With Opening Day right around the corner for most Major League Baseball teams, I'd be remiss if I didn't post about Spring Training. This year, I caught one game: New York Mets vs. Detroit Tigers in Lakeland (about 80 minutes northeast of Sarasota) where the Tigers play spring ball. As a little girl growing up in Michigan, I was a huge (read: HUGE) Tigers fan. Every spring, while the snow was still flying in the mitten state, I'd hear about spring training games being played on a ball diamond surrounded by palm trees in a warm, exotic location called Joker Marchant Stadium. So, years laters, whenever I get to see the Tigers play at that very stadium….it's pretty cool. On the mound for the Tigers was Cy Young winner David Price, who until recently, played for the Tampa Bay Rays. It was great to see him pitch in person.
It was a pretty eventful game, including an incident highlighting the potential perils of sitting in the stands. This woman took a foul ball to the face…and was escorted out of the stadium. Fortunately, she looked like she would be okay. (Something similar happened at a Tampa Bay Rays game to a guy I know. A screeching line drive foul ball drilled him in the chin. He now sports a beard to mask the scar.)
We saw a nice play at the plate. This is Tiger outfielder Javier Bentacourt sliding into home. SAFE!
And, there was plenty of activity to watch in between pitches. This is an osprey delivering a fish lunch to its brood waiting in a nest in the left field lights. Active osprey nests also are located in the right field lights and behind home plate. A total of three nests in the stadium lights. Interesting. Remember last fall, during nesting season, what happened to one bald eagle nest at Ed Smith Stadium where the Baltimore Orioles play?
It was removed from the stadium lights…and tossed into a dumpster.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter weekend!