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Thread: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

  1. #16
    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    I threw this together for anyone interested, its a map of the area marked where each of the other spring training facilities are for reference.

    Almost every ballpark is within a couple of miles of one of the major freeways for quick access.

    The Reds Goodyear Ballpark is marked with the "A".

    I added where the Dbacks & Rockies ballpark will be next year. In 2010 they are playing in Tucson about 100 miles to the south.

    For distance purposes, the distance between Goodyear Ballpark and Hohokam Stadium, where the Cubs play, is a little more than 30 miles.


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  3. #17
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Reds in awe of new Arizona complex
    Pitchers, catchers and early-bird players marvel upon arrival
    By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

    02/18/10 2:10 PM EST

    GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Gaped mouths, heads turning and guys getting lost. Yes, the Reds have definitely started Spring Training at their brand-new complex in Arizona.

    Physicals were taken on Thursday morning, with an afternoon workout scheduled for pitchers and catchers on the fields.

    After 12 years in Sarasota, Fla., at a facility that had grown worn-down and confining, the place in Goodyear has received rave reviews. Two thumbs up all around.

    "I knew it would be beautiful, but this is beautiful," catcher Ramon Hernandez said. "When you walk in, it makes you want to play baseball, you know?"

    Early-arriving position players Paul Janish and Jay Bruce walked into the spacious clubhouse and their eyes immediately lit up two steps inside the door.

    "Man, everything is top-notch," Janish said. "We didn't know what to expect. Me and Jay drove here and got lost on the way over. It's kind of out in the middle of nowhere, but you couldn't ask for everything to be nicer. We have TVs everywhere. In the back equipment room, everything is roomier than it was in Sarasota."
    On their chairs in front of each locker, players were given a map of the facility so they could navigate their way around.

    "I still get lost and turned around and go the wrong way," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I have trouble finding [equipment manager] Rick Stowe sometimes. It's like moving into a new house. It's exciting."

    "It's unbelievable," pitcher Aaron Harang said. "I was here last Friday and came in Saturday morning. I went in and worked out and all that stuff. I was trying to leave, ended up on the wrong side in the Minor League side. I was lost over there."

    Hoping to make it the type of place where players want to arrive early and leave late each day, the Reds are attempting to make their spring home comfortable but also a place where more work could get done.

    Instead of four full practice fields in Florida, there are six in Arizona. There used to be one field for infield and now there are two. There are larger indoor batting cages and covered bullpens. Something that wasn't available in Sarasota but open for use now, grassy areas for agility drills and an incline where players can do cardio work on a hill.

    On Thursday morning, assistant general manager Bob Miller showed off some of the office space inside the 43,000 square foot, two-story building. One of the bigger differences in what the Reds had compared to what they have now is access to video.

    A dedicated video room contains about a dozen screens for Major and Minor Leaguers, and large flat-panel screens are on the wall. The video room in Sarasota was a laptop perched on top of a wood board over a laundry hamper in a hallway next to the showers.

    The instructional league field has cameras set up as do the batting and pitching tunnels. All of it is available to view inside the building or remotely.

    "So we can watch them from home," Miller said. "We can watch instructional league, extended spring. We don't have 20 cameras to follow the ball, but you can see the pitcher and hitter."

    The main practice field, to be used for instructional league, is set up like it would be at Great American Ball Park. The only difference is the outfield dimensions because of the higher altitude and dryer air in the desert.

    "It's the exact same lines, all the inserts and cutouts," Miller said. "The infield is the exact same depth."

    Goodyear, a sprouting suburban town located about 20 miles west of Phoenix, is the Spring Training home of two teams. The Indians, who moved west in 2009, have their nice, new place next door to the Reds. The two teams will share Goodyear Ballpark for their home exhibition games.

    There are now 15 teams in the Cactus League, with 13 of them located in the Phoenix metro area. That means less travel time for games -- and for "road" games against Cleveland, no travel at all. In Florida, the only team reasonably close to the Reds was the Pirates in Bradenton.

    "Besides the facilities, they'll end up liking the weather a lot better," said 2009 first-round pick and pitcher Mike Leake, who lives in Phoenix and played for Arizona State. "You have to get used to the dry heat and make sure you're well hydrated. Once they get over that, they'll love it."

    Cincinnati will debut in the Cactus League with a March 5 home game vs. the Indians.

    For most of the offseason, the Reds were relatively quiet and made few notable moves. That changed by mid-January with the surprise signing of Aroldis Chapman to a six-year deal worth $30.25 million. Chapman, a Cuban defector, could very well begin the season in the Minors but will be given a shot to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation.

    On Feb. 1, the Reds felt they solved their shortstop situation by signing free agent Orlando Cabrera to a one-year contract. On the same day, center fielder Willy Taveras and infielder Adam Rosales were traded to Oakland for utility player Aaron Miles.

    With most of the lineup, rotation and bullpen spots set, there will be competition focused mostly on two spots -- left field and the fifth starter.

    In left field, Chris Dickerson, Laynce Nix, Wladimir Balentien, Josh Anderson and top prospects Chris Heisey, Todd Frazier and Juan Francisco will seek to win jobs.

    The fifth spot will be sought by Chapman but also Micah Owings, Justin Lehr and lefty prospects Matt Maloney and Travis Wood.

    Only two players weren't in camp in time for the first workout. Pitchers Enerio Del Rosario and Pedro Viola were delayed leaving the Dominican Republic and missed their flight connections in the United States. Both were expected in town later in the day.

    Although we don't yet know who will win these battles, or any camp surprises that might await the team, there is one thing that is crystal clear. The 58 players in camp will be whittled down to a final 25-man roster that heads back to Cincinnati for an April 5 Opening Day vs. the Cardinals.

    But for now, the Reds are getting to work and enjoying their work space.

    "This place is great," reliever Nick Masset said. "They did a really good job. I'm excited. This is by far the best complex I've ever played at. It's awesome, inside and outside, the fields, the mounds. You get that feeling coming to camp, you're always excited to get in and get started. When you come into a clubhouse like this, it makes it 10 times better."

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

  4. #18
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    It's gonna be weird after spending 34 of my 39 years listening to Reds spring training opponents like Houston (from their Kissimmee days) Detroit (Lakeland), Pittsburgh (Bradenton), get replaced with the Brewers, Angels and Cubs among others.

    I guess the old is new again stuff is reuniting with the Rangers (formerly Port Charlotte before their move out West) and KC (formerly Baseball City along I-4 and a lot of games with them when the Reds were in Plant City) not to mention Cleveland (Winter Haven before Arizona).

    Also, despite my initial not liking the move as it will keep me from seeing them in the spring like I used to, I am liking the time difference and that games will be wrapping up as we get home from work with chatter about the games later into the March evenings.

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Goodyear, Ariz., is Ohio baseball central, but will fans make trip to see Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds?
    By Paul Hoynes, The Plain Dealer
    March 05, 2010, 5:15AM

    GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Today is Opening Day for the all-Ohio, hands-across-the-desert Cactus League opener between the Indians and Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. The Reds, in their first year in Goodyear since moving from Sarasota, Fla., are the home team and they're looking to make an impression.

    They've called in The Big Red Machine and the 1990 World Series champion Reds. You want baseball royalty, the Reds are delivering.

    Hall of Famer Joe Morgan will throw out a ceremonial first pitch. Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench will catch it. Other members of the Big Red Machine, which won the World Series in 1975 and 1976, on hand will be George Foster and Ken Griffey.

    From the 1990 Reds, Todd Benzinger, Tom Browning, Eric Davis and Billy Hatcher will take a bow.

    The Indians are short in the World Series department because they haven't won one since 1948. What they do have is squatter's rights. They fled Winter Haven, Fla., after 2008 and arrived last season. Still, they are not without their champion.

    On Saturday, when the two teams meet again on the same grounds, with the Indians assuming the role of home team, Hall of Famer Bob Feller, with a spring in his step at 91, is expected to throw out the first pitch. Feller won 19 games for the '48 Indians.

    If you're an Ohio baseball fan, think of this. You could come to Goodyear for a week and never leave the ballpark.

    When the Reds and Indians aren't playing each other, which they do six times, one team is on the road and one team is at home. Except for off days, there will be a game every day at Goodyear Ballpark.

    "It think this is fantastic," said GM Mark Shapiro. "It's a pretty unique construct. We have a chance to develop an Ohio spring training base in the same facility where fans, over time, can come and see the two Ohio teams train together and play each other. That has a chance to take root and be meaningful."

    Reds manager Dusty Baker says this is the best spring he's had in 16 years of running big-league clubs. He said the facility is one of the reasons.

    "It's like moving into a new house," said Baker. "You like the old house, it's just that it had a one-car garage, 1-1/2 baths and two bedrooms. This one has five or six bedrooms, a four-car garage, swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room, six bathrooms and five showers."

    The only thing the Indians and Reds share is the 10,000-seat ballpark. Each team has its own complex consisting of a main building that houses everything a team needs to prepare for the season. Each team has six full-sized big-league fields, two half-sized fields and one agility field. All for $107 million.

    "If you can't get it done here," said Reds hitting coach Brook Jacoby, a former Indians third baseman, "something is wrong."

    It sounds like there are going to be plenty of good seats available. Ryan Lantz, Indians manager of Arizona operations, says ticket sales are off 15 percent to 20 percent. The Indians drew a franchise record 99,824 fans last spring with 89,506 in paid attendance.

    Lantz said paid attendance is projected to be 80,000 this spring.

    "Most of the teams I've talked to in the Cactus League are projecting the same kind of losses," said Lantz.

    The advance sales for today's game were just over 3,000. Lantz projected the crowd to be a little more than 5,000. Walk-ups are a big part of the Tribe's attendance because there are nine teams within a 15-minute drive of Goodyear.

    In studying last spring's attendance, the Indians found it was split evenly between fans from Arizona and out-of-state. Lantz said the lion's share of the out-of-state attendance came from Ohio.

    Shawn Moore, an Ohio native, has been watching the Indians in spring training for 18 years. He said the fact that the Indians and Reds train together had little to do with him coming to Goodyear.

    "I'm a Indians fan from womb to tomb," said Moore, who lives in Apex, N.C. "It doesn't matter if the Reds are here. I'm here to see the Indians."

    Richard DePaul, a dentist from Cleveland, watched the Reds play an intrasquad game Thursday at Goodyear Ballpark. He liked the idea of the Indians and Reds training together.

    "It gives you a taste of the National League," he said.

    The spring migration of Ohio fans might take a while. There is a lot of empty space around the ballpark and training complex. Goodyear officials planned to make the area their new downtown, but the economy went bad and the building stopped.

    "All we need now are a few more hotels and restaurants," said Baker. "That's not far off. I saw that happen in Peoria [where Seattle and San Diego train]. There was nothing out there. The next thing you knew it blew up."

    http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/index..._baseball.html

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Reds getting accustomed to Goodyear
    New spring ballpark offers many amenities for club's fans
    By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

    03/05/10 8:45 PM EST

    GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A little over two years ago, while the Reds were seeking upgrades of their facility in Sarasota, Fla., some wondered if they were truly serious about relocating to Arizona.

    It quickly became a reality, and the Reds have since gladly traded grapefruit for cactus. On Friday, they debuted in Cactus League play at their new spring home -- Goodyear Ballpark.

    Cincinnati faced the team it shares the stadium with -- the Indians -- and lost, 9-2, in front of 4,631 fans. It was not a stellar game or a large crowd, but the big picture of having a new place has already proven to be a win for both teams.

    "[Goodyear] has done everything we asked them to do," Reds president/CEO Bob Castellini told the crowd before the game. "They did not deny us on one promise. It was so encouraging to deal with them throughout. It's a beautiful stadium and thank you for affording it to us and the Indians. It's the finest stadium and we have the finest player development complex in all of Spring Training right here in Goodyear."

    To mark the occasion during pre-game ceremonies, the Reds invited several prominent former players -- including Hall of Famer Joe Morgan and Big Red Machine teammates George Foster and Ken Griffey Sr. Representing the 1990 World Series winners were Eric Davis, Todd Benzinger, Tom Browning and current first base coach Billy Hatcher.

    Morgan threw out the ceremonial first pitch to catcher Ryan Hanigan. U.S. Air Force technical Sgt. Michelle Schoenfeld sang the national anthem before four jets from the 310th Fighter Squadron from nearby Luke Air Force Base performed a flyover.

    As for the playing field itself, the reviews were positive.

    "The playing surface is great," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "The players say it's very good. The thing our players will have to get used to is the high sky. We'll just see how they handle fly balls. On the ground, it should be fine."

    "I'm not comfortable yet but it reminds me of Clearwater in Florida. It's a nice field," Reds right fielder Jay Bruce said. "I'm excited to be here. It's obviously nicer than Sarasota. We're fortunate to have a nice place like this. It is weird driving down here every day, though. It's fine, though, no big deal."

    The Reds and Indians both have their player development complexes down the street on Wood Ave. Cincinnati's facility is eight-tenths of a mile from Goodyear Ballpark.

    As fans entered and walked the ballpark, many were getting their bearings as they checked out the concourse.

    Cincinnatians trolling out toward left field could immediately find a familiar sight.

    A Skyline Chili booth offered cheese coneys. Walking a little further into the outfield would bring fans to a grassy berm where they can spread out a blanket and watch the game.

    Below the grassy knoll is the bullpens for both teams and fans at the railing can watch pitchers warm up. Located in right field is a party deck where fans can find a bar and some shade.

    Down the first base side is an activity more befitting of a crowd not into libations. It's the "kids zone" where there is a miniature field for Wiffle ball and batting and pitching cages.

    "I walked around the stadium and sat in different areas," Jocketty said. "There is not a bad seat in the place. It's great."

    Watching from beyond the right-field wall, Don Huber was wearing a No. 24 Tony Perez jersey. Huber, a veteran of four springs in Sarasota the last three or four years, was liking what he saw.

    "It's a little better than what I thought," said Huber, who traveled out from the Hyde Park section of Cincinnati to see some games.

    "Double thumbs up," interjected Huber's friend, Joe Keller of Norwood. "It's beautiful. When it fills in, it will be absolutely gorgeous."

    There was much commerce to be had inside the ballpark, including the team shop behind the home plate concourse. Fans milled and checked the racks and found a store that was evenly divided. One half had Reds gear, the other was loaded with Tribe souvenirs.

    On Saturday both teams will meet again. This time it will be a "road" game for Cincinnati because Cleveland will be the home team.

    Seeing Reds baseball in Arizona will require an adjustment for fans who have grown accustomed to watching Spring Training games in Florida. The Reds haven't trained away from Florida since World War II. They spent the previous 12 springs in Sarasota.

    "This is history for us," Castellini said. "We disappointed some of our Florida fans, which was difficult to do. But with what the Goodyear folks have offered us as far as the facility, it allows our players to have the finest Spring Training home. We could not refuse to come to Goodyear."

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

  7. #21
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Goodyear, Ariz., is Ohio baseball central, but will fans make trip to see Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds?
    Today's attendance - 4,631

    Not an auspicious start. That very well might have everything to do with the products on the field. The Reds have a nine-year losing streak going and the Indians, after looking like they might have put a good team together a couple of years ago, have become an export operation.

    Yet let's not discount location. More people live in Florida and more people vacation in Florida. And the following two paragraphs paint an ugly picture.

    The spring migration of Ohio fans might take a while. There is a lot of empty space around the ballpark and training complex. Goodyear officials planned to make the area their new downtown, but the economy went bad and the building stopped.

    "All we need now are a few more hotels and restaurants," said Baker. "That's not far off. I saw that happen in Peoria [where Seattle and San Diego train]. There was nothing out there. The next thing you knew it blew up."
    I maintain people are smart. How many guys are going to lobby their wives to spend the family vacation fund and the precious little vacation time they get on a week in glorious Goodyear, Arizona? Lots of empty space around the park? A downtown that hasn't been built? Maybe if you can afford to get away by yourself and you don't want anything to distract you from baseball. Yet I doubt that's a large market. I understand it's near Phoenix, but last I looked Phoenix isn't a top vacation destination.

    It strikes me as a tough sell and it could take a decade or so for the franchise to grow serious roots in Arizona. As for blown up Peoria, the Padres and Mariners drew 5,094 today. Hopefully for all the teams involved the numbers improve in the coming days and weeks. It's possible that all those teams dotting the Phoenix landscape have oversaturated the market. If so, the Dodgers and Cubs eat first.
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    What was attendance like for the non-Yankees, non-Red Sox games in Florida?
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Today's attendance - 4,631

    Not an auspicious start. That very well might have everything to do with the products on the field. The Reds have a nine-year losing streak going and the Indians, after looking like they might have put a good team together a couple of years ago, have become an export operation.

    Yet let's not discount location. More people live in Florida and more people vacation in Florida. And the following two paragraphs paint an ugly picture.



    I maintain people are smart. How many guys are going to lobby their wives to spend the family vacation fund and the precious little vacation time they get on a week in glorious Goodyear, Arizona? Lots of empty space around the park? A downtown that hasn't been built? Maybe if you can afford to get away by yourself and you don't want anything to distract you from baseball. Yet I doubt that's a large market. I understand it's near Phoenix, but last I looked Phoenix isn't a top vacation destination.

    It strikes me as a tough sell and it could take a decade or so for the franchise to grow serious roots in Arizona. As for blown up Peoria, the Padres and Mariners drew 5,094 today. Hopefully for all the teams involved the numbers improve in the coming days and weeks. It's possible that all those teams dotting the Phoenix landscape have oversaturated the market. If so, the Dodgers and Cubs eat first.
    You make a very valid point. The Majority of the Fanbase is east of the Mississippi and Arizona is twice the distance to drive. Poor economy and high gas prices are enough argument to skip spring training in Goodyear.I used to go to several Reds games here in Florida every spring and I don't care what park they were playing in the Reds fans almost always outnumbered the home fans.I still think Sarasota could have been worked out and in fact it was but I guess the Reds felt it was to late and the Goodyear deal was to good to turn down.I don't know what side is going to regret this move first The Reds or the city of Goodyear if things don't work out in five years or so.
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Today's attendance was around 6k, more crowded than yesterday but definitely not a sell out. More Reds fans on Friday for the their "home" opener than today, when most Indians fans seem to turn out to watch Clevelands first "home" game.

    But anyone focusing on spring training attendance is missing the big picture.

    The entire point of spring training, is to get the major league club ready for the season.

    Sure it's nice that fans can partake, but I don't anyone that can argue that the Reds are not in a drastically better position in 2010 with regard to facilities than they were just 12 months ago.

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19 View Post
    Today's attendance was around 6k, more crowded than yesterday but definitely not a sell out. More Reds fans on Friday for the their "home" opener than today, when most Indians fans seem to turn out to watch Clevelands first "home" game.

    But anyone focusing on spring training attendance is missing the big picture.

    The entire point of spring training, is to get the major league club ready for the season.

    Sure it's nice that fans can partake, but I don't anyone that can argue that the Reds are not in a drastically better position in 2010 with regard to facilities than they were just 12 months ago.
    Can't argue that,I just wish it were in Florida. But I've been talking about going to live in Arizona for the last couple of years so maybe I'll be happy they left Florida.
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    I for one am not surprised that attendance is so sorry for the Reds and it really is bad. Those games against Cleveland really should have been packed because you had two home teams plus it was the season opener. The Reds are going to lose out on a lot of income through the years due to poor attendance. My family can't get excited about going out to the desert for a week long vacation. They'd much prefer the sugar sand beaches of Siesta Key and all there is to do in Sarasota. For the retired folks who have time, like my parents, they'd much prefer the I-75 drive to the idea of taking route 66 or whatever to Arizona.

    I think the Reds jumped the gun on leaving Sarasota. They should have been more patient with the folks in Florida. Is there any team east of Ohio training in Arizona?

    How 'bout that Arizona weather? I think they've had more rain out there than in Florida. The thing is March is it's their rainy season while it's generally one of Florida's driest.

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19 View Post
    Today's attendance was around 6k, more crowded than yesterday but definitely not a sell out. More Reds fans on Friday for the their "home" opener than today, when most Indians fans seem to turn out to watch Clevelands first "home" game.

    But anyone focusing on spring training attendance is missing the big picture.

    The entire point of spring training, is to get the major league club ready for the season.

    Sure it's nice that fans can partake, but I don't anyone that can argue that the Reds are not in a drastically better position in 2010 with regard to facilities than they were just 12 months ago.
    It won't be a better position if Goodyear isn't able to pay for these new facilities because its projections were off. IIRC, Goodyear was basing it's ability to pay for the new facilities on a ridiculous amount of growth in the coming years. If that growth doesn't come, it may be the Reds and Indians who are asked to pony up the money to pay for any budget shortfalls that arise in paying off the debt for this Taj Mahal.

    I've always felt that Goodyear has been overshooting the mark in its growth projections, as I don't feel Arizona will be able to sustain that kind of growth, what with its limited access to resources, particularly fresh water. Only time will tell if they were right or wrong.
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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    The Reds are in Arizona now, Florida is over, it's the changing guard, 50 years in the making and 15 teams in Arizona now.

    But in the end it's just spring training, it'll be over before you know it and the reds are not going to find any facilities like what they have now in Fla.

    And make no mistake the facilities are why they made the move, not the types of corporate feedbags the fans can get to within a 15 minute drive of their new digs.

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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    The Reds are in Arizona now, Florida is over, it's the changing guard, 50 years in the making and 15 teams in Arizona now.

    But in the end it's just spring training, it'll be over before you know it and the reds are not going to find any facilities like what they have now in Fla.

    And make no mistake the facilities are why they made the move, not the types of corporate feedbags the fans can get to within a 15 minute drive of their new digs.
    I agree that the facilities are the reason for the move. My primary concern is that the city will end up coming back on the Reds to ask for help in paying for them. If the Reds are somehow compelled to pony up for shortfalls in paying off the debt, the history of this club indicates that it will become another reason ownership will use for the team's inability to put money into scouting, development and salaries. The other alternative is that the Reds and Indians will be asked to purchase the facilities to relieve the city of Goodyear of its debt burden.
    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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    Re: Goodyear: A whole new look for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    I agree that the facilities are the reason for the move. My primary concern is that the city will end up coming back on the Reds to ask for help in paying for them. If the Reds are somehow compelled to pony up for shortfalls in paying off the debt, the history of this club indicates that it will become another reason ownership will use for the team's inability to put money into scouting, development and salaries. The other alternative is that the Reds and Indians will be asked to purchase the facilities to relieve the city of Goodyear of its debt burden.
    I'd be very surprised if the Reds left themselves open to something like that. I doubt they're on the hook if gov't can't pay its bills. That's just not how these things generally work


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