We’ve posted the first spring-training schedule for minor-league teams over at Spring Training Online, comprising the games for four teams affiliated with the San Francisco Giants.
The four teams training at the Giants’ complex: Fresno Grizzlies (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), Richmond Flying Squirrels (Class AA; Eastern League), San Jose Giants (Class A; California League) and Augusta GreenJackets (Class A; Sally League). The AAA and AA teams are paired, as are the two A teams; when the AAA and AA teams are home, the A teams are on the road. And vice versa.
Spring training for minor-league squads is decidedly different than spring training for MLB teams. Practices and games take place back on the training fields. There’s usually some sort of seating involved — mostly old bleachers (and bring your sunscreen; no shade) — and the games are geared totally for players, not fans. In the stands is a mixture of scouts, family members and hardcore fans wishing to see their old favorites make their way up the MiLB ladder. You’ll also see autograph hunters buzzing around the area, trying to score that Wil Myers or Oscar Taveras scribble before access gets cut off.
Despite all these caveats, watching the minor leaguers go through their paces in spring training is an event we take on every spring. Yes, it’s a throwback experience, to be sure, but there’s nothing better on a warm Florida or Arizona day than strolling among the back practice fields and experiencing the sights and sounds of baseball from a close distance. That, for many, trumps the sold-out ballpark and overpriced concessions.
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