By Jose Bautista
Major League Baseball is officially back, almost. A total of 15 MLB teams will hold their spring training games in the state of Florida in 2010.
Besides the state teams the Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays, the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals will all call Florida stadiums home for exhibition games until the regular season begins on April 4.
Pitchers and catchers started reporting to training camps on Feb. 17, and position players began reporting on Feb. 22.
Spring training games are fun for fans because of the return of baseball action after five months off.
The tickets are cheap, so you can enjoy the games live in a larger group than regular season games.
You also get a first look at new acquisitions and prospects, as well as a chance to watch your favorite players test their skills after the long time off.
Teams playing closest to Palm Beach Atlantic University are the Marlins and Cardinals, who play their spring training home games at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, and the Mets, who host their games at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.
Both stadiums are north of West Palm Beach.
With the Cardinals the only team out of those three to make the playoffs last year, the Mets and Marlins will surely use these exhibition games to showcase their young talent and measure the health of their stars in limited play.
Exhibition games for the Marlins begin against the Miami Hurricanes at Roger Dean Stadium on March 3, while the Mets begin a day earlier against the Braves. The Cardinals will face off against the Mets on March 5.
According to TicketMaster, tickets for both at Roger Dean Stadium start at $8 for the standing room-only section of the stadium, and go as high as $35 for box seats. An additional $5 is required for parking.
For the Mets games at Tradition Field, www.MLB.com offers tickets starting at $6 and going as high as $20.