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Spring is in the air as games start today

Exhibition season gets underway today in Clearwater, and we have all the Grapefruit League info
 
It's time for baseball, as exhibitions start today. [DOUG CLIFFORD | Times]
It's time for baseball, as exhibitions start today. [DOUG CLIFFORD | Times]
Published Feb. 22, 2018

After a week of players stretching, doing mundane drills and practicing practice, spring training moves to the next phase today with the start of exhibition games.

Ah, baseball in the sunshine.

Consider it a soft opening in this part of the state, with the Philadelphia Phillies hosting the University of Tampa at 1:05 p.m. today at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, and the Detroit Tigers facing Florida Southern at Publix Field in Lakeland.

Then Friday there is a full slate of action:

* The Yankees, sporting one of the game's most powerful lineups, will host the Tigers at 1:05 at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

* The Blue Jays will host the Phillies, and new manager Gabe Kapler, at 1:07 at Dunedin Stadium, the neighborhood ballpark.

* And Tampa Bay's home team, the Rays, have two games. One squad will be at Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium for a 1:05 game against the Orioles, and the other will be at home in Port Charlotte facing the Pittsburgh Pirates, also at 1:05.

For all the information you need on spring training – schedules, tickets and more – check out our online guide.