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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

On the (spring) home front, and a rant

Don't be surprised if the Sarasota and the Reds try to work out something to keep the club's spring home there.

It's been 2 1/2 months since the referendum to fund the city of Sarasota's share of the cost of rebuilding the Ed Smith Stadium complex was voted down.

Not much has happened since. No place in Florida has come forth and promised to build the Reds the kind of facility they want. I think Orlando is the best possibility at this point.

Sarasota, meanwhile, is dealing with the reality of losing the Reds who pay a lot of money to maintain Ed Smith.

Arizona is a possibility for the Reds. But the people running the club realize that would not be a popular move with fans -- given the added travel distance.

Anyone who's ever been to Sarasota would agree that it is the ideal place for the Reds to train. If something can be worked out to rebuild the Ed, it's no brainer to stay. Remember, most of the funding was in place before the vote. There's a chance a deal could be put together with tax abatements and the like.

You may wonder why Ed Smith Stadium, which opened in 1989, is out of date. I don't know that it is. But the Phillies, Tigers, Red Sox have better facilities, so the Reds would like to keep up. Things get old very fast these days.

I write this because today was Planned Obsolesce Monday for me. I bought a new computer a couple of months ago. But I haven't been able to get my photo printer working. After a couple attempts to download the driver and the like, I give up and call the printer's maker. I give the guy the model number. He comes back 10 minutes later. "Sir, the printer you have is very old. It's six years old. We don't have the software for it anymore." But for $54, they'll send me a new one. That's half of what I'd pay in a store. I feel honored as I give him my credit card number.

A little later, I call an old friend who has an appliance repair business. Our stove randomly begins beeping loudly and flashing an "F-5" where the time usually is. Give him the model number. "That's usually the clock assembly. I'll call you back." Ten minutes later, he calls back. "They don't make it anymore." So what do I do? I ask. "Get a new stove."


at 1:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope they move to Arizona. I live in Montana. I think it's not nice of the Reds to make a move based on the interests of their Cincinnati fans, ignoring the Montana contingent (me), for whom a trip to Arizona is a Sunday drive.

at 2:06 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Sarasota would be very wise to work out a deal to keep the Reds.

Teams are fleeing for better deals in Arizona like there's a Floridian plague. There's not enough teams around any longer for Florida to hardball negotiations. Spring training brings a TON of tax money to the state and local economies.

If the Dodgers can leave Florida, anything is possible.

at 2:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear. Heading down to my first spring training this year and can't wait.

at 2:22 PM Anonymous Tim in Stuttgart said...

If you're right about anything, (and I know you are) I hope you're right about this. My retirement has been planned around being in Venice during March. Hey how much does it cost to make it handicap accessible?

at 3:14 PM Blogger Z-train said...

I agree with mark i live in Utah, And i could drive down there and see them play spring ball, I love the reds i always been a reds fan, since i was a baby My uncle loves the reds as much as me, he got me into baseball he has always been a reds fan

at 3:19 PM Blogger Scott In Louisville, KY said...

If the Reds leave Sarasota not only will I be disappointed but my wife and daughter will be heart-broken. They love going to the games almost as much as I do. I agree that they need to update their facilities but they have a great location that keeps me coming back every year.

at 4:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, that's great news that the REDS may yet work out a deal with Sarasota. I'm an ex-Cincinnati resident and a REDS fan since 1942. I'm retired near Sarasota and have had 4 spring training season tickets ever since they moved here from Plant CIty. I surely hope they do the creative financial stuff and seal a deal. The current stadium isn't really bad at all and there must be a way to swing this. It's so good for both parties.

Best of all, if they do work out a deal in Sarasota, Mike Brown won't be involved, so he won't be able to steal the lion's share of the money like he did with the Cincy stadiums.

at 4:33 PM Anonymous www.LetsTalkReds.com said...

It would be ridiculous for the Reds to move to Arizona. Many fans (including myself) have winter homes in the area surrounding Sarasota. One of the reasons we chose to buy down there was to be able to visit spring training.

at 4:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you ever go to Arizona instead you wouldn't even think twice about which is better.
AZ all the way!
Cactus League is outstanding.

at 6:46 PM Anonymous redsfanwoody said...

I would hope and feel they will work out a deal. But it is funny how everybody wants something newer or better than the next guy. Where does it stop?

And for your rant John, its a drag when things are built to be so disposable it such a short time. I would imagine it has something to do with all the big box stores and the loss of the locally owned mom and pop stores, who knew quality.

at 7:16 PM Blogger Dan H said...

I too, continue to hope they work out a deal in Sarasota. Besides baseball, there is plenty to do i n the area golf, beach (Siesta Key), good restaurants, and shopping ( for the spouse who does not want baseball everyday). The drive from western New York is not all bad just a day and a half. Some updates to Ed Smith would help, parking not a problem, practice fields look good. Don't know how the team's clubhouse and other amneties inside are,though when compared to others. A 6 year old printer, definitely time for an upgrade!!!

at 8:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trend is now away from communities paying for the team stadium. The way Cincinnati was
held up maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Check out that old stove and refrigerator store across from
Shakeit in Northside. They might have a part that could help you out.

On the flip side, you are probably not going to pay much more for a new
stove than when you bought your last one 20 years ago.

at 8:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

sarasota is the best--nothing else is even close to being as good. ....and is there a better florida beach than siesta key?

at 12:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you know if the Reds have talked with Orlando? I live in the Orlando area and wish there is actually some truth to the Reds moving here. The city residents are clamoring for spring training to come here, but never heard anything about the Reds possibility. Please keep me informed and I will let everyone know if and when I hear anything from Orlando.

at 1:25 PM Anonymous Mike said...

As for beaches, I'll take Naples on the gulf and Juno beach on the east coast.

at 5:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

various family attractions


non baseball-
Grand Canyon
Mountains (a few hours away but still there)
Sand (therefore 'beaches') everywhere

Cubs fans

I was trying to fair sort of. :) I love the west and the mountains, but with a family in tow the more family centric nature of Florida wins in my book. Also, it is better than being around Cubs fans. :)


at 5:19 PM Anonymous Bearcat Alum said...

I have been to Florida and now live in Phoenix and can say that the Cactus League far surpasses the Grapefruit League. As a lifelong Reds fan living in AZ, I can't think of anything better. A lot of Ohio folks out here now and a lot of Reds fans. Spring Training in AZ is awesome.

at 9:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please stay in Sarasota!!! I plan a vacation of baseball, golf, and the beach there every year. Nothing against Arizona, but no way would I go there for vacation. No beach and too long of a trip.

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