Cheap Seats

No road for me, please

The Cardinals play on the road today against the Red Sox in Fort Meyers.

While I wouldn't mind seeing the BoSox' new digs there, I do mind the fact that my GPS informs me it's more than a three-hour trip one way.

There were days when I would have made that trip. But they didn't include a four year old in tow. He probably had his best time at a ballpark in his young life yesterday, getting autographs from Bryan Anderson and Ryan Jackson after a patient wait behind the St. Louis dugout. But, after an 18-hour car trip to Jupiter and the return trip looming, I think he deserves a beach day today.

I really wish some other teams would consider what the south Atlantic coast has to offer as a spring training venue. There used to be a lot more teams in this area so the road trips were fewer and farther between. But Arizona has lured away some of them while others have gone to the Tampa area where it's a shorter drive from park to park.

It doesn't make a lot of sense that clubs like the Reds, Indians, Cubs, White Sox, Royals and Brewers train in Arizona. Florida is within driving distance for their midwestern fans. Arizona is not. Even Blue Jays rooters make the trip here in droves. It seems that half the license plates on the interstate are from Ontario. Leave the desert to the teams from the west coast and the Sunshine State for the midwestern and eastern teams.

At the very least, the southern teams ought to try to covince some of the other clubs in Florida to move closer to Jupiter. The Nationals are two hours to the north in Viera and their stadium is awful. Not only is it boring from an aesthetic point of view. But it's a terrible wind tunnel that puts Candlestick Park to shame when it comes to making pop ups impossible to catch.

The Astros play in Kissimmee, which is notable only in that it is near Orlando. They'd be a welcome addition in Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale or another southern city.

Without some new additions, I fear more teams may be subtracted. And that will likely put an end to spring training in south Florida. You can't play games without another team. And the only people who dislike a three-hour ride for a spring training game more than me are the players, coaches and owners.

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