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Updated: 02/22/2018 08:30:01AM

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Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer signs autographs after his workout last week at Charlotte Sports Park. Games begin Friday.
Photo by Tom O'Neill

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Sergio Romo signs autographs after his workout last week at Charlotte Sports Park. Games begin Friday.
Photo by Tom O'Neill

Tampa Bay Rays working out at Charlotte Sports Park last week. Games begin Friday.

Photo by Tom O'Neill

Tampa Bay Rays working out at Charlotte Sports Park last week. Games begin Friday.

Photo by Tom O'Neill

Joan Schnieder, from Port Charlotte, photographs her favorite players last week at Charlotte Sports Park. Games begin Friday.

Photo by Tom O'Neill

Tampa Bay Rays working out at Charlotte Sports Park last week. Games begin Friday.
Photo by Tom O'Neill

Members of the Baltimore Orioles walk through the baseball team's spring training facility during photo day in Sarasota last year. Games begin Friday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Wendi Tripp, a translator with the Tampa Bay Rays, arranges jerseys for the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Tampa Bay Rays' Steven Souza Jr., right, joins teammates on the field waiting to have their picture taken during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Full squad practice begins Monday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Full squad practice begins Monday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

A groundskeeper at Ed Smith Stadium wets down the practice fields for the Baltimore Orioles during spring training baseball last week in Sarasota, Fla. Games begin Friday. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

PHOTO PROVIDED
The Baltimore Orioles mascot

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Donnie Hart practices during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski throws a practice pitch during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Darren O'Day throws during a bullpen session at baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Donnie Hart practices during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Jesus Liranzo runs onto a practice field during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter walks onto the practice field during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Dylan Bundy (37) practices a drill during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Dylan Bundy practices during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Miguel Castro waits for practice to begin at baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter walks the field as his players line up during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Brad Brach throws a practice pitch during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Tanner Scott throws a practice pitch during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Alec Asher (51) watches bullpen practice during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Dylan Bundy practices during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jose Mesa waits for his turn for bullpen practice during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jose Mesa (74) and relief pitcher Yefry Ramirez (32) wait for their turn for bullpen practice during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter walks onto the practice field during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Baltimore Orioles pitching staff watches a play demonstrated during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Dylan Bundy practices a drill during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter stands at the bullpens during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Joely Rodriguez practices a drill during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Andrew Faulkner throws a practice pitch during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Michael Kelly walks out of the clubhouse during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jose Mesa throws a practice pitch during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baseball mitts belonging to the Baltimore Orioles rest on a fence during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Baltimore Orioles pitchers and catches walk towards the clubhouse during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter walks on the practice field during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Perci Garner (68) walks out from the clubhouse during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Chris Lee throws a bullpen session during spring training baseball practice Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles catcher Andrew Susac (27) tosses a ball as he waits to practice during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Mychal Givens practices bunting during baseball spring training this year. The team will have company in 2020, when Sarasota County will have a new stadium in North Port, future Grapefruitt League home of the Atlanta Braves. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles pitchers and catchers report for practice during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Dylan Bundy practices a drill during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jose Mesa practices a drill during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Brad Brach throws a practice pitch during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jose Mesa prepares to throw a practice pitch during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Chris Lee throws a practice pitch during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Jared Forma, a member of the Rays organization for the past decade and general manager of the Stone Crabs

PHOTO PROVIDED

Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, where the Tampa Bay Rays train. The team will have company nearby in 2020, when the Atlanta Braves begin their first full Grapefruit League season about a dozen miles up the road in North Port.

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Miguel Castro waits for practice to begin during baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

By RUSTY PRAY

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No question, baseball is good for Charlotte and Sarasota counties. But it also should go without question that Charlotte and Sarasota are good for baseball.

Of course, the marquee draw to the area in February and March is spring training. The Rays inhabit Charlotte Sports Park and the Orioles turn Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota into “Birdland South.” In a couple of years, the Atlanta Braves will be doing the same thing in North Port.

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