I would respectfully disagree, especially this year with the World Baseball Classic compelling the MLB to open up training camps a full week earlier than usual. But it is a great time of year in the Tampa Bay area and the rest of the Sunshine State, as the minor league parks that host the various teams that train in Florida are packed almost daily — a big contrast to what happens during the regular season in St. Petersburg and Miami.
At times, some writers get too maudlin when celebrating the virtues of this annual ritual. But when they do, I expect them to get their facts right.
I'm talking to you, Tampa Tribune editorial writers.
In a piece today titled, "The value of spring training," the Tribune argues that Clearwater Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala's proposal to spend $5 million in state funds on spring training would be a good investment, especially as Arizona continues to try to poach teams from the Grapefruit to the Cactus League.
But the writer errs when they wrote, "As Latvala, a Pinellas County Republican, points out, 15 years ago every MLB team held its spring training in Florida."
I don't know when Latvala made that comment, but regardless, the Tribune writer should check the facts.
Fifteen years ago was 1998. That year there were no fewer than nine teams that trained in Arizona: Seattle, Milwaukee, Angels, Oakland, San Diego, Cubs, White Sox, San Francisco and Colorado. But, as the Tribune editorial notes, now, because of financial incentives, considerably more teams play in Arizona.
Just thought I'd point that out.