Mets announce 2013 Spring Training schedule

The Mets announced their 2013 Spring Training schedule, which begins Saturday, February 23 against the Washington Nationals at 1:10 p.m. in Port St. Lucie.

The Mets will play the Detroit Tigers five times, the Nationals, Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals six times, and the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros four times.

The Mets will host the University of Michigan Sunday, February 24 at 12:10 p.m. and will play the Venezuelan World Baseball Classic team Wednesday, March 6 at 1:10 p.m.

The Mets will also play two night home games this Spring: Monday, February 25 vs. Washington at 6:10 p.m. and Wednesday, March 27 against St. Louis at 6:10 p.m.

Season Tickets for Mets Spring Training games are on sale now by calling the Port St. Lucie Ticket Office at 772-871-2115.  Single game tickets will go on sale Saturday, January 19 at 10:00 a.m.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Once again, the Mets are playing a lot of their Spring games against the same teams. Two years ago, Terry Collins expressed concern over this and hoped they would get to play against more teams on the west coast of Florida. They got one extra game against the Yankees in Tampa last Spring to end camp, but they will not play anyone on the west coast of Florida this Spring.

The problem for them is the location of Port St. Lucie in relation to the other sites around Florida. Previously, the Dodgers were in Vero Beach (20 minutes away, at most) and the Orioles were in Fort Lauderdale, and that gave the Mets a more diverse pool to play against. But since they have left, the pool around them has thinned out. Their closest road trip is about 45 minutes away to Jupiter to play St. Louis and Miami, and the next closest venues are Viera and both Lake Buena Vista and Kissimmee, which is where Washington, Atlanta and Houston play respectively- those are each 1-2 hours from camp. The Tampa Bay area – which is the Spring home of the Yankees, Blue Jays and Phillies – is upwards of three hours from camp. That becomes an awful lot of travel if it’s incorporated into the regular schedule, and more time spent on buses and less time on baseball fields if they were to do that consistently.

As a fan, I would like to see on the east coast of Florida what they’ve done in Arizona, and that’s create a community of Spring Training venues. All of those teams are in close proximity with one another, and it makes for a complete baseball experience to be able to quickly travel around from camp-to-camp and stay in one general location.

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