Let's be good sports and thank the Orioles for their 13 years of playing Grapefruit League baseball in Fort Lauderdale Stadium -- a "dump," as the team's Baltimore-based beat writer so eloquently put it. Hey, if the guy lives in Baltimore, who are we to question his definition of dump?
But all the same, I'm going to miss those Orioles jerseys that were the first signs of spring. As are local merchants, I'm sure.
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Then again, maybe the Orioles' spring presence confused the allegiance of South Florida baseball fans. Indeed, as the team made a slow-motion exit from our region, Florida Marlins attendance has sky-rocketed, from 30th last year all the way to 29th in 2009. Coincidence? Like hell it is.