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Spring Training questions

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Angola!, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I am going to Spring Training for the first time in March and I have a couple of questions.

    1. What is proper attire? I want to look nice, but do I really have to wear slacks when I am going to be in Phoenix?

    2. What kind of access do you get? I have never been to an MLB game (working), so I am not sure at all on this one.

    3. With games in the mornings, should I expect to get to the park really, really early if I want to catch anyone, or do the players stay around after games?

    4. Has anyone been to minor league spring training? I am doing some stuff with that as well. Are the games in the mornings or nights?

    Anything else that anyone can add would help. Also, if anyone wants to get some beers between March 13 and March 17 in the Phoenix area, drop me a PM. I will even buy first round - and then attempt to write it off.
  2. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    1. Casual as can be.

    2. Great access, mosty pre-game. Players are usually hustling out after games to do sun/family things. But it's a good atmosphere pre-game, very relaxed. Plus you can usually get pitchers right after they come out of games.

    3. Really, really early. Ungodly early. Like 7 o'clock, maybe. The good part is you can get some time with the manager, depending on his policies. Some of these guys do one group thing per day and that's it. It's very informal and much easier to just kind of circulate through the clubhouse. You'll stumble on to a lot of story ideas just out of casual conversations.

    4. Depends on team and what kind of facilities they have. My experience has been that the games are early. That way the major league manager can stop by and take a look at someone if he wants to. Plus they like to get all the work out of the way early so they can have staff meetings in the late afternoon and evening and start formulating the minor league assignments.

    Don't let anyone fool you -- spring training is a lot more work that it appears to be once the games start. Plus if you're accustomed to working nights, this is a jarring temporary transition. But if you're covering the regular season, ST will be a huge help in getting to know the people on and around the team.
  3. Susan Slusser

    Susan Slusser Member

    1. Some people do wear shorts, but if you do, make sure they're presentable. Casual is fine, slobby is not. Make at least some effort to look professional. And make sure it's hot enough for shorts. The quickest way to spot a newcomer is shorts on a cold or windy day. Don't forget a light jacket just in case (it can be chilly, especially in the morning).

    2. and 3. Call the teams' PR departments to get a handle on what time players are available in the morning and, before the games start, when they generally come off the field in the afternoon. Also find out when the manager usually speaks to reporters in the mornings. If you plan it right, you can probably hit two or even three camps in a day - at least in Arizona, where many of the camps are in easy driving distance.

    4. Minor league camps tend to be a little chaotic, but calling ahead isn't a bad idea there, either. Usually someone in the complex office will have some semblance of a schedule or can direct you to someone like the Triple-A PR person who can help.
  4. Screwball

    Screwball Active Member

    Susan's suggestion of calling ahead to the PR folks is excellent, as each team sets its own schedule. For the most part, though, the day looks something like this (once the games start, which they will by the time you're there):

    Teams tend to start workout around 9 am, sometimes on the field, sometimes with a meeting. Best access to players is before that morning workout, and the players usually come in by 7:30 or 8.

    You can get players after the morning workout, but they generally won't have as much time. But most veterans do not make long road trips in spring training, so sometimes you can get a guy after morning workout if he isn't making the trip that day. Never show up at a game and expect the best players from the visiting team to be there.

    Also, players generally can leave after they've come out of the game, home or away, so don't wait until after the game to talk to someone who comes out of the game in the third inning. Check with the PR staff -- some teams allow media in clubhouses during spring training games, some want you to wait outside the clubhouse.

    Minor league games are held on the practice fields of spring training complexes, usually same time as the major league games (1 pm). No admission, no credentials. Just about everyone there will be happy to talk to you. Good luck!
  5. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I'm curious about something from the fan's viewpoint.

    I'll be down in Fort Myers (Sanibel Island) Mar. 2-7, and the Red Sox are at home a few times during that time. If I make my way down to the stadium, should I be able to buy a ticket and walk in? Or is it a ticket-broker hassle these days?
  6. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Can't speak specifically to Ft. Myers but ST ticket availability in general is becoming tougher. Especially with the Red Sox, I'd try to have something lined up in advance.
  7. Screwball

    Screwball Active Member

    Shotglass: You should be able to buy spring training tickets now, via mlb.com. If you want to wait until you get there to decide, the Twins also train in Fort Myers, so you can catch a game even if the Red Sox are sold out, or hideously expensive.
  8. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Thanks much ... I will try that.
  9. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i looked for red sox spring training tickets last friday on mlb.com and every game i tried was completely sold out. but i didn't try every single game.
  10. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    For those of you in the vicinity of Tampa, Florida, go to Eddie's in Dunedin, order the peel-and-eat shrimp and a bucket of ice and Coronas, and then crash at the lousy hotel across the street.

    You may thank me later.
  11. Susan Slusser

    Susan Slusser Member

    Jones - you MUST make another trip to AZ. spring training. We miss you! Got a great spot you'll love, too.
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