The stadium-by-stadium, cross-country road trip is great in theory – cheer the Sox, boo the Yanks (or vice-versa) then make fun of the last-place Cubs – but it takes time, planning, and a lot of gasoline. Save yourself the 3,000-mile drive and head to Spring Training instead. You'll be scarfing hot dogs, munching peanuts, throwing back beers, and watching team after team in a series of intimate stadiums. And you'll do it all in one long weekend.
A flight to Tampa (home to Steinbrenner Field and the Yankees) from LaGuardia will run you about $400, and once you're there, it's fewer than 100 miles to the camps of eight other teams, including the Tigers, Phillies, Blue Jays, Orioles, and Pirates. If you can get yourself to Phoenix, it's even easier: none of the 15 teams at 10 sites are more than 65 minutes apart.
The games played in Florida and Arizona don't count, but the memories are real. Here's how to get the most out of your early March trip.
March 7, Arizona
Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Dodgers (Camelback Ranch, Glendale – 1:05 p.m.; tickets from $8) You'll definitely be able to see pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who signed a seven-year, $215 million contract in the offseason, throw this weekend. The Dodgers play three home games during this stretch, but this is an intriguing match-up between a pair of teams looking to go deeper in the playoffs than they did last season. The Dodgers are everyone's preseason World Series favorite. Here's your chance to see if they pass the "eye test."
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