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Fox Sports Midwest to greatly expand spring training coverage

Fox Sports Midwest has announced that it will show more than half of the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training games on television in 2014.

A total of 15 of the team's 28 tune up games will be broadcast on the network. It's St. Patrick's Day road game against the Boston Red Sox is expected to be shown on ESPN.

Although it is no substitute for attending spring training in person, I'm certainly glad to hear the announcement. I find it to be torture, after a long cold winter, to know that somewhere the Redbirds are playing ball -- yet I can't see it.

It's odd, with how popular spring training is with many fans, that major league clubs and their media outlets previously hadn't done much to let their supporters see how things are shaping up.

Reporters and television crews typically crawl all over NFL training camps with constant reports about how draft picks are faring and who is winning the competition to be the starting center. It will be nice to see more than about 20 seconds of video from spring games.

Besides, it's spring training for fans, too. Not only is it nice to get back into the rhythm of the game, it's important to work your way up to stomaching all the bad calls by Angel Hernanzez who somehow seems to umpire every spring game in which the Cardinals are involved.