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TeamBoone
02-24-2006, 11:46 AM
2/24/06
by Mark Lancaster

OUTSIDE THE BOX - Continuing their efforts to keep their spring training facilities in Sarasota, the Reds have begun preliminary discussions with the Pittsburgh Pirates about teaming up to build a joint spring training complex not far from where the Reds currently train.

The proposed site is the Sarasota Fairgrounds, not far from the City of Sarasota Sports Complex. The Pirates currently train just up the road in Bradenton, a spot they have called home for 38 years. The idea is that a joint facility might have a better chance to receive more government funding than separate proposals from each team.

New, two-team complexes have become popular in Arizona over the past 15 years, and there are now three sites in the Cactus League that host a pair of teams each during spring training.

The first was built in Peoria, Ariz., in 1994 and is home to the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. In 1998, the Chicago White Sox vacated Sarasota and joined the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks at Tucson Electric Park. Three years ago, Arizona lured the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals from their longtime training sites in Florida with a new facility in the city of Surprise.

All three of those complexes boast 12 full fields and two half-fields, split evenly between the two teams.

The Reds' contract with their current facility, transferred from the White Sox in 1998, expires Oct. 1, 2008. In recent years, the Reds have moved to make Sarasota a year-round base of operations. Ed Smith Stadium already was home to the Reds' Gulf Coast League team, and the Reds added an entry in the Florida State League last year.

The Sarasota Reds operated last season on a player development contract with the Boston Red Sox, who still own the franchise, but the Reds are close to reaching an agreement to buy that franchise from the Red Sox.

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060223/SPT05/602230326/1027

KronoRed
02-24-2006, 12:11 PM
Merge the teams and we might have a contender here ;)

RBA
02-24-2006, 12:46 PM
I don't like two teams in the same division sharing the same spring training complex. Looks like it would lead to the players sharing condos, cars, and trips to the nightclubs together, etc. The Pirates are the enemy.

westofyou
02-24-2006, 12:52 PM
I don't like two teams in the same division sharing the same spring training complex. Looks like it would lead to the players sharing condos, cars, and trips to the nightclubs together, etc. The Pirates are the enemy.

Back in the day ST often involved 2 teams bunking down in the same town and traveling north with each other and playing games the whole way.

In the end the guys on the Reds would rather hang out with the Pirates than Reds fans, it's the nature of the business.

Yachtzee
02-24-2006, 12:58 PM
Back in the day ST often involved 2 teams bunking down in the same town and traveling north with each other and playing games the whole way.

In the end the guys on the Reds would rather hang out with the Pirates than Reds fans, it's the nature of the business.


Sounds like "Brokeback Spring Training," in an odd sort of way.

westofyou
02-24-2006, 01:01 PM
Sounds like "Brokeback Spring Training," in an odd sort of way.
Once the Tigers and the Giants trained together and had an acrimonious relationship on the trip north, one day Cobb and formers Reds SS and manager Buck Herzog got in a tusssle at 2nd base (Herzog was jewish so I'm fairly certain Cobb mentined his feelings on that) after the game they decided to have a fight in their hotel room, both guys striped to the waist and a mess of players from both teams got in the room and the two went at it.

Herzog got the worst of it, but Cobb didn't play against the Giants on the rest of the trip.

deltachi8
02-24-2006, 02:00 PM
The Cheetah Lounge may have to expand its VIP section for two teams. Not that I have ever been there to know for sure. Just heard stuff and all.

TeamBoone
02-24-2006, 02:43 PM
February 23, 2006
Reds, Pirates team up to seek better facilities

They will work together at lobbying lawmakers to fund improved sites in Sarasota and Bradenton.

By JEREMY WALLACE (jeremy.wallace@heraldtribune.com)

They may be bitter rivals on the baseball diamond, but the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds are joining forces to help one another win state financing to renovate their spring training homes in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

For the last three years, the Reds have been pushing the state Legislature for financing to help upgrade the Ed Smith Sports Complex in Sarasota. But now, Pirate officials are joining the fight, hoping to win financing to rebuild Pirate City in east Bradenton, where the team has held spring training since 1969.

While the Pirates are content with nearby McKechnie Field, where the team plays its spring training games, the buildings at Pirate City need to be replaced because of mold problems, baseball officials said.

"They can't be salvaged," said David Cardwell, executive director of the Florida Grapefruit League Association, which is pushing for the state financing bills in the upcoming legislative session, which begins March 7.

In each of the last two years, attempts to win up to $15 million to help finance a renovated stadium complex in Sarasota have failed in the Legislature. Supporters say the measures failed mostly because each time they were part of legislation that would have sent $60 million to Miami to build a new major league stadium for the Florida Marlins.

This year, Cardwell said he thinks the spring training bill will make it through the session without getting caught up with other more controversial stadium deals, greatly improving the chances of passage. The bill also includes money to renovate spring training facilities in Fort Lauderdale and Winter Haven.

Pirates officials Wednesday denied rumors that the team was considering a move to Sarasota to share a new stadium with the Reds.

"We have had no conversation with the Cincinnati Reds in regards to sharing a spring training facility in Sarasota," Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy said in a statement released to the media Wednesday.

The Pirates have a lease with Bradenton that runs through 2011. The team and the city have already begun negotiations on a lease extension to keep the team in Bradenton.

Politically, any attempt to move the Pirates to Sarasota would kill any stadium funding legislation, said state Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton.

"I would kill it," Bennett said.

State Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said he, too, would oppose any legislation that would help the Pirates move to move to another city.

While the Reds, Sarasota and Sarasota County have considered bringing in a second team to share a new facility, those talks have never included the Pirates, several people involved with the negotiations said.

"We've had absolutely no conversations with the Pirates," Sarasota City Manager Mike McNees said.

Reds officials also denied working with the Pirates.

The Reds have talked with the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians about the possibility of a jointly run facility. Both of those teams are in the final year of their stadium leases with their spring training cities. The Orioles train in Fort Lauderdale and the Indians train in Winter Haven.

The Orioles have long expressed an interest in moving to Sarasota to be closer to American League East rivals like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The team already holds its minor league spring training program at Twin Lakes Park, off Clark Road in Sarasota.

The Reds have been pushing for nearly $40 million in renovations at the 16-year-old Ed Smith complex before committing to a new long-term lease. While $15 million would come from the state, the team is looking for at least $5 million each from the city and county, with the remainder to come from the Reds. The team, which has trained in Sarasota since 1998, has a lease that runs through spring 2008.

Reds and city officials say the city-owned Ed Smith complex doesn't match up to stadiums in other Florida cities. Some training fields at Ed Smith flood for days at a time, the clubhouses are cramped, workout facilities are shabby and the stadium isn't well-equipped for the disabled.


http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060223/NEWS/602230677/1006

TeamBoone
02-24-2006, 02:50 PM
How do they work the games when there is only one stadium? One team plays at home while the other is on the road is my guess, but it must be a scheduling nightmare.

Also, are the fields geographically split within the facility or are they playing on fields where they can see each other?

I can see the reasoning, money-wise as to why this is lucrative for both teams, but in reality, unless it's a huge tract of land where the teams are virtually and visually far apart from each other, I'm not sure it's a good idea... especially for teams in the same league, or even worse for teams in the same division.

Chip R
02-24-2006, 02:55 PM
I don't know if I trust those Pirates. You never know when they will resort to thuggery. Plus who will clean up all the empty rum bottles?

deltachi8
02-24-2006, 03:35 PM
Dead men tell no tales

creek14
02-24-2006, 03:40 PM
I think it's a great idea.

Plus Sean can be...

I was a fool to ever leave your side
Me minus you is such a lonely ride
The breakup we had has made me lonesome and sad
I realize I love you 'cause I want you bad, hey, hey

I spent the ev'ning with the radio
Regret the moment that I let you go
Our quarrel was such a way of learnin' so much
I know now that I love you 'cause I need your touch, hey,
Hey

Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited 'cause we understood
There's one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited 'cause we're reunited, hey, hey

Chip R
02-24-2006, 03:45 PM
That'd be a win-win for you, creek. You could watch the Reds and creek, jr. can watch the Pirates.

RBA
02-24-2006, 03:49 PM
I don't know if I trust those Pirates. You never know when they will resort to thuggery. Plus who will clean up all the empty rum bottles?

Maybe Ryan "Community Service" Freel?

redsmetz
02-24-2006, 03:58 PM
The Reds have talked with the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians about the possibility of a jointly run facility. Both of those teams are in the final year of their stadium leases with their spring training cities. The Orioles train in Fort Lauderdale and the Indians train in Winter Haven.

In some ways, the Orioles would make a lot of sense. They're way down there in Ft. Lauderdale and that is so far from the great majority of teams. It's a long, long trip that leaves many of the frontline players not making that road trip.

JaxRed
02-24-2006, 04:37 PM
And the Orioles Minor League operation is already in Sarasota. But putting Cleveland and Cincy together would make sense from a Tourism standpoint.

Maldonado
02-24-2006, 04:41 PM
"OUTSIDE THE BOX - Continuing their efforts to keep their spring training facilities in Sarasota, the Reds have begun preliminary discussions with the Pittsburgh Pirates about teaming up to build a joint spring training complex not far from where the Reds currently train."

Is it me or is this just really odd? This has the sound of two teams so strapped for cash that they'll do just about anything to save money. And in the same division no less! What are they going to do next, start sharing signals and what pitches they'll pitch to each other?

BEETTLEBUG
02-24-2006, 06:01 PM
I myself would prefer Baltimore or Cleveland or Pirates because of the rivals they would be.

TeamBoone
02-24-2006, 06:44 PM
Is it me or is this just really odd? This has the sound of two teams so strapped for cash that they'll do just about anything to save money. And in the same division no less! What are they going to do next, start sharing signals and what pitches they'll pitch to each other?

Apparently it's not odd as six teams are already doing it in Arizona: two of the three facilities boast teams from different leagues; the third does not.


New, two-team complexes have become popular in Arizona over the past 15 years, and there are now three sites in the Cactus League that host a pair of teams each during spring training.

The first was built in Peoria, Ariz., in 1994 and is home to the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. In 1998, the Chicago White Sox vacated Sarasota and joined the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks at Tucson Electric Park. Three years ago, Arizona lured the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals from their longtime training sites in Florida with a new facility in the city of Surprise.

All three of those complexes boast 12 full fields and two half-fields, split evenly between the two teams.

westofyou
02-24-2006, 06:51 PM
Is it me or is this just really odd?
The irony of baseball as a business is your competition is also one of your few business partners.

cincinnati chili
02-24-2006, 07:00 PM
The pols in Bradenton will bend over backwards to keep the Pirates in town. I have a little bit of inside knowledge of the situation, and suspect that when push comes to shove, the Pirates will renew that 2011 lease (after greasing the community for more consideration in the lease).

4256 Hits
02-24-2006, 09:57 PM
This is not like football where teams have closed practices. The Pirates are not going to pick up anything they couldn't pick up by scouting by sharing a complex. Even now the two team play each other a handful of time in spring training.