Five Pro Tips for Spring Training in Phoenix

perhaps your Spring Training experience will be as tantalizing as this...
perhaps your Spring Training experience will be as tantalizing as this...
courtesy jbcurio [flickr creative commons]

Major League Baseball's Spring Training season starts March 2 with the Cactus League hosting 15 MLB teams at 10 Valley stadiums and ballparks.

If you're not a baseball fan -- or even if you are -- you may be asking, Why do I even care about this now? The playoffs are in September. This is true. 

But below are a few tips on how to make Spring Training games more fun than the regular season.

5. Take Advantage of Cheaper Everything

Most stadiums sell tickets in the $6 to 8 range -- cheaper than the nosebleeds at Diamondbacks games, and for a seat that's in the same atmospheric zone as the game you are watching.

Concessions are also cheaper than the infamous $8 ballpark Bud Light. For example, Camelback Ranch in Glendale offers an all-you-can eat package of traditional baseball fare (popcorn, peanuts, hot dogs) and shaded seating behind the L.A. Dodgers bullpen for under $30 per person.

It's no luxury suite like you can get at a "real" D-backs game, but if you don't have thousands of dollars to fork over for a night of baseball ... you're stuck with us watching the Chicago Cubs at Hohokam Stadium.

4. Bring your own Hooch

It's a lot easier to sneak a flask past lax Spring Training security. Just saying.

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3. Scout Your Fantasy Team

Fantasy sports, in particular fantasy baseball, is about appreciating the sports world for all its boundless statistics. It's about bonding with your bros over sports on an intellectual level. But mostly, it's about proving that you know the players, know the sport, better than your coworkers, family and friends.

It's armchair coaching on steroids (ahem). And what better way to get a boost in credibility (if not actual, usable knowledge) than to go see the players for yourself before the season?

Take notes. Write down names of obscure-yet-impressive players who you can pick up late in your league's draft. Cross out names of elite athletes who looked sloppy, or didn't give you their autograph. At a Spring Training game, you'll become the baseball scout you've always dreamed you could be.



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