25 March 2012
Good Times at Goodyear
It seems fitting that two Ohio teams, the Cincinnati Redlegs and the Cleveland Indians, join together for spring training in an Arizona town named after Akron Ohio's Goodyear Tires.
Although the Indians had long come to Arizona in the spring (1947 to 1992), they had left for Winter Haven, Florida after the '92 season. They returned in 2009 when the good folks of Goodyear opened their wallets to build a nice park for them and were persuaded by others that things would be better in Arizona. They were joined by the Reds in 2010.
This place looks familiar. It reminds me of Dehler Park in Billings MT, especially the way it was supposed to look before the suites got knocked off in the name of egalitarianism and the hope of getting enough ordinary folks to vote for it. Of course Dehler doesn't have palms and certainly doesn't have the dopey stretched out baseball looking like a rocket ship that you can see above. Must have been one of Salvador Dali's lesser known works.
There is one less than helpful shield against the sun and rain on the 3rd base side. As you can see in the picture at the top the scoreboard is similar, though the bottom row of info at Goodyear in contrast to Billings is not very readable. They do have a space for pitch speed but it was not used for the Reds' game that I saw. When I asked Gary Roller why we didn't have this info at Dehler, he told me that the Reds didn't like their players to see that info, so at least they are consistent, both in how they treat their players and their fans too now that I think about it. Perhaps the Indians use it at Goodyear.