Skip to content

Greetings from the Grapefruit League

Feb 28, 2014, 7:59 AM EST

source:

LAKELAND, FLORIDA — Hello, folks. How’s the weather? Here’s it’s just dandy. A bit nippy now — only about 50 degrees at 7:30 AM — but I suspect it’ll get much nicer as the day wears on, so don’t worry about me any. I’ll be just fine.

Thus begins my annual trek around spring training. This year, for the first time since 2010, I’m in Florida. I’m a bit ambivalent about that. Arizona is such a much more convenient place for this sort of thing. The parks are closer together and the planning much easier. And, while neither is ideal, if I have to choose one vibe or aesthetic over the other, the Arizona thing beats the Florida thing in my mind. But I suppose people’s mileage varies.

One benefit Florida has is more marquee teams. Yes, east coast bias and all of that, but there is value in going to see the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Braves, Phillies and all of that. They’re popular and fans of those teams have been underserved in our spring training coverage over the past few years, so here we are. I am excited to revisit those teams and those fan bases in the spring.

I’m also excited to see Masahiro Tanaka tomorrow. He goes in Tampa and I suppose I’ll be one of a gabillion reporters there. I am getting a bit of inadvertent Yankees overload, though, as by coincidence they’re here in Lakeland where I am today to play the Tigers. And they’re going to be in Dunedin on Sunday where I planned to go to catch that ballpark as a fan (never been there). I think that’s it, though. On Monday I head toward the gulf and points south and will see some other teams. I’m not making it to the Atlantic coast to see the Cards and Mets and Nats because, well, Florida is hard to do in a week.

Anyway, I’m heading over to the Tigers’ clubhouse to see Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager and talk to some Tigers players.  I’ll be checking in later today here, and I’ll be tweeting photos and observations all day via my Twitter feed.

Latest Posts
  1. Giants, Brandon Crawford avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Jan 27, 2015, 4:40 PM EST

    Desmond Jennings Brandon Crawford AP

    Crawford requested $3.95 million and the Giants countered at $2.4 million.

  2. Five minor leaguers suspended for drugs

    Jan 27, 2015, 4:13 PM EST

    say no to drugs

    They’re coming in bunches lately.

  3. GM says Rockies are “highly, highly unlikely” to trade Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez

    Jan 27, 2015, 3:55 PM EST

    troy tulowitzki rockies getty Getty Images

    Tulowitzki is owed $114 million for the next six seasons and Gonzalez is owed $53 million for the next three seasons.

  4. The Nats and Astros need a change in Florida law to get their new spring training facility

    Jan 27, 2015, 2:22 PM EST

    Woman Drinking Glass of Water

    Specifically, a reduction in size of an area of land protected in order to help keep drinking water clean

  5. Royals and Jarrod Dyson settle, avoid arbitration

    Jan 27, 2015, 2:01 PM EST

    jarrod dyson getty Getty Images

    Dyson requested $1.6 million and the Royals countered at $900,000.

  6. MLB, not the federal government, is keeping Yoan Moncada from signing a deal

    Jan 27, 2015, 12:30 PM EST

    cuba hat

    The league now requires Cuban players to get a much more difficult to obtain clearance to sign than even the federal government requires.

  7. Not so fast on the Bud Selig Hall of Fame talk

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:33 AM EST

    Bud Selig AP

    One Hall of Fame expert argues that Selig should have to cool his heels before waltzing into Cooperstown

  8. The 14th greatest GM of all time has been a GM for a long, long time

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:03 AM EST

    Brian Sabean phone

    So long that he’s one of the few GMs who rocked a flip phone after he already had the top job.

  9. Angels “optimistic” Garrett Richards will be ready for April

    Jan 27, 2015, 10:50 AM EST

    Garrett Richards AP

    As of six weeks ago Angels manager Mike Scioscia was telling reporters that the team didn’t expect Garrett Richards back from knee surgery until May.

  10. Why “Deflategate” would never happen in baseball

    Jan 27, 2015, 8:10 AM EST

    Kenny Rogers Pine Tar

    No, it’s not “because the balls don’t have air inside them in baseball.” Though that is a good point.

  11. Jake McGee plays catch for first time since elbow surgery

    Jan 26, 2015, 11:45 PM EST

    Jake McGee AP AP

    McGee is expected to begin the season on the disabled list, but he’s hoping to return by late April or early May.

  12. Rockies and Adam Ottavino avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Jan 26, 2015, 11:05 PM EST

    Adam Ottavino AP AP

    Ottavino has quietly been very effective since joining the Rockies in 2012, posting a 3.60 ERA over 179 relief appearances while averaging 9.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.

  13. Report: Astros among teams looking at free agent right-hander Kevin Correia

    Jan 26, 2015, 10:01 PM EST

    Kevin Correia AP

    After negotiations with Ryan Vogelsong broke down last week, the Astros are now considering alternatives.

  14. Mariners reunite with Franklin Gutierrez

    Jan 26, 2015, 9:07 PM EST

    Franklin Gutierrez Getty Images

    Gutierrez has played a grand total of 173 games dating back to 2011 and sat out last season due to a gastrointestinal issue.

  15. Alex Avila switching to hockey-style catcher mask due to concussions

    Jan 26, 2015, 8:16 PM EST

    Alex Avila AP AP

    Avila is making a change in hopes of avoiding future concussions.

  16. Blue Jays sign president and CEO Paul Beeston to extension through 2015

    Jan 26, 2015, 7:09 PM EST

    blue jays logo

    The announcement comes after the Blue Jays reportedly ended their pursuit of Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette.

  17. Padres sign Ramiro Pena

    Jan 26, 2015, 6:30 PM EST

    Ramiro Peno AP AP

    The 29-year-old hit just .245/.304/.347 with three home runs and nine RBI across 81 games with the Braves last season and was designated for assignment in November.

  18. I don’t know if Dustin Pedroia is in the Best Shape of His life, but he IS posing with his shirt off

    Jan 26, 2015, 5:04 PM EST

    pedroia getty Getty Images

    Before cell phone cameras we just sat around and posed in the mirror. Now we can share that with everyone.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Vogelsong (5339)
  2. J. Shields (5274)
  3. J. Papelbon (4634)
  4. I. Suzuki (3817)
  5. J. Gomes (3714)
  1. J. Hoffman (2983)
  2. D. Fowler (2917)
  3. J. Santana (2914)
  4. G. Soto (2847)
  5. J. Montero (2807)