I'm on the road in D.C. with my two sons snoring in the sofabed beside me, so I thought this would be a fine opportunity to post some early morning news from around baseball as Opening Day approaches.
* Minor League Baseball sought a local ownership group in Richmond when its first attempt to return baseball to the city failed last summer. Though new team owner Lou Dibella calls New York City home, he did find a local investor in Brian Callaghan, who he recently introduced at the refurbished Diamond.
* Ballpark renovations for new Bradenton affiliate are put on hold after expected federal funds don't come through. The projects, which included a tiki bar, parking and a children's play area, will now be spread out over several years instead of being completed in a single $7 million project.
* Gluten-free options and vegetarian offerings are among the new fare you can expect to find at ballparks around the country this season.
* Minor league baseball a liberal bastion? Probably not, but according to this chart lifted from a GOP-affiliated research firm, minor league fans lean a little more to the left than major league fans.
* In the annual end-of-spring training exhibitions, you'd think the ones getting the biggest thrill would be the minor leaguers getting chance to play against the big league team. However returning to Lake Elsinore to take on the Storm proved to be a fond trip down memory lane for a few new Padres big leaguers.
Talk to enough minor league GMs, and you'll hear a recurring theme: You need to find non-baseball events at the ballpark to be successful. So it makes perfect sense for the West Michigan Whitecaps to open their gates so fans can root on hometown Michigan State during a Final Four viewing party.
* You can't start a baseball season without a ranking of favorite ballparks (we did it last season, after all). ABC News is re-inventing the wheel with its list of the seven best major league ballparks, but, as a Maryland native, I do support its ranking of Camden Yards on top.
* Sounds like Target Field could soon earn a spot on the above list.
* It' the end of an era as the Diamondbacks and Rockies play their final spring training games in Tucson.
That's it for today. The kids are up and hungry for breakfast. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
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