Saturday, August 2, 2008

Spring Training

Somehow I've missed this in the Sun over the past two days, but the Orioles are getting a new spring training home in Vero Beach, Florida. The deal is not official yet, but considering the Orioles currently have what may rank as the worst spring training situation in the league and Fort Lauderdale has been unable to reach an agreement with the FAA about upgrading the facilities the Orioles currently use, I'll be surprised if a deal doesn't get done.

The most important aspect of the Orioles getting a new spring training site will be the consolidation of minor league and major league camp. Currently, the Orioles minor leaguers train in Sarasota, while the big club is in Fort Lauderdale. Obviously, that creates all sorts of complications. It is also emblematic of how far the Orioles had let their farm system fall under previous regimes. Moving the camps to the same location would, at worst, be a symbolic gesture that player development is again an organization priority and, at best, would allow for more effective evaluation of talent within the organization and greater flexibility during preseason preparataions. I can't wait to make my first trip to Orioletown in Vero Beach.

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