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Thread: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

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    Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds
    By Rory Glynn rglynn@enquirer.com January 29, 2010

    GOODYEAR, Ariz. Spring training for the Reds won't be the same here as it was in Florida, where the franchise played the first-ever Grapefruit League game in 1908 and spent the past 64 consecutive springs, the last 12 in Sarasota.

    How you feel about that depends on why you go to spring training.

    If you're a fan fixated on mixing in Florida beaches with your February baseball, then maybe you weren't so happy with the Reds' decision two years ago to move to the desert. Goodyear, nestled beneath the Estrella Mountains about 20 minutes west of downtown Phoenix, is hardly beachfront property.

    But if your idea of basking in the sun is at the ballpark, then you'll love the regions 320 average annual sunny days and average high temperatures of 71 degrees in February, 76 in March.

    "Not to downgrade Florida, because beaches are wonderful, but you're going to have 20 percent of your vacation days rained out," said Robert Brinton, president of the Cactus League, the 15 teams that call Arizona their spring home. "That's not going to happen here."

    You'll love the high concentration of teams 13 of the 15 Arizona clubs are within a 35-mile radius of one another in the Valley of the Sun, and next year, when the Diamondbacks and Rockies move into a new complex on Scottsdales eastern border, it'll be all 15.

    If you're the Reds, you love the new sprawling player development complex a couple of good relay throws from the sparkling 10,000-capacity Goodyear Ballpark -- a project with a total price tag of $108 million, when you factor in the Cleveland Indians adjacent complex.

    Because while spring training for fans is a sunshine and star-gazing, for teams the bigger mission is preparing players for the long season ahead.

    For the Reds, who agreed to move to Goodyear only after a deal to upgrade their Sarasota complex fell apart, the new facility will facilitate that preparation, as well as the year-round mission of scouting, training, developing and rehabilitating players.

    "In the big picture on Arizona versus Florida, I always say there are three major bullet points for us in terms of why Arizona lets us get our work done better," said Dick Williams, Reds vice president of baseball operations.

    "No. 1 is the weather. The average rainfall is a fourth of what it is in Florida over that period. You have less rain impacting the daily workout schedule.

    "No. 2 is you have 15 of the 30 teams in Arizona, and eight within 20 miles. When we were in Sarasota, the Pirates (in Bradenton) were the only team within 20 miles. And No. 3 is the newness of the facilities."

    They dont come newer than Goodyear.

    The ballpark

    The undeveloped area in proximity to Goodyear Ballpark looks something like the Reds one-time home in Plant City, Fla. if Plant City had desert fauna. And jumbo jets.

    Beyond the ballparks outfield fence is Phoenix Goodyear Airport, home to what's known as a boneyard a resting place for aircraft being parked or parted out.

    "Pretty wild, huh?" said Mike Saverino, the Reds Arizona operations manager. "You should see it from the Indians complex. It looks like they're right on top of you."

    Turns out, Goodyear isn't Plant City at all. Whereas perpetually sleepy Plant City stayed that way in the Reds 10 seasons there, Goodyear has surged from 6,258 residents in 1990 to more than 62,000 today, and expects to top 100,000 within five years, according to the city. Goodyear also recently received two national livability awards.

    Back up an exit or two from the ballpark and you'll find every chain restaurant and big-box store you can fathom. And the city of Goodyear has a comprehensive plan for mixed-use (restaurants, offices and hotel/conference center) with the ballpark as its centerpiece.

    "We're on the right side (west) of Phoenix, in terms of growth and development," Williams said. "And the ballpark village is the sort of forward-thinking, integrated vision were happy to be a part of."

    Goodyear Ballpark, which the Reds share with the Indians, is a brick-and-steel marvel of the type architect HOK Sport built its reputation building for the majors. At the front gate, a white sculpture with red baseball stitching, measuring 60 feet, 6 inches, the distance from the mound to home plate towers from a fountain.

    All 8,500 permanent seats are lower-bowl and theres no upper deck and seating capacity expand to 10,000 when you factor in grassy berm in the outfield and party areas behind home plate and in right field.

    It has six luxury suites. Theres a 2,000-square foot team shop with Reds and Indians gear, four main concession areas focused on different fare (even cheese coneys).

    Kids bored of the big guys game can have their own Wiffle ball game on a diamond up the right-field line, one of Goodyear's many kids zone activities. The scoreboard in left field features the largest video boarding the Cactus League.

    The Reds have their own dedicated clubhouse at Goodyear Ballpark, as do the Indians. The Reds clubhouse features the requisite flat-panel TVs and a spaciousness not found in Sarasota.

    The Reds batting cages and practice mounds are tucked behind the right-field fence. In fact, Goodyear Ballpark has so many amenities it's easy to forget the Reds will do only a fraction of their spring work here. Much of the heavy lifting will come less than a mile down South Wood Parkway, at the player development complex.

    The team complex

    Williams noted that the Reds complex in Sarasota covered 53 acres, counting Ed Smith Stadium.

    "Now we have 50 acres just for the practice facility, excluding the ballpark," he said. And thats theirs; the Indians have their own player development complex, with the teams sharing the stadium.

    What was gained:

    The Reds go from four full practice fields (Sarasota) to six (Goodyear); from one half field to two; from four covered batting tunnels to six; from six gang mounds to 20 (six completely shaded); from one observation tower to two; and added an agility field with an incline for training.

    "Overall, we think fan access will be greatly improved over Sarasota, too," Williams said.

    Other improvements wont be visible to fans, such as the strength and fitness training areas, full hydrotherapy system with treadmill and underwater-camera monitoring, ample office and meeting space for front-office personnel, and full kitchens and dining areas for both major and minor leaguers.

    Reds manager Dusty Bakers office includes two dressing lockers: one
    for Dusty and another for son Darren. There are three expansive clubhouses: one for Rookie and A-ball, one for Double-A and Triple-A, and one for the big-leaguers.

    The major league clubhouse is particularly, uh, generous. Its shape is reminiscent of the Reds wishbone C. Black leather furniture has gray fabric accents with the wishbone C in red. The C is etched into glass tabletops. There are three docking stations for the players smart phones, PDAs, MP3 players and assorted geegaws.

    Towering over it all is a pod of four 60-inch flat-screen TVs in a diamond shape in the middle of the room, which makes the TVs in the Great American Ball Park clubhouse look like the one on your kitchen counter.

    "Phil (Castellini, the Reds chief operating officer) and I laughed about it," Williams said. "He said, 'theyre going to get used to this, and now hes going to have to do some improvements.' But we were fortunate to have the space to do it. In the stadium, you're somewhat limited."

    With Goodyear officials expecting each team to have an economic impact of $26.3 million on the local economy, Brinton is glad the Reds are in Arizona. Now he wants you to come see them.

    "Were hoping in February and March there's lots of snow on the ground in Ohio," he said. "For your watershed, of course."

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/2...+look+for+Reds

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Goodyear another link for Reds, Tribe
    By Rory Glynn rglynn@enquirer.com January 29, 2010

    Already linked by I-71, two annual interleague series and the intersection of Pete Roses and Ray Fosses left shoulders, the Reds and Cleveland Indians are about to grow even further connected.

    Not far off Lower Buckeye Parkway in Goodyear, Ariz., the Buckeye States two major league teams will settle into their own adjacent player development complexes for spring training. They'll also share the 10,000-seat Goodyear Ballpark that the Indians christened last season.

    The two-tenant arrangement is the fourth in the Cactus League The model began when the Mariners and Padres moved to Peoria, northwest of Phoenix, in 1994. Similar complexes have since opened in Surprise (Royals, Rangers) in 2003, Glendale (Dodgers, White Sox) in 2009, and Goodyear (Indians 2009, Reds 2010).

    The theory behind that was if youre each playing 14 (home) games, the ballpark is sitting empty every other day, said Robert Brinton, president of the Cactus League. It was really borne out of how do we provide enough funds for these new ballparks, and this came out as the solution: incentives to the funding based on having that second team.

    Does it work perfectly? Well, Im sure theres some you-got-Friday so we-want Saturday and so forth in the schedule. But look, I had to share a room with my brother. It works, and overall it works very well.

    The Reds player development complex was completed in October, in time for organizational meetings and the Arizona Fall League season, and the Reds are about to spend their first spring in Arizona.

    Each team's complex has six full practice fields, two practice fields and an agility field, as well as pitching mounds and batting cages. Each team gets exclusive use of all of them during spring training, and exclusive use of two practice fields and the half fields year-round. Goodyear uses the other practice fields after spring training.

    Dick Williams, the Reds vice president of baseball operations, said the two-team model has its advantages beyond just getting the complex built.

    "It lets us focus on baseball and not so much on the operations and the marketing, Williams said. That's what the city of Goodyear should be good at, and that's promoting and marketing the city."

    Because there's two teams close together, there's a lot of synergy maintenance, the grounds crew, staff, buying supplies for both sites.

    Goodyear Ballpark caters to both fan bases. Its concessions include Great Lakes beer and Stadium Mustard for the Clevelanders, and cheese coneys for the Cincinnatians.

    Bob DiBiasio, Indians vice president of public relations, said the first season in Goodyear went smoothly from Clevelands perspective. The Indians spent 47 seasons in Tucson, Ariz., before moving to Winter Haven, Fla., in 1993, then back to Arizona last spring.

    "Having had that history in Arizona, its nice coming back," DiBiasio said. Any difficulties were small, and wev'e been able to work through them together. Its a beautiful facility, and March in Arizona for fans, you cant get better than that."

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/2...or+Reds++Tribe

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    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Looking forward to seeing this complex. From the pics I have seen, this one is off the charts.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    My oldest son and I are heading there for a week in March.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Reds pack up for Goodyear trek
    Club readies for inaugural journey to new Arizona complex
    By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

    02/04/10 3:29 PM EST

    CINCINNATI -- Go west, Reds truck.

    For the first time since World War II and only the second time since 1923, the Reds' equipment truck for Spring Training isn't heading south to tropical Florida. It's headed west to the desert and the team's brand-new complex in Goodyear, Ariz.

    "The truck driver will need another day of driving, I know that," Reds equipment manager Rick Stowe said on Thursday. "Instead of two days, it's three days for him to get out there."

    From 1998-2009, the Reds' spring home was in Sarasota, Fla., a 976-mile journey from Cincinnati down Interstate 75. The ride to Goodyear will obviously be a much longer trek -- 1,863 miles to be exact.

    Stowe and his staff have spent the past several days making countless trips from the Reds clubhouse to a tractor-trailer truck parked at a loading dock inside Great American Ball Park. Everything must be ready to go in time for a Friday departure.

    Inside the back of the truck, the contents were familiar -- black trunks full of equipment, medical staff supplies and boxes upon boxes of what could be labeled simply as stuff. That includes personal items for staff members and their families -- from suitcases to cribs and bikes.

    There will also be hundreds of helmets, shirts, socks, hats, jerseys and about 21,000 baseballs. There were skids of coolers and cups and cases of sunflower seeds and gum.

    "We're bringing a lot of stuff that we're going to leave out there," Stowe said. "The truck is filling up a lot faster than it has in years past because there's a lot of stuff we brought home from Sarasota to bring out to Arizona."

    Among the items making a one-time only journey are pictures for the walls, bunting and a one-of-a-kind trinket -- the Governor's Cup that was used for the exhibition games that used to take place between the Reds and Indians. It's a series that will be revived since the two teams share a main stadium while practicing in adjacent complexes.

    "It's little things but there are 45 boxes of little things, you know?" Stowe said.

    At the destination, members of the clubhouse staff are already at work. This week, the Reds are holding their first fantasy camp in Goodyear and the fans participating are getting to break in everything before the players.

    "The guys who are out there for dream week now say it's awesome," Stowe said. "They've had nothing but rave reviews. I think once we get set up out there -- it'll be just like getting into a house and out of the boxes. It'll take a couple of weeks.

    "Everything is an upgrade. I'll actually have an office. The last 11 years, my office was next to a dryer. Every time somebody called, I had to turn off the dryer or washing machine to hear somebody on the other end."

    Reds pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training on Feb. 18 and hold their first workouts the same day. Stowe will be out much earlier to help get everything set up for their arrivals.

    Stowe's office phone has been used a lot, too, as he's been getting in touch with outfits like catering companies, seamstress workers and the Coca Cola Co. in Arizona.

    "It's, 'Do we have enough trash cans or clocks, or laundry baskets?'" Stowe said. "Dusty [Baker] called me and said, 'Don't forget my bookshelf. Don't forget I need a cork board in my office.' We're running out and trying to take care of that little stuff."

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin

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    Moderator Tommyjohn25's Avatar
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Play ball baby.
    Benzinger backing and calling! And the 1990 world championship series belongs to the Cincinnati Reds!

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Video of Reds truck arriving in Goodyear:

    http://ow.ly/15rXW

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds


    This is a photo taken yesterday morning by Reds Director of Media Relations Rob Butcher -direct from Goodyear, Arizona.

    http://ramsey.mlblogs.com/

    Photo of snowy Great American Ballpark:

    http://ow.ly/i/sXi

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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post

    This is a photo taken yesterday morning by Reds Director of Media Relations Rob Butcher -direct from Goodyear, Arizona.

    http://ramsey.mlblogs.com/

    Photo of snowy Great American Ballpark:

    http://ow.ly/i/sXi
    Well, at least we don't have to worry about water shortages with all that snow melt.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    Well, at least we don't have to worry about water shortages with all that snow melt.

    Just flooding.

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    This is exciting stuff for me. Phoenix has been a stomping ground for me since the seventies.(Drinking age was 18 then, nuff said) Back then there was only the Suns and Asu if you needed a sports fix. Unbelievable all that goes on there now. I would encourage all of you to consider a trip down for spring training. Check out the Mariners complex too, there is a teriffic bar that is located along the outfield fence that you can watch the game for free. Good times.

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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepred05 View Post
    This is exciting stuff for me. Phoenix has been a stomping ground for me since the seventies.(Drinking age was 18 then, nuff said) Back then there was only the Suns and Asu if you needed a sports fix. Unbelievable all that goes on there now. I would encourage all of you to consider a trip down for spring training. Check out the Mariners complex too, there is a teriffic bar that is located along the outfield fence that you can watch the game for free. Good times.

    I'm definitely headed down to Goodyear at some point this March.

    Curiously, do you know where's a good place to stay that's near where the Reds play and affordable (around $50 a night). And if you or any Redszoner's are there when I'm there, we should try to meet at a game.

    I'm very excited about to see what Az is like for Spring Training.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    A lot of Motel 6's in the area. Lots of reasonable hotels in the area.Glendale, Surprise, Peoria are all reasonable driving distance. The last time I went to Phoenix, Goodyear was just exploding.

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepred05 View Post
    A lot of Motel 6's in the area. Lots of reasonable hotels in the area.Glendale, Surprise, Peoria are all reasonable driving distance. The last time I went to Phoenix, Goodyear was just exploding.
    Thx!
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    I love the scenery in the Phoenix area. Been there three times for Ohio State bowl games.

    I feel bad for the Reds fans that were used to driving to spring training and can't do that any longer. But overall, I like this move.


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