Sports columnist Jeff Seidel teases us by describing "a warm steady breeze, bright blue skies, 80 degrees and big, puffy, lazy clouds."
Another refreshing sight -- and sound -- at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla., is Miguel Cabrera, the Free Press writer adds:
Cabrera was loud, happy and boisterous, which summed up the mood around Tiger Town on Monday morning as the Tigers went through their first full-squad practice, although calling it a "full-squad" practice was misleading because several players were missing because they haven’t cleared Covid-19 protocols. ...
So, while some things sounded the same — Miggy being happy and vocal in spring training — everything else certainly looked different.
AJ Hinch, the new Tigers manager, and his coaches shouted instructions while wearing masks because of Covid-19 protocols. Reporters were kept in a holding pen behind a yellow rope to keep them away from the players. ...
No fans were allowed because of MLB rules. ... Players stayed in separate groups, on different fields.
Off-hours carousing also is curtailed this year, pitcher Matthew Boyd tells Jason Beck of mlb.com:
"We can't be going to theme parks. We can't be going to movie theaters or bars or anything like that."
The first Grapefruit League game is Sunday against the Phillies in Lakeland, and fans can come. Limited tickets are available in pods of one to six seats, with each group separated by about six feet. The left-field berm will be marked off in squares of six feet by six feet, which can accommodate up to four fans.
Total capacity is expected to be around 2,000 fans, about 20 percent of capacity. More details and purchase links are here, should you be so fortunate.
The regular season home opener is April 1, playing the Cleveland Indians. Seats aren't on sale yet.