Wrapping up a week in Florida

This afternoon, I hit my seventh ballpark in seven days, finishing up a week of barnstorming all over Florida. In my new role as full-time editor and sometimes reporter/columnist/analyst, my work was more about meeting people, talking to people, checking in on what’s going on, and less about writing Spring Training features.

Still, it wouldn’t be spring if I didn’t blog, so here, a wrapup of some of the numbers from this week in FL

Teams seen: 11 (the 10 NL East and AL East teams, plus the Pirates)

Ballparks: 7

Miles on the rental car (a rather enjoyable 2015 Jetta SE TSI): 1060

Most impressive hitting performance: Bryce Harper’s home run in Port St. Lucie that left the stadium entirely, and may or may not have landed yet

Most impressive pitching performance: Hard to say, but Michael Pineda looked awfully good against the Phillies in Clearwater on Friday, with five shutout and five Ks. Red Sox rookie Brian Johnson was impressive against the Rays, with the added benefit of potential AC/DC references galore when he gets to the big leagues.

Best concession item: Do you have to ask? Taco In a Helmet, Port St. Lucie

Best concession item, non TiaH division: Delco’s cheesesteak, without onions, with hot peppers, in Clearwater

Best meal: Another and-still-champion, Leftovers Cafe in Jupiter. Seriously, especially you Cardinals fans, if you go to Jupiter, you absolutely must go to Leftovers or Food Shack. Honorable mention: Tampa Taco Bus

Trips to Cigar City tasting room: 2

Best beer: Portmanteau, “sour session IPA” at Cigar City

Notable wildlife sightings: a bald eagle and numerous sandhill cranes (including a chick) on the way from Jupiter to Sarasota, wild pigs on the way from Tampa and Port St Lucie

Hold Steady albums listened to: All six, in order of release date

Best ballpark music: Clearwater where in the course of one afternoon I heard “Fools Gold” by the Stone Roses, “The Seed” by the Roots, “Buggin’ Out” by A Tribe Called Quest, “Outshined” by Soundgarden, and “Flashlight” by Parliament. That’ll do.


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