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[March 7th] -- Since the first day of spring training last year, Washington Nationals' fans have listened as their team's players, coaches, broadcasters and beat writers have assailed the city of Viera, Florida, the sight of the nationals' training complex. "It's in the middle of nowhere" says one. "There is always dust in the air from the farm land that surrounds the facility" says another.

Wait a minute, that's not possible, you say. All of the east coast of Florida is one continuous strip mall. Right? Well, not exactly.

The Space Coast Stadium complex lies among a vast open space north of Melbourne and south of Cocoa Beach. In other words, it is really in the middle of nowhere. To the west, there is nothing. Absolutely nothing. I-95 is about a mile to the east, and the next two miles is a series of sprawling housing complexes. A full three miles [as the crow flies] away is the intercoastal waterway, and another mile or so is the real beach.

Well, it isn't a real beach, not like in Lauderdale or Miami. Both sides of the intercoastal are dotted with homes, and the "beach area" isn't really a beach. It's more like a confluence of expensive houses and salt water. You have to travel north towards Cocoa or south towards Melbourne to find a "sun and fun" beach that you associate with the Sunshine State.

So what does a 22 year old kid from Garland, Texas do after the complex shuts down for the day, especially if he hasn't picked up the golf "habit" yet?

That's the point that Barry, Dave & Charley has been making for more than a year.

man, talk about a lot of nothing
I've driven that stretch of I-95 many many times and don't remember ever seeing a sign that said "Viera." Why'd they put the complex in the middle of nowhere? Because it was the Marlins' first spring home, I guess it was their decision.
I lived in West Palm Beach in the mid to late 1980's, and never saw a sign that said "Viera." Melbourne, of course, is a town I've been too many times.
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