The Palm Beach Gardens city council has ordered an end to a project to build a new Spring Training complex for the Blue Jays and Astros (Palm Beach Post, Jan. 10).
Currently, the Astros’ complex is in Kissimmee, and the Blue Jays’ complex is in Dunedin on the west coast of Florida.
The Braves and the Expos are the two most recent teams to have their complexes in West Palm Beach – both left in 1997.
Michael Baron, ContributorThis isn’t good news for the Mets, or any of the teams with a complex on the east coast of Florida. It impacts not only their Spring Training travel, but also the travel of the Single-A St. Lucie Mets in the Florida State League.
As it stands today, the Mets play way too many games against the same opponents during Spring Training. A lot of those games are against their NL East rivals, which they play 19 games against — each — during the regular season. At a minimum, they have a one-hour bus ride to any other camp, and teams like the Astros, Braves and Tigers are all currently 2-3 hours away from Port St. Lucie. This current problem also creates an uncomfortable familiarity which teams both on the west coast of Florida and in Arizona do not have to deal with to this degree.
This would have added two more teams within a one hour drive of Port St. Lucie, both of which are not in the National League East. It would mean fewer games against the same teams, less time spent on buses, and more time spent on baseball fields during a time players need to be preparing for the regular season. Hopefully there’s some kind of resolution in the coming year, as it would be a win for a lot of organizations…