<
>

Sources: Mets, Yankees to meet in spring

The Mets and Yankees, who annually meet in a home-and-home series during the regular season, should be seeing more of each other in 2012.

The teams tentatively are scheduled to play home-and-home spring training games at their Florida complexes, in Port St. Lucie and Tampa, two officials familiar with the plans confirmed.

The New York teams last met in spring training on March 30, 1996, in Tampa, during the first year the Yankees had relocated to that city from Fort Lauderdale.

The 161-mile distance between their Port St. Lucie and Tampa facilities, plus the beginning of their interleague regular-season meetings in 1997, resulted in the end of the annual spring training competition.

But the Mets now are in need of diversifying their Grapefruit League opponents.

With the departures of the Los Angeles Dodgers from Vero Beach to Arizona and the Baltimore Orioles from Fort Lauderdale to Sarasota, the Mets now only have three opponents that require less than a two-hour drive from Port St. Lucie -- the St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins in Jupiter, and the Washington Nationals in Viera. Two of those three teams are National League East opponents that the organization would prefer not seeing so often.

Facing the Yankees once a year in Port St. Lucie also should mean an attendance spike, as is the case when the Boston Red Sox make an annual visit.