The grotesque irony of spring in Florida is unique in baseball. At the end of March, 16 of the 18 teams that hold Spring Training in the Sunshine State return to their home cities with World Series dreams, while the remaining two the Devil Rays and the Marlins will slink back to their respective home towns and wait for relocation, contraction, or simply to lose 90 games. Here and here alone, spring signals the end of hope.
Still, as long as you dont care whether a game matters in the standings (and, honestly, how many Major League games really do?) theres no better or cheaper way to see a ballgame. At Fort Lauderdale Stadium (5301 NW 12th Ave., Ft. Lauderdale), where theyve been training since they werent terrible, the Baltimore Orioles will wheel former Marlin Kevin Millar onto the field and, since parting ways with Miguel Tejada, as well as no one else youd buy a full-priced ticket to see play. The Orioles play four games between the 13th and 19th, with entry as cheap as $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
If youd rather see teams with some recent success, how does three of the past 11 World Series crowns sound, brown cow? The Marlins and Cardinals split comfy Roger Dean Stadium (4751 Main St., Jupiter). The Cards play the Mets on the 13th and the Braves on the 16th and 17th, while the Marlins get the Mets on the 14th, the Orioles on the 15th, and the Dodgers on the 18th. Tickets at Roger Dean run as cheap as $12, and all tickets are available by logging onto www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 954-523-3309. Comprehensive Spring Training information is available on mlb.mlb.com.
Thu., March 13, 2008