On-sale dates for 2014 spring training tickets

Happy New Year, everyone.  Now that last night’s distilled spirits have frightened away the sugarplum fairies in your head, it’s time to turn your attention to spring training.  Thanks to the good folks at SpringTrainingOnline.com and their informative email newsletter, we have below the on-sale dates for individual Grapefruit League spring training tickets. 

The BBB made one update to the list, however.  The Pittsburgh Pirates offer an “Early Bird Presale Opportunity”, which simply means the tickets go on sale three days earlier, at an additional cost of five dollars.

Because the teams’ websites are remarkably inconsistent in terms of where to click to get spring training ticket information, the BBB did most of the heavy lifting for you.  So that you may more easily give your money away to athletic millionaires and the billionaires to whom they are beholden, each link below will take you to a page that reasonably approximates where you can purchase tickets.  Not every teams’ page provides the on-sale dates listed below, but we must assume SpringTrainingOnline.com has at its disposal secret connections providing that information.

Atlanta Braves: Now
Boston Red Sox: Now
Toronto Blue Jays: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 9 a.m.
Philadelphia Phillies: Thursday, January 9, 9 a.m.
New York Yankees: Friday, January 10, 10 a.m.
Detroit Tigers: Saturday, January 11, 10 a.m. ET
Miami Marlins: Saturday, January 11, 10 a.m. ET
Minnesota Twins: Saturday, January 11, 8 a.m. CST
St. Louis Cardinals: Saturday, January 11, 10 a.m. ET
New York Mets: Saturday, January 18, at 10 a.m.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Saturday, January 25, at 10 a.m. (Presale: Wednesday, January 22 at 9 a.m. ET until Friday, January 24 at 11:59 p.m. ET.)
Baltimore Orioles: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Houston Astros: January (date unspecified)
Tampa Bay Rays: January (date unspecified)
Washington Nationals: Saturday, Feb. 1, 9 a.m. ET

Here is a 2014 master schedule for the Grapefruit League, also provided by SpringTrainingOnline.com.



Frank Menke, Charles Fountain, and the Evening Independent

As a follow-up to the last post, the BBB would like to share with you a couple of related tidbits.  While researching that post, we discovered a page from a 1914 edition of the Evening Independent, the sports page of which appears to have been the definitive source of information for all St. Petersburg residents regarding all four of the major sports – you know, baseball, boxing, motoring, and yachting.


Well-heeled aristocrats could pick up a copy of the paper for three whole cents or two for five.  The contemptible poor, however, had no excuse for being ill-informed either, as they could easily just wait for a cloudy day, because on the next it would be free.  You see, in an effort to publicize St. Petersburg as The Sunshine City, copies were given away like the dole following overcast days.

The relevant articles are reproduced below.  In the left column is a description by Hearst Corporation’s nationally-syndicated sports writer, Frank Menke, of a game to take place at Coffee Pot Park in St. Petersburg. Please delight inMenke’s use of “slabman” as a synonym for pitcher.  In the right column is an hilarious account of a Cubs’ third “sacker” and his relationship to umpires and neckties.

Frank Menke

The BBB would also like to update the reader as to our progress with Under the March Sun, by Charles Fountain, also mentioned in the last post.  Not more than 17 e-pages in, we are now assured it will be a real pleasure.  Here is how Fountain describes pitcher fielding practice:


Finally, the BBB would like to wish everyone a happy new year.  Even the Red Sox fans.

red sox belly

JEtbLue pArk, The Singularity, and The Apocalypse

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Return visitors here know the BBB takes kindly to a lot of things, but Red Sox Nation ain’t one of ’em.  However, like a doomsday cult leader the morning after The Big Day, we are amenable to new interpretations.  In light of the rescheduled apocalypse, we went about the delightful task of securing spring training tickets for this coming February (YAY!).  

While engaged in this wildly giddy task, we were presented with even greater delights in the form of sweet, sweet technological advance.  You see, it is now possible to comparison shop for seats at JEtbLue pArk.  Just click on one of the sections located here, and you will be transported, as if by a magical comet ride, to the spring training home of Red Sox Nation in Fort Myers, Florida.  

Is your seat in the shade?  Is it near the aisle, or in the first row of the section, perhaps?  Technology can provide us these answers now.  So, on the day of the real apocalypse, be comforted by that fact even while the snake god Kukulkan emerges from his stone temple and tears the flesh from your skeleton, sending it headlong into the abyss, and then into The Singularity, and then back into the abyss once more, with feeling.

JEtbLue pArk Scoreboard

The reader should know this BBB contributor has a day job which requires him to wear fancy pants and to answer the phone when it makes a noise.  This job requires him to speak of things “going forward” and to “leverage” those things and to reply with “warm regards” to electronic internet mail about those things.  When alone and desiring nothing other than to produce or consume baseball writing, this contributor may refer to these requirements as his “stupid fucking job” even though he is exceedingly grateful to have it and he knows it is far from stupid.  But you see, at times when he must sleep before going to work, or iron his fancy pants in preparation for work, or be present at work when he would much rather imbibe baseball’s sweet, chin-dripping nectar, this contributor may be forgiven for referring to his employment with the aforementioned vulgarity.

It should also be noted there has been a bit of controversy at the BBB since you last joined us.  The leader of this outpost offered a gift to the commander of a much, much larger outfit and that gift was rejected, quickly and without much comment.  As many gifts do, it also benefited the giver through appearance of thoughtfulness or of skill in creating said gift, slightly, but measurably so.  However, the net generosity of the gift was not appreciated and its existence nullified.  I will not go into further detail about the recipient.  Suffice it to say he appears entrenched in his position and cannot be dug out, not even for a million bucks, I’ll bet.  Instead, I will share with you video treasure I pirated away from Jetblue Park, a name I insist on capitalizing because of the official BBB stance on ridiculously creative corporate name capitalization.

With the preceding thoughts in mind, this contributor hopes the reader will forgive the tardiness of this dispatch.  The source material dates back to March 3rd, 2012, exactly 16 days prior.  The subject of the source material dates back even further, decades in fact.  It is big and green and like most things lately, an embarrassment to Red Sox Nation:

Despite the September meltdown, the Red Sox offense plated 875 runs in 2011, more than any other team in the majors.  That offense is still punishing, and the wretched scoreboard operators who must update the scoreboard from the outside in between play, can woefully attest to this fact.  What happened on March 3rd, inaugural day at JEtbLue pArk, is what happens when an unstoppable force meets a fanciful notion.  En route to a 25-0 victory over Northeastern University, the Red Sox, who like to pick on people not of their own size, scored touchdowns in the 2nd, 4th, and 6th innings.  Mercifully, the game was scheduled for only 7 innings as there was another game set for later that day.

The more important takeaway from this game is that the scoreboard, formerly in operation at Fenway Park for many years, was brought out of storage to be installed at JEtbLue pArk, where it cannot be operated from the inside.  It is for this reason the scoreboard is a fine example of an excellent idea poorly executed.  Red Sox Nation begins this season as it finished the last, with regret over things not done properly.  As a Rays fan and one who fosters friendly rivalry, I say that regret is well-deserved.  They are after all, Red Sox Nation, and as such, deserve all bad things.


Red Sox Fans are Vile People


Click to magnify the transgressors’ drunken scrawls.


The fact that Red Sox fans are ruthless, vulgar, and cause trouble has been previously articulated. The official BBB photographer captured pictorial evidence in support of this fact Saturday at the inaugural game of JEtbLue pArk, the Red Sox shimmering new spring training home in Fort Myers, Florida. Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox fans, known for their poor impulse control and general wickedness, saw fit to defile the pristine yellow foul pole marking the divide between what is allowed and what is not. It surprises the author Red Sox Nation even installed such a structure, given its apparent disregard for boundaries of any nature and its repudiation of The Social Contract. As my Meemaw used to say, “Fools’ names and fools’ faces often appear in public places.” If Meemaw were alive today, she would no doubt have stern words for the tanked up hooligans atop Green Monster South.