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Spring Training

Mike Deeson: If I were king — I would end The Pier project immediately

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although there has been some kind of Pier project in downtown St. Pete since the late 1800s, the city has changed, and the Pier is not needed. When I first moved to Tampa Bay 35 years ago, downtown was anything but vibrant. The Vinoy, now a crown jewel, was closed, full of broken windows and in search of a developer. Young people didn’t seek downtown as a destination. The only things the drew people was Spring Training and the inverted…

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Baseball has been very, very good to Airbnb

in Apolitical by

Apparently there’s nothing like a home-away-from-home for baseball fans wanting to take in Florida spring training. Airbnb, the leader in marketing vacation rental home, announced Wednesday that all 12 Florida cities that host spring training camps and stadiums for Major League Baseball teams saw remarkable spikes in bookings during the baseball spring training that ended last week. And the company’s surveys show most of that spike was due to baseball fans, coming down to catch a few spring training games…

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Grapefruit League, World Baseball Classic highlights 2017 Spring Training

in Sports by

The World Series ended just over one month ago, but baseball junkies have something for which to look forward. Real junkies are counting the days until pitchers and catchers report to Florida (or Arizona) for spring training. For those counting, it is a little over 70 days, depending on the particular team. When that happens, it is time to look forward to Grapefruit League games spread around the state. The schedule reveals tourists and locals will have more talent than…

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Is Tampa Bay a Major League region or 4 minor league ones?

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Despite what many in national sports media may proclaim, professional baseball is prosperous in the Tampa Bay area. Last season marked the 10th year in a row total attendance for professional baseball in Tampa Bay was over 2 million paid fans. Between Spring Training, the Rays and Minor League Baseball, there are more baseball games played in Tampa Bay than any other region in the country. Unfortunately, this vast array of baseball options has left one team struggling to compete…

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Spring Training baseball draws record crowds in Florida

in Sports/Top Headlines by

More fans than ever watched Spring Training baseball in Florida this year, Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday. For the first time in more than 100 years, more than 7,000 fans per game showed up, which is a lot of Cracker Jack. “I am proud to announce that Florida’s Spring Training reached a 100-year record high per game attendance this season,” Scott said. “Spring Training and Major League Baseball are a major attraction for families and visitors, and have an incredible economic…

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Rays’ Corey Dickerson hits a long one in spring training victory

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Corey Dickerson came a little closer to being embraced by Tampa Bay Rays’ fans Friday. In fact, he came 569 feet closer. Dickerson, acquired from Colorado in the off-season, drove a 3-2 pitch far over the right field wall in the second inning, led the way to a 10-3 victory. “He shortened up a little bit [swinging at that pitch],” manager Kevin Cash said. “I don’t think we’ll ever see the typical shortened-up swing, but if you looked at the…

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Spring training approaches for reconstructed Tampa Bay Rays

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Can Corey Dickerson hit away from Coors Field? Is Brad Miller really an everyday shortstop? Will Steve Pearce really add some pop to the offense? The Tampa Bay Rays begin to find out the answers to these, and a couple of dozen other questions, when they open spring training (to 38 pitchers and catchers) in 10 days. It will be the team’s 19th spring, and its eighth in Charlotte County. Last season, the Rays finished 80-82, but this year, there…

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