We won't get fooled again

February 23, 2007|By DAN CONNOLLY

Cruising around the west coast of Florida this week, a few thoughts came to mind:

Is there any place in the free world with more strip malls per square mile than the greater Tampa-St. Pete area? Are they called strip malls because, at least in Tampa, there seemingly is a strip joint on every corner? Aren't the Orioles lucky that they have a great city like Fort Lauderdale to spend six weeks in? And could Fort Lauderdale Stadium be any worse?

Spending a few days in Clearwater, Sarasota and Tampa opened the eyes to how bad the Orioles' big league training facility is for fans, players and media alike. The clubhouses alone on the West Coast put Fort Lauderdale's to shame.

But there is a drawback to some of those other locales: eating 45 straight days in restaurants next to hair salons and dollar stores.

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