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Pitchers and Catchers are reporting this week to their respective camps- 15 teams in Florida and 15 teams in Arizona

By: X Bats

Position players all report next week. However, these are mandatory reporting dates and many players are in camp early to hit the ground running when things start up. There are fewer days to get ready for Spring Training games this year than ever before so players need to be ready to avoid injuries, win a job, keep a job, work on a new position, etc. It's a time of great excitement to the young players and a chore for many of the veterans. We've heard more than one veteran say they wouldn't mind playing longer if the just didn't have to go to Spring Training every year. 

The fan base of every team shows up in force for Spring Training games. Seems like the transplants from all over the country to Florida or Arizona are out first to watch the early workouts before the games start in early March. Then once the games commence, many fans (snowbirds) use Spring Training as an excuse to escape the doldrums of winter. Lots of Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Cubs, White Sox, etc. fans are out to preview their teams and enjoy the leisurely pace of Spring Training. It's a chance to see players up close and interact with them in a relaxing atmosphere. Seems the size of the crowds are proportional to how cold it is back home. Ft Myers should be inundated with New Englanders even more than usual this winter!

This year the A's move into the old Cubs facility at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ after extensive renovations leaving the ancient Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The Cubs built a state of the art new facility up the road two years ago. The Tigers have been returning to Tigertown in Lakeland, FL since the 1930s, the oldest Spring Training site in baseball, but still a gorgeous place. More teams are sharing facilities, a trend that became the norm in Arizona. The Red and Indians in Goodyear, the Rangers and Royals in Surprise, the Padres and Mariners in Peoria, the Dodgers and White Sox in Glendale, the Rockies and D-Backs in Scottsdale and the Cardinals and Marlins in Jupiter, FL. These are beautiful facilities with a shared stadium between each teams facilities with 5 fields on each side- a total of 11 fields in one place. Every year, it's the same yin and yang, old and new, rookies and veterans. In with the new, out with the old.



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