Sending out another postcard

I've been known to rush into relationships, and I'm ready to pay Sarasota's bills and buy it a sports car. Let's just say the place is growing on me. And fast. It's funny what happens once you venture a few miles from your hotel. If you're heading down here to catch a few spring training games and avoid the next blizzard, you'll want to visit Mediterraneo on Main St., but only if you can handle one of the best Italian meals of your life. Dine at your own risk. I'm listed as day-to-day after slipping into a food coma. The Orioles cap behind the bar isn't there because the team just moved its spring training home from Fort Lauderdale. The owner is a lifelong fan. Small world. Robert Messick, chair of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, took me on a brief, but enlightening tour before stopping at the restaurant. I thought he was kidnapping me after I offered my unflattering opinion of Fruitville Road last night. I felt like Joe Pesci in GoodFellas. But it was all good. He just wanted to kill me with kindness. A quick show of hands if you recommended Mediterraneo, or Libby's in the Southside Village, where my night began. I've lost track because so many of you were nice enough to offer tips. And multiple people here have talked up Pacific Rim, also in the Southside Village, for the best sushi. Our night concluded at Mattisons on Main Street, another really cool spot. I think Sarasota is trying to get me drunk and take advantage of me. Okay, seriously, the locals are positively giddy to have the Orioles here, and it must be a welcomed change for the organization after its battles with the FAA at its former spring home. And I keep hearing that the renovations to Ed Smith Stadium and the rest of the complex later this year will blow away the other sites. Fort Lauderdale will always have a piece of my heart, but I don't see a ring on my finger. This isn't cheating. I'm free to find a new love. Seven more weeks, and I'll be putting Sarasota's kids through college and picking up its relatives at the airport. I'll heading to bed so I'll be refreshed for that first workout tomorrow. And for all of you numbers freaks, you should know that reliever Will Ohman is wearing 13. That's an interesting choice for a guy who had elbow and shoulder surgery last year. He must not be superstitious.

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