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Greetings from Spring Training

Mar 8, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

Welcome to spring training.jpgMy plane landed in Miami on Saturday morning and after lunch and some sightseeing with a mystery person I’ll tell you about later, I booked it up I-95 to Port St. Lucie, or as it may be more aptly called, Long Island South. Yes, there are a few Mets fans here.

Tradition Field and the Mets’ spring training complex is not really in Port St. Lucie proper. Oh, that may be the address, but it’s actually the anchor for St. Lucie West, a “Master Planned Community,” according to the signage, which may represent the first time in recorded history that the Mets have been so closely associated with a master plan.

St. Lucie West is pretty nice if you’re into meticulously landscaped boulevards, the worst timed traffic lights on the eastern seaboard and strip malls so tucked away and hidden that it makes finding the Taco Bell an unnecessarily difficult ordeal.  I’m sure there’s nice golf in the area, however.  Other notable observations upon my arrival:

  • My hotel is about a half mile from Tradition Field. The people behind the counter all wear Mets jerseys, which is pretty cool;
  • My doctor recommended that I take extra good care of myself while on assignment, so I stopped at a liquor store Saturday night to stock up on some Kentucky medicine. Behind the counter was the friendliest and least discreet clerk I’ve ever met. He asked me if I was in town for baseball and I said yes. He then told me that Mets pitcher John Maine had been in there a half hour earlier, came up to the counter with a bottle of Grey Goose and was getting ready to pay for it when a Mets coach walked in. Maine and the coach talked for a few minutes, and then Maine walked out, forgetting to buy his vodka.  I got this mental image of him getting back to whatever social gathering he was attending and someone asking him where the booze was, only to have Maine go “Ummm, oh. Man.”
  • I woke up yesterday morning to get my continental breakfast on, and in the lobby was a young woman in black spandex pants, Mets fleece and Mets cap yelling at one of the desk clerks.  Seems she left her car someplace the night before — obviously not at Maine’s party, as there was no booze there — and needed to get a cab to go and pick it up. When told it would be 45 minutes before a car could get out there, she yelled “I’m from New York and this sh– doesn’t fly!!  I live an HOUR outside of Manhattan, and I can get a car to my house faster than that!”  I suppose she has a point about 45 minutes being a long time to wait, but I’ve found that one generally doesn’t get what one wants in this world by telling people that you come from someplace better and more important than they do.

Oh yeah, I was in Port St. Lucie for some baseball too.  More on that in a bit.  I think it’s going to be a fun week.

  1. Old Gator - Mar 8, 2010 at 8:05 AM

    “An hour outside Manhattan” probably means Corona via the Long Island Expressway. On a Sunday morning.

  2. Diane - Mar 8, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    Love it

  3. Moses Green - Mar 8, 2010 at 9:11 AM

    Iiiii only had a Corona … five cent deposits
    I’m re-reading Vineland just to be certain of how wrong you and the literary turd-blossom are (were?) about it. Having encountered Pynchon first through this one (I know leave me alone, GR was checked out of the library and I was 16) I was not in position to be disappointed. My new working theory is that anything he wrote after GR was destined to be a letdown, and let down you alls were.
    It’s really not that bad. Read it again – I’ll bet you a case of Wild Bill’s notorious spice rubs.

  4. Jonny5 - Mar 8, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    Look at how close the Mets were to signing Utley in 2000. He was picked 15th overall. Mets were 16th. Not to say they wouldn’t pass over him. Here’s some interesting data on how that draft year ended up btw. http://crashburnalley.com/2010/03/04/finding-an-utley-in-a-haystack/

  5. TF in Tampa - Mar 8, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Good morning Craig, and welcome to FLA!
    As promised, the weather has finally warmed up to more normal temps and should be with us going forward this week. I don’t know if your arrival here has anything to do with the warming trend, but we’ll take it.
    Now your east coast or Gold Coast as it is also refered to, swing has many, maybe too many, displaced relocates from up north [NY/NJ] as you found out from your early breakfast encounter. Our West coast has many mid-westerners, with a more, as George Bush Sr. once put it, ‘Kinder-Gentler’ atmospheric feel to it.
    As soon as you come accross I-75 aka. Alligator Alley, leaving Macomboland, as one of your big fans puts it, into the Naples area, up thru Sarasota, and eventually into Tampa-St.Pete-Clearwater, you’ll find the oldtime Florida southern hospitality that the south has always been known for.
    So,come and enjoy because ‘The East is least and the best is West’.

  6. BC - Mar 8, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Great, our #2 pitcher who was hurt almost all of last year is boozing it up in Spring Training. Just wonderful.
    PS – You HAVE to try this place. http://www.norrisribs.com/

  7. Old Gator - Mar 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Next you’ll be telling me to try another horrible horsemeat and velveeta sandwich, that it’s only a letdown because I sampled boulliabaise provencale in Lyon first. Forget it. First of all, you should be reading Blood Meridian now. Have I ever steered you wrong? That, and I loved Mason and Dixon so so much for yer smart theory. McCarthy’s the ticket. And don’t get tubed out while convalescing.

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