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 8, Arizona
Seattle Mariners at San Francisco Giants (Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale – 1:05 p.m.; tickets from $30) The Mariners "won" the offseason with the surprise signing of ex-Yankee Robinson Cano to a $240 million, 10-year contract. They may surprise some of the American League West rivals this year by not struggling in August and September as they have in years past. This is a split-squad game for the Mariners, but the other half of the roster is also on the road. So there's a good chance you could see Cano in this game.
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