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Prepping for Spring Training 2018: December Edition

spring training 2018With tentative schedules posted, there are plenty of loose ends to address as you begin planning your spring-training travels. Here are a few considerations as we approach spring training 2018.

  • Big League Weekend won’t return to San Antonio’s Alamodome in spring training 2018. The facility is hosting NCAA Final Four men’s basketball on March 31-April 2, and the event requires some setup time. More importantly, Ryan-Sanders Baseball won’t be producing the event. However, we predict it will return in 2019–but watch for it to be produced by the San Antonio Missions (moving up to Triple-A that year), with the Texas Rangers participating.
  • The busiest team in 2018? The Chicago Cubs. Between a full slate of games at Sloan Park, the Cubs will play their annual Las Vegas series on March 17-18 and then head to Florida to take on the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers before their Miami regular-season opener. That’s a lot of travel in the matter of three weeks. A Cubs game in Florida is a treat.
  • The Washington Nationals will not be hosting another game at the Naval Academy. Last spring the Nats and the Red Sox played an exhibition game at Navy’s Max Bishop Stadium, meeting with midshipmen and spending some quality time in Annapolis. Alas, the Nationals/Orioles feud extended to Maryland: As Annapolis is in Orioles territory, the Baltimore Orioles killed plans for the Nats to hold Navy games in 2018 and 2019. Now, there are some legitimate gripes from the Orioles that need to be addressed. But this is a case where killing the game ended up hurting the wrong crowd: it hurts the Navy midshipmen, not the Nationals. The smart move from the Orioles would be to relaunch the game in 2019–with the Nets as the opponent. It’s good PR for both teams, good PR for Major League Baseball, and a nice token of appreciation for those serving our country.
  • The Seattle Mariners unveiled a schedule featuring nine night games. That’s amazing: Most Cactus League teams don’t bother scheduling any home night games. The reason was even more amazing. According to the Mariners, research will be performed on the potential “performance-related benefits players can derive by maintaining regular sleep patterns, and the desire to prepare them for the routine of regular season start times,” according to a press release. If positive results derive from this study, you can bet you’ll see many more teams shift to more night games in future spring-training seasons.
  • You can expect to see more games announced in coming days, particularly at the end of spring training where many teams still have a two-day gap before the beginning of regular-season games. And keep watching the schedules: there have been a few times changes in the last week, as well as a few game changes as well. We expect to announce more games before the end of the year.

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