From today’s Enquirer:

Next year, after training in Florida since 1946, the Reds trade palm trees for cactus, the Florida sunshine for an Arizona suburb.

Sad, but true.

The town of Goodyear, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix, gave the Reds everything they wanted in a spring training facility – a brand-new, 10,000-seat park, new training fields, a big clubhouse, all free of charge. Goodyear gave the Reds all of the things Sarasota County balked at before county officials changed their minds.

By then, it was too late, and Sarasota is looking at spring 2010 as its first season since John McGraw brought his New York Giants there to train in the 1920s that it will not be the spring home of a major league team.

Not much sports content, but for those that have traveled to ST in Tampa, Plant City, or Sarasota to watch the Reds, it’s the end of an era.

15 Responses

  1. Chad Dotson

    I’ve never been to spring training, so I don’t have any nostalgia for training in Florida. But I’m disappointed nonetheless.

    I’ve always planned to make a spring training trip, and I will do it one day. I’m much more interested in going to Florida than Arizona, though. I’ll have to make a decision….

  2. nycredsfan

    I’m actually happy about this. I’ve never been to ST, but I’m not a big Florida fan and there is a family house in AZ so maybe I’ll actually get to see it soon.

    Granted, no ocean in AZ, but Phoenix is a much better city than what’s around Sarasota, plus no humidity!

  3. Bill Lack

    I’ll take Sarasota, it’s great beaches (Siesta Key, Longboat Key), many good golf courses, and short drive to other family tourist spots…and more, it’s driveable from Cincinnati.

    Businesswise, I understand why the Reds had to do this (the city of Sarasota basically forced them to); but from a fans perspective, this was a bad move.

  4. Tom Diesman

    I’ve never made it to a Red’s spring training but was hoping to. Probably won’t now, don’t have much desire at all to go to AZ. Always liked FL and am strongly considering becoming a snowbird once I retire. Had plans of doing that in Sarasota because of the Reds. Not now, probably head further south to Ft. Myers and watch the Red Sox and Twins in spring training.

  5. Kurt Frost

    I’m sitting in the stands right now at Ed Smith Stadium First time for us. It is awful nice down here.

  6. preach

    Does that mean they will now be doing the fantasy camps in AZ, or will those stay in Florida? I’m hoping to participate in two years.

  7. nycredsfan

    Kurt, what did it look like Arroyo’s problem was?

    It’s seems like he has days when his stuff isn’t moving, and he can’t fight through it like most pitchers do. He looks like a HS kid out there, like in Toronto last year.

  8. Chris

    I only went once – Plant City, which was just awful. But the other Florida spring sites I saw were pretty cool. Phoenix spring training is a totally different feel, but objectively nice. There’s no risk of rain, brand-new facilities, and better food.

    But I just checked a map — Goodyear is pretty far outside of town. Scottsdale is where I’d naturally want to stay, and we’re talking an hour drive with any traffic. And Phoenix has traffic.

  9. Bill Lack

    preach, I think everything moves. As far as I know, the Reds will have no presence left in Florida and since they run the Fantasy Camp now, instead of contracting it out like they use to, I’d say that means it moves to Az.

    I know everyone associated with the Sarasota franchise is looking for a job. There is no word, as far as I know, of where the Reds High A franchise will be located next year either.

  10. Matt WI

    I’m more “ok” with the move to AZ. I like that the Reds will be sharing the facility with the Tribe… twice the baseball at your service, and it’s a good “Ohio connection” for two teams that have a pretty good interleague series going.

  11. Sultan of Swaff

    You can’t play baseball in AZ in the summer. Are there any other high A franchises? I thought the California league folded?