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A spring training primer

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BRADENTON, Fla. — Some of you may flee snowy Pittsburgh in the next few weeks to catch some spring training games here in Flordia. Bully for you! Some advice:

• Never apply the sunscreen to your face immediately after shaving. You’d think this one would be self-evident, but I made the mistake yesterday.

• Bring an ugly shirt. I got mine on the end-of-season discount rack at JCPenny for $2 back in October. It’s a blue Hawaiian-type thing, printed with flowers and what appears to be a mandolin … or something. My wife laughed — hard — when I first showed it to her, and it spent the winter stashed in a drawer, biding its time. I would be ripped to pieces by wild dogs if I was caught wearing it on the North Side, but I fit in just fine down here.

• Be patient behind the wheel. Simply put, Florida drivers are insane. They have no common sense, little concern for other vehicles and pedestrians around them and are in no apparent hurry to reach their destinations. The only thing I can compare it to are the folks with out-of-state plates who ever … so … slowly … manuever the bend from the Carnegie Science Center toward the open end of Heinz Field, and who sometimes stop in the middle of the road without warning and stare at the stadium. “Look, a football stadium. Where the Steelers play. Gosh.” It. Drives. Me. Nuts.

• I hope you like strip malls. Bradenton’s got ‘em, baby. And they’re chock-full of TGIFridays, Starbucks, Mattress Land, Muffler King and every other chain store/restaurant you can imagine.

• The Giant Turkey Leg is back! Loyal readers of my blog (that’s you, Mom) may remember my lunch of a jumbo turkey leg last season at McKechnie Field. The yummy treat is on sale again, for the not-so-low price of 7 bucks.

• Did I mention the suncreen and the shaving? I did? Good.

There. You’re at least as prepared for spring training as was Ray Olmedo. Then again, look what happened to him — he would up a Phillie.

Enjoy. If you come to McKechnie Field, stop by the press box and say hi. And be sure to bring a giant turkey leg.
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