But despite a warm relationship between Midwestern snow birds eager for their first taste of baseball after a long winter, and South Florida innkeepers and restaurant operators of Jupiter and Palm Beach who are excited to have some offseason business, camp Cardinal is in danger.
The Redbirds may opt to move out of their spring home since 1998 as soon as next year if the exodus of ball clubs from the area isn't halted.
Once home to the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Florida (now Miami) Marlins, Montreal Expos-turned-Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Yankees, and Cardinals, the southeast coast of Florida has dwindled down to only four remaining clubs: St. Louis, Miami, the Mets, and the Nats. That's apparently the smallest number of clubs the Cardinals and Marlins are willing to tolerate because traveling to the Tampa Bay or Orlando areas to find spring training games is too much of a hassle.
A journey from Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter to the Yankees' spring training home in Tampa is a 186-mile trip on secondary roads that takes a little bit more than three hours to cover in each direction.
A drive from Jupiter to Fort Myers where the Twins and Red Sox train is about 140 miles. That takes about 2 hours, 45 minutes to navigate. It's typical to see several of the Cardinals' veteran players beg off the cross-state trips, which usually start before sunrise an end sometime after 8 p.m., to the disappointment of fans.
According to the Palm Beach Post, the Cardinals and Marlins each have an option on their lease at Roger Dean Stadium that allows them to opt out of their contract to play there if one more neighboring team pulls out.
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