If you make the trip to Lakeland stop by the Ledger offices and purchase a copy of the Tuesday February 27th, 2007 newspaper. The Sports Extra (a wraparound for the Sports section) for that day was the Guide to 2007 Spring Training. It includes stadium, ticket, and schedule information for each team. They have a couple of nice charts: distances between Grapefruit League cities and Spring Training Stays. Mike Cobb has a good article on the Indians and Dodgers leaving the Grapefruit League.
That single wraparound is 100 times better than the Ledger’s Detroit Tigers special section from Friday February 23rd, 2007. I don’t think the Friday section was a product of the sports department. It had to be the advertising department. How can you tell when Advertising and not Editorial constructs a special section? If you read such special sections you’ll usually see something like A product of Papername Advertising on every page.
I’ve worked for a daily newspaper advertising department. I know the kind of trouble it takes planning, selling, and constructing a special section. It’s hard work. Those sections are usually constructed by some poor overworked advertising department intern.
However, I don’t see anyone going to a lot of work on this particular insert. The total news hole for the section consists of six articles by Jason Beck (all from MLB.com) and two special articles by Ledger writer Lorraine Bloeth Valerino. It sounds like more than it is. One of Valerino’s articles was a short on the (then) upcoming Fan Fest and the other was a piece on the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
It’s not a total wash. There is a nice head shot lineup for the Tigers’ 2007 Spring Training Roster. But you don’t need to buy that paper just to read the section. You’ve already read Beck’s articles:
Tigers’ long journey leads to playoffs – Oct 1, 2006
Dombrowski pleased as plans flourish – Oct. 19, 2006
Tigers acquire Sheffield for prospects – Nov 10, 2006
Leyland named AL Manager of the Year – Nov 15, 2006
Tigers’ business unfinished into ’07 – Feb 2, 2007
Tigers Spring Training quick hits – Feb. 2, 2007
If you really want to see the section, The Ledger has it online. Link is to images of full section.
I still think the absolute best way to see the Ledger’s Spring Training articles is online.
• In other, non-Ledger news: Baseball magazine pre-season predicted finish: The Sporting News (Tigers — 2nd in Division) and Lindy’s (Tigers – 1st in Division)
• If you’re near Clinton Township (MI) Saturday (March 3rd, 2007) stop by the Macomb Community College Cultural Center to hear baseball historian William M. Anderson. He’ll discuss the Detroit Tiger’s teams of the 40s.
• If you’re in Lakeland and looking for directions from Joker Marchant to each Grapefruit League park: Lakeland Local Spring Training Information Column