- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 21, 2008

SEEN AND HEARD IN VIERA, FLA.

 One of the (few) perks of spring training in this part of the state is the proximity to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, which sits about 25 miles from Space Coast Stadium.

 Yesterday, we got a taste of that proximity when the space shuttle Atlantis returned home following an 11-day mission. We couldn’t see the shuttle as it descended, but we sure could hear it.

 Shortly after it passed over Viera around 9 a.m., a sonic boom rattled the ballpark, two thunderous bursts that sent at least one reporter (not from this paper, of course) ducking for cover.

 Next up: Shuttle Endeavor, which lifts off at 2:30 a.m. on March 11. We will drink plenty of coffee that morning to stay awake.

TEMPERATURE CHECK

UP - DUKES’ ARRIVAL

Said all the right things in his press conference.

DOWN - PLANNING ON DUKES’ ARRIVAL

Senseless confusion reigned all day.

UP - WMP BP session

Wily Mo Pena puts on power exhibition in batting practice.

UP - Position players report

It’s about time. Let’s get everyone out there on the field.

OVERHEARD

“I’m not good at predicting, and I’m not good at listening to predictions.”

” Manager Manny Acta

BY THE NUMBERS

.190

Batting average for Elijah Dukes in 52 career major league games.

TODAY’S WEATHER

District: Partly cloudy, 36 degrees.

Viera: Showers, 78 degrees.

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

Today: Position players take physicals; pitchers and catchers workout, 9:45 a.m.

Tomorrow: Full-squad workout, 9:45 a.m.

Saturday: Full-squad workout, 9:45 a.m.

Sunday: Full-squad workout, 9:45 a.m.

Monday: Full-squad workout, 9:45 a.m.

Tuesday: Full-squad workout, 9:45 a.m.

Wednesday: Exhibition opener vs. Marlins in Jupiter, 7:05 p.m.

HOW TO GET TO SPACE COAST STADIUM

 From Orlando/north: Take Route 528 East (Beachline Expressway) 25 miles to Interstate 95 South. Exit I-95 South at Fiske Boulevard (Exit 195). Proceed south on Fiske Boulevard/Stadium Parkway two miles to the stadium on the right. Approximate time: 45 minutes.

 From Melbourne/south: Take I-95 North to Wickham Road (Exit 191) and turn left. At the traffic circle, turn right on Lake Andrew Drive. Turn left on Judge Fran Jamieson Way. Turn right on Stadium Parkway and follow to the stadium on the left. Approximate time: 20 minutes.

Mark Zuckerman


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