Spring Training 2013
Major League Baseball’s spring training is a six-week annual event that occurs every February and March, put in place in order to give veteran players a chance to round into their regular-season form while allowing coaches and scouts to evaluate younger players. The ultimate winners are the fans, who flock to Arizona and Florida from all over North America for the chance to see their favorite players up close and personal in venues that are more intimate than major league parks and for ticket prices that are lower than regular-season tickets.
For a team such as the Los Angeles Angels, spring training 2013 will be all about getting their veteran studs into top playing shape. First baseman Albert Pujols will likely anchor the Angels lineup for quite some time, and the front office went out and signed free-agent Josh Hamilton this past off-season. This means that the Angels will be equipped with two of the most prolific sluggers from the past decade. Fans in the Arizona area will have ample chances to see these two megastars in person during the Angels 2013 spring training schedule.
Spring training in Florida is every bit as exciting and popular, and the Yankees spring training facilities are always filled to the brim with fans and media. The upcoming season will be an especially interesting one for the New York Yankees, as they ended last year on a sour note with expensive slugger Alex Rodriguez on the bench due to nagging injuries and a history of lackluster postseason performances. Future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter’s contract is also quite a burden on the franchise, and the two aging superstars will need to really produce this upcoming season in order to keep the Yankees relevant in a very competitive AL East.
Interestingly enough, getting hot in spring training can actually be a curse for highly superstitious players that would rather save their best performances for when it counts. History has shown several instances where a player has been hotter than a firecracker in March only to start the season slow and never quite regain their touch. The reverse is also true as many veterans idle through baseball’s preseason in order to save their bodies for the long run. In any case, spring training baseball is very affordable and highly entertaining.