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From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

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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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Ed v. Bright House

When you come to Bright House Field, the spring home of Philadelphia Phillies, you see why the Reds would like a facility a little better than Ed Smith Stadium.

Bright House is the best stadium in Florida. It’s got a luxury boxes, the outfield picnic, the tiki bar, the works. It’s probably on a par with Fifth Third Field in Dayton.

The Reds would have settled for lot less than Bright House because the revised $46 million plan wasn’t going to turn the Ed into the gem of Grapefruit League. Most of that would have gone to fixing up the Ed.

How much fixing up does it need?

Saturday, none of the bathrooms in the place worked. And the Reds had 5,602 for a Braves game that day.


45 Comments:

at 10:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's running that place? Mike Brown?

 
at 10:23 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

Good job, Brownie!

 
at 10:55 PM Blogger robby said...

I understand the stadium and the facilities in Sarasota are awful. That is still no justification for the Reds impending move to Arizona for spring training. Another mistake by an organization that makes more than its fair share. I'm sure I'll read in the next week or two about how great this move is for the organiztion and how the better facilites will improve the development of players in the organization. I may even read that some marketing analysis showed that fans don't really care where the team holds spring training. Well, this is one fan who cares. The bottom line is always the bottom line. Its all about money again.

Tradition should have won out in this decision making process. Do you think the Yankees will move to Arizona?

 
at 11:16 PM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

Robby-

Dude there was 5,600 people that were at a baseball game.Some were drinking beer,drinking water,eating hot dogs,burgers,families with children,etc....


AND THE BATHROOM'S WERE OUT OF ORDER,Come on dude.That's bush.

AZ, ( For me a 12-13 hour drive from Denver,through some of the prettiest terrain on earth) brand new facilities, better weather,Constant Competion w/The indians, save's money for the franchise to put more money back into the team,

What's not to like & the airlines Fly there too.

sometimes change is the only thing you can't change.Think outside of the box for a minute.No bathrooms,5,600 people.That's a joke

 
at 11:32 PM Blogger Zac said...

i agree with REddlegg in Colorado I live in Utah and its about 9.0 hours 40 minutes from my house, and new facilities, better weather,Constant Competion w/The indians and cheaper and its top of the line, facilities and goodyear az is a good place, and its about A mere 20 minutes west of downtown Phoenix and Scenic mountain views, desert vistas, pastoral open spaces, golf courses, lakes, parks and trails have and Great walking, hiking and biking trails, along with year round sunny days, provide an active outdoor lifestyle for everyone.

Almost a hundred miles of bike paths and 33 miles of mountain trails await you! Even more breathtaking than its blue skies and rugged mountains are the vibrant sunsets – each one better than the last.
see its better i know it does not have the beech.

Zac

 
at 11:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the $100k that was spent/wasted on this year's Rule 5 draft picks should have been used to fix the toilets and water at the Ed.

The 2 pitchers selected:
1. Valenzuela never pitched above A ball, returned to the Braves, and then sold to the Mexican league. Braves made money coming and going off of him.

2. Capellan (WOW!!!) Never pitched above short season A ball. He has spent 4 years in extended spring training and spent 3 years in the Gulf Coast League and 1 year (last) year in the New York Penn league. Numbers don't matter when you repeat these leagues 2 and 3 times.

 
at 11:40 PM Blogger robby said...

I'm not saying the Reds needed to stay in the current facility. The Reds spring training facility belongs in Florida. Arizona is a wonderful state. Very beautiful. Frankly, much more attractive than Florida. That is irrelevant. Baseball is a sport built on tradition and I know when I head to Forida in the spring it is amazing to me how many people are visiting from Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, states I consider to be Reds country. Obviously, the Reds don't care about that. They are going where they will get the best deal. I understand that. Sometimes the best deal is not in the best interests of the fans. I happen to believe this is one of those cases. Tradition is an important part of baseball. In the overall scheme not the end of the world, but to my way of thinking just another knock at the fans. I'm sure I'll head to Arizona at some point in time, but certainly not near as often as I travel to Florida.

 
at 11:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Reds offer the player back to the previous club for $25k of the $50k they spent to draft the player. So if both players go back they lose a total of $50k. They still could have fixed the toilets and sinks with that wasted money.

 
at 11:52 PM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

Broken toilets were 5,600 people can't use the dooker or Tradition????

Let me see,I wanna use the dooker when needed,tradition's are nice,but it still doesn't relieve my digestive need's.

 
at 12:00 AM Blogger robby said...

Nevermind, but take heart. The Reds don't get it either.

 
at 12:01 AM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

i hear you loud & clear Zac.The problem with alot of folks is they are lazy.They rather sit on a beach getting sunburn,eating crab legs,& playing shuffle board.The outdoor lifestyle is to hard & challenging for some.

How 's the snow in Utah this season,light & fluffy as usual,I imagine."Greatest snow on earth",That's a hard License plate to beat.

 
at 12:06 AM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

I get what your saying.I just think it's time to let go of a old tradition(Florida,The grapefruit league) & Bring in a new tradition(The cactus league).Live in the now Robby,Not yesterday.Change is very impatient.

Like records are broken,so are Tradition's.

 
at 12:11 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Redlegg, you're missing Robbys point. Hes only suggesting the Reds stay in Florida, not stay at the ED w/ out working bathrooms.

Sarasota obviously doesnt want the Reds as bad as Goodyear, and none of the other FLA venues seem to be calling, so the Reds are making the deal.

Wanting to be in FLA or AZ is not the issue for management.

If they had the same deal, same facilities in either place, it may be a harder decision, but right now, Sarasota is offering a minor league middle releiver, and Goodyear is offering a legitimate #1 starter.

Kevin in Ft Myers

 
at 12:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,

In the Reds current lease on the stadium who is responsible for maintenance, the city (landlord) or the Reds (tenant)?

If its the city/county then the Reds should file a complaint for unsafe building conditions, if its the Reds then 5400 people should file a lawsuit against the Reds and possibly the city/county for the same reason, unless there were enough portable toilets brought in to service the crowd.

I'm for keeping the Reds in Sarasota but I honestly can understand why they'd leave those conditions.

 
at 7:32 AM Blogger Jack in Blue Ash said...

Could care less about spring training facilities. Yet, if the darn bathrooms dont even work..time to find a new stadium.

Bring on the real games at GABP

 
at 8:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys have to be kidding?

I am all for staying in Florida and sarasota but the city practically asked them to leave. The city refused to approve any money for the Reds until they had been through a long long process of working with the city and went into an agreement with Goodyear. That told Sarasota the Reds were serious and they were not going to be walked over any more. Plus the Reds did explore other Florida cities before the agreement with Goodyear.

I have been to Ed Smith and it is in bad shape and Fay confirms that. None of the bathrooms working? Outrageous. The Reds even tried to comprimise after Sarasota refused to build a new facility and just get money for renovation. That got laughed at.

I would rather see a team pump more money into the roster and scouting and keep it's players then to just keep the month long spring training in Sarasota. Though most of you will want to stay in Sarasota even though they walk all over your team. The team would have to compensate by raising prices at games to pay for the renovations themselves, and of course you will complain again.

When will it end. Yeah it's about money now but for a long time it wasn't. This ownership isn't cheap and signing these players, Harang, Cordero, a 16 year old to a 2 mil contract. The payroll will be 20 million higher this year then just a few years ago with Linder. Look at the upgrades to GABP.

The ownership is all about tradition bring in the old players and remembering them. Though if Eric Davis came back and slapped Bob in the face, would you complain he didn't get on his knees and ask for more?

 
at 8:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonders why this redleggs is always telling us how wonderful coloradao is and how terrible cincinnati is EVERYDAY.sounds as though hes homesick./MY GOD this is supposed to be a baseball blog.the clown act s like hes the only one thats ever been to Colorado

We went to spring training last year and were not impressed with the ballpark The Reds should move on

 
at 8:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a subject on the other thread regarding the "nobodys" Krivsky just picked up:

You guys have to remember, this is Cincy, not New York, Krivsky cant just go out and sign all the obvious (and most expensive) talent. Hes just turning over a few rocks to see what crawls out. Its not a bad approach for a small market team. Sometimes its nothing interesting, but once in a while.....


-Kevin in Ft Myers

7:38 AM

 
at 8:51 AM Blogger Dustin said...

I just got back from Sarasota and was actually at the game on Saturday and went to the bathroom several times, after drinking their 6 dollar beers, and all of the bathrooms I used were fine. Maybe they were out on press row, but not where all of the fans were.

 
at 8:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing about the new pick ups:

The fans that are complaining about these guys and the other rule 5s and such are probably the same people who like Meijer and and Target because they are "thrifty" or "conservative" financialy. But its rediculous for Krivsky to be the same way.

Hes just trying to find a deal people.

Kevin in Ft Myers

 
at 9:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

$25k is a lot spend to look at someone who as never pitched above A BALL!!!!!!!! They also must remain on the big league roster the entire season to keep them.

Again. They haven't pitched above A BALL!!!!!!!!!

 
at 10:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears all those whaeeee, whaeeee, whaeeee's are for selfish reasons. I moved out here from Florida a year and a half ago, as did thousands of others. There are thousands of folks from Ohio here too. More to do, more Baseball, cheaper living and friendlier people. Go buy a bowl of Skyline Chili and cry in it. We have the real stuff out here.........

 
at 10:30 AM Blogger ewad said...

I was there for the Braves game.
It was awful. At least as a guy I could stand and deliver so to speak.
But the women's bathrooms I was told were not only broken but a real mess.

 
at 10:32 AM Blogger ewad said...

Robby- just one person's opinion.
Arizona is where lots of teams are moving to. Better weather, better facilities. Its a great place to go visit. Someday, yes... even the Yankees might move to Arizona.
Because is simply is the right move for a lot of reasons. Thanks to this new invention called air travel you can get to Phoenix pretty quick.

***********************
robby said...
I understand the stadium and the facilities in Sarasota are awful. That is still no justification for the Reds impending move to Arizona for spring training. Another mistake by an organization that makes more than its fair share.

 
at 10:34 AM Anonymous Monroe said...

a) taking a gamble on a rule 5 guy is about as low risk a move a GM can make. Pocket change. Worked out pretty well with Hamilton and Burton. They all won't, but like they say at the lotto, you can't win if you don't play.

b) If the Dodgers can leave Dodgertown for AZ, tradition has clearly taken a long vacation.

 
at 10:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all of you people complaining about these rule 5 picks... do the names Johan Santana, Josh Hamilton, and Jared Burton means anything to you?
I'm sure you wouldn't complain about the 50k it took to get them now, and before people become stars you have to be given the chance....
I am all for the Reds heading to AZ, its a better opportunity for the team to improve, and that is really what matters

 
at 10:48 AM Blogger Ol' Timey Redsfan said...

Anonymous said...
I believe the $100k that was spent/wasted on this year's Rule 5 draft picks should have been used to fix the toilets and water at the Ed.

The 2 pitchers selected:
1. Valenzuela never pitched above A ball, returned to the Braves, and then sold to the Mexican league. Braves made money coming and going off of him.

2. Capellan (WOW!!!) Never pitched above short season A ball. He has spent 4 years in extended spring training and spent 3 years in the Gulf Coast League and 1 year (last) year in the New York Penn league. Numbers don't matter when you repeat these leagues 2 and 3 times.

10:38 PM

If your going to talk numbers you should have the right numbers to talk about. I read the post on the Reds web site and Mr. Fay can correct me if I'm wrong. The Numbers are not $100,000 for the 2 players mentioned, it was $50,000 for Valenzuela and the Reds got $25,000 back. The number for Capellan was $25,000 and if the Reds don't want him, they offer him back to Boston for $25,000. Those are the numbers I have. Besides why should a renter have to pay to fix the bathrooms?

 
at 10:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:28 to bad you dont have skyline but you know what else you dont have, lte me tell ya the ability to go to GABP and see our Reds in person, you lose

 
at 10:56 AM Blogger Zac said...

REddlegg in Colorado there was alot of snow this year in Utah, if you want you can here is my email if you want to email, its zac.lovell21@gmail.com i have been a reds fan my whole life, i never give up my team on the hard times, i think this year we will take second or better next year will be better though

 
at 11:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

No bathrooms....I'll bet the bushes stunk after that game!!!

 
at 11:39 AM Blogger Jared said...

I'm looking forward to this move to Arizona. My better half is an Indians fan, so this will allow me a great excuse to vacation in AZ every spring. Can't wait for 2010!

 
at 12:00 PM Anonymous MJ said...

Moving to Goodyear actually works better for me. I'm already considering visiting spring training for the first time because its within a days drive of where I live in SD. If the Ed is in as bad a shape as the reports say then I can hardly blame the Reds for seeking improvement elsewehere.

 
at 12:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, I'm surprised you put false stuff on here. Are you paid by AZ. I had no trouble in the rest rooms Saturday. They worked fine. And Ed smith facility is not "awful" at all. sure it could be better but "awful" is an "awful" word to use. I might add that the REDS do absolutely NOTHING to make the experience good for the fans. They used to have between innings entertainment but the REDS stopped paying for it. Must have coast $2-3000 a year. WOW. THey never advertise in the Tampa Tribune. The seats ALL have arms..no benches, and are decent. John, I'm surprised at you.

 
at 12:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we talk cincinnati baseball? This spring training facility talk seems to be getting just a little stale! Any news on a Freel trade? I was reading a day or two ago that Freel could be sent somewhere before the season starts. Any news?

 
at 12:40 PM Blogger Legion of Doom said...

I was at the game.

THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE BATHROOMS.

If you needed to take a dump, I have no idea, maybe.

As for the desert or the beach, I vote for beach. And yes, I've been to both.

 
at 12:55 PM Blogger Scorp said...

When your traditon becomes a tradition of consistently losing, it's time for a NEW tradition. I'm not sure state-of-the-art Spring Training facilities will translate directly into additional regular season wins, but it can go a long way toward attracting premium talent and encouraging good players to stick around. Besides, maybe they can get a look at Cleveland's automated player evaluation system in one of the 'shared' facilities. ;)

 
at 1:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

spring training facilities have nothing to do with attracting talent

lets hope freel is traded

 
at 1:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

First and foremost..remember Baseball is a business. But, baseball is also a game that relies on tradition as a selling point. Remembering going to the park when you were a kid to watch the Big Red Machine for instance. Unfortunately as we hurl through time..tradition means less and less in everything, Baseball included. I, personally, enjoy the concept of packing the kids in the car for a trip to the beach in FL and taking in a sun-soaked afternoon game, wherever it is. AZ is further away from your core market, and less people take their families there for spring break. But the allure of a new ballpark, and the chance to start a new tradition will be tempting to a lot of people, so I doubt attendance will suffer in the new buiding. It is what it is...but FL is still where I will always remember spring training.

 
at 1:54 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Reds spring training belongs in Florida. I don't go, but I like the idea that it is there if I want to. Sorry but the desert and some golf courses does not a vacation spot make for me. Give me the beaches and the storms and the palm trees and the fishing and the boating and the alligators. The golf courses are just fine too.

But to hell with what most of the fans want. Isn't it possible that pleasing the fans that do love going to Florida in March and seeing the Reds is worth the money that the Reds may or may not save by moving to the damn desert 2000 miles away? Yeah to hell with the fans after all these years. Lets just please the new owner, alienate the fans and give John Allen something to do to feel important.

ST CSA

 
at 2:26 PM Anonymous Arizona Rocks said...

Here is another Reds fan adding a vote for Arizona. I currently live in Montana, so Arizona will much easier to visit.

I have been to Reds spring training in Florida in the past, about 10 years ago. I will say it was fun, and I really enjoyed it, but I would have AT THE TIME rated that stadium a 2 or 3 on a scale of 10. So I can imagine that the Reds definitly wanted something better, and if Sarasota doesn't care to have spring training baseball then it is THEIR fault, not the Reds. The Reds just took the town that offered them the better deal.

And frankly who cares about "tradition", all that means to me are people who are afraid to change. I mean the game evolves and the game changes, "tradition" be damned, and this is just a further evolution of the game. If Arizona wants spring training, and Florida is going to take it for granted, then that is Florida's fault.

In the end the Reds will find that they will have just as many fans visiting Arizona as they did Florida. I mean the beach is nice, but Arizona has some TERRIFIC scenery to look at, there are ancient ruins, lakes, Grand Canyon, Sonoma, and tons of great places to see. Sure it ain't the beach, but it does have nature's splendor, that folks from the big city have a hard time imagining even exists. This will be a good move for the Reds, and for quite a few Reds fans.

 
at 2:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

AZ facilities and leage format (proximity) is better than Florida, there is no disputing that, for you guys debating whether AZ or Florida is the better vacation destination, numbers dont lie. Rankings from 2003:

Florida #2
Arizona...um Arizona....well, Arizona, not in the top 10.

Sorry AZ guys!

http://www.tia.org/Travel/StateTourism.asp

Kevin in Ft Myers

 
at 2:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read in the Enquirer that the Reds were going to put up 30 million dollars in Goodyear, Arizona as their part of the deal. Was that correct? If so, they could have contributed 20 million in Sarasota and been able to remain there. As a former Cincinnatian, now living in Sarasota, and long time Reds fan I have a simple take on this. The minor league team averages 400 people a night for home games. What the Reds were really looking for in addition to a renovated clubhouse and training facility was a subsidy for their minior league operation. Why do you need luxury boxes for six weeks when you can't even fill the current stadium except for the Yankees and the Red Sox games? It's a lot more convoluted process than it appears. For the Reds it's another money grab, just like the one for their 500 million dollar stdaium in Cincinnati. For the people in Sarasota it was a case of their denying corporate welfare to a millionaire. Good for them.

 
at 2:54 PM Blogger LincolnLand Reds Fanclub said...

John,
We will be making our trip down next week for the games against the Blue Jays, Twins & Ray. Can you make sure Dusty and the gang can have the bathrooms working my then. LOL. JUST JOKING JOHN. Keep up the reporting. But with the toilets not working, etc, maybe it is time for the Reds to vacate the ED. Just wish because its even easy for us in Central Illinois to pack up the SUV and head down for a week of sun, Reds baseball, the beaches, dog tracks, good seafood, watching college kids on spring break (ok the college girls), the drive across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and just relaxing, than flying into Phoenix and dealing with being in a landlocked steam bath of Arizona.

 
at 5:32 PM Blogger Redsfan said...

I completely disagree that Ed Smith is so terrible. Don't know what the plumbing issue was but I'm sure it could be resolved. A new spring stadium will not make this team any better. The Reds need to make some decisions for their fans, and going to Arizona is the wrong decision. I only live 40 minutes from GABP, but I'm going to fewer games this year and heading to Detroit and Cleveland. And I'll keep going to Sarasota for spring training. BTW, I'm sick of hearing Marty Brenaman say "tired old Ed Smith Stadium." Marty is obviously saying what his employer told him to say.

 
at 5:38 PM Blogger Redsfan said...

Oh, a couple other things. Anyone in Sarasota knows the Pirates are much friendlier to their fans during the spring. The Reds can be stingy about opening the gate to the back practice fields. Also, I get to Sarasota in about 15 hours and round trip costs me six tanks of gas...its easy for a long weekend....I'm not flying my family to Arizona for a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and I bet alot of other Cinci fans won't either. But who cares about building fan loyalty when you can have a new stadium in the desert.

 
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