I've been getting a lot of questions on Goodyear. I checked in with John Allen on some of them:
Where is Goodyear? You go west on I-10 out of Phoenix. "With no traffic, it takes me 20 minutes," Allen said. "With traffic, 30 to 25. Goodyear is right off the highway. The facility is five minutes from the I-10."
When will the Reds start training out there? 2010.
How long is the lease? 20 years with two 5-year options.
What happens to the Reds team in the Florida State League? That hasn't been decided yet. The Reds own the franchise. "That's something we have to address," Allen said. "We've had some preliminary discussions."
What happens to the Reds team in the Gulf Coast League? It will be shifted the Arizona League. The GCL team is a half-season league. They don't even charge admission to games. The games are played on the practice fields. The Reds will retain control of the two of their six fields year-round. Goodyear is free to use the other four fields when the Reds aren't in spring training.
Will the Reds year-round rehab operation be moved to Goodyear? Yes.
Are the Reds going to definitely be in Sarasota in 2009? "I assume so," Allen said. "We have until Aug. 1 to exercise our option. We haven't done so yet. But I can't imagine a scenario where we wouldn't."
When does construction on the Reds portion of the project begin? "Probably sometime this fall," Allen said. Goodyear still has to contract with architects and construction companies to do the project. The thought is the same people who designed and built the Cleveland facility will do for the Reds. "Our baseball operations people are already talking about plans," Allen said. "We'll get started right away."
What are the Reds telling fans who wanted the club to stay in Florida? "You can't fool anybody. Phoenix farther than Sarasota, Fla.," Allen said. "But by the same token we have a lot of fans not only in Arizona but in the Southwestern United States -- displaced Ohioans or whatever. It's 14 or 15 games. We'll probably lose same fans, but we 'll compensate with new fans. It's a neat place. Everything is new. There's a lot of development."
How many times will the Reds play the Indians? Probably four. That's what the Rangers and Royals, who share a facility at Surprise, do.
Will we have many 10 p.m. (Cincinnati time) starts? "I don't know," Allen said. "We haven't gotten into scheduling. There will probably be a sprinkling."