Mar 282012
 

Came across some stuff this morning that deserves to be shared while we await the minors to start up.

…The folks in Winchester are still pursuing their dream of attracting the Suns, and it’s not a one-way street. Of course, details about when the facility would be built or what the franchise would do in the interim are lacking, as it’s highly unlikely that a facility could be built in time for April 2013 and equally improbable that a stadium standards waiver would be granted to a relocated franchise.

…Since you’ve seen my “Road Trips” tab, you know that I love hitting the road for some games — even when it’s not for a Nationals affiliate. So if you’re looking to live vicariously, check out A Minor League Season. Their ambitious plan is to hit 119 cities from April 5 to September 3, focusing on the full-season MLB affiliates.

…In the course of flipping through that site, I came across another, run by an uber-fan Malcolm McMillan, who has done some excellent writeups on MLB and MiLB ballparks. As it so happens, he’s been to all five of the current Nats affiliates so far (like yours truly). So I pass his MLB blog entries for your perusal: Auburn, Hagerstown, Potomac, Harrisburg, and Syracuse. If you’re interested in other ballparks, I’d recommend his personal website, theballparkguide.com.

  11 Responses to “Morning Reading”

  1. Curious about your take on Fr. Myers. A move by Nats looks likely, no? The Red Sox hand-me-down park looks good to me! The Nats are asking for upgrades to the facility, but I thought the region had already upgraded the Sox. Anyway, what happens to the GCL rookies? Would they be in Ft. Myers too?

    • I think the attraction has less to do with the facility and more to do with the location. One of the biggest downsides is that the minor-league facilities are close by, but being situated on the west coast of Florida would reduce travel times significantly. The GCL kids would play where the Nationals major-leaguers do, as is the case now.

      I don’t think this is something that will happen quickly — probably in 2014 or 2015 vs. 2013 — but I think most folks might agree with me that as long as they stay in FL and don’t move to AZ, it doesn’t much matter.

  2. What would the Nats stand to lose by moving ST to AZ? Possibly only those fans who drive to Viera may be lost if they can’t or won’t fly to AZ. I understand the city of Mesa is trying to attract another club for ST. Not sure what the details are, but the Salt River / Talking Sticks facility (Native American property) shared between the Rockies & D’Backs is unbelievable in every aspect. Im sure its more expensive than most for the teams, but they are certainly sharing the costs. But their revenues are substantially higher too. The game I attended there last week was a sellout and their alltime record at something around 12.5k. The record only lasted a day. I doubt a single player or coach would resist moving to a facility similar to that one, even if shared and even if in AZ. Please help me understand the downside to AZ. East Coast bias?!?!? Or maybe just the sentimental aspect. Help me out here!

    • By all accounts AZ is the superior spring training area. Its why the AFL is there probably? At least that’s what I suspect?

      I think this may be another case of Kasten/Selig-itiis. Selig doesn’t want to piss Florida off for some reason (They have two major league teams and they need to start supporting them Bud, right?) Part of it may be have to do with Disney not having a major league team in Orlando as they do in Anaheim?

      IMO, its a case of follow the money or the odd-duck influence of former MLB Brewer’s owner Bud Selig. His biases and prejudices, etc. Just a guess on my part.

      • It’s also true that the folks that care the most are the players and fans. And it’s not a coincidence that most East Coast teams train in FL and West Coast/Midwest teams in AZ, for the location/travel reasons cited. I don’t know how much revenue ST generates for the Nats, but I can’t see it being more in AZ unless they can share a facility with the likes of the Dodgers or Angels. That’s not so much East Coast Bias as the financial reality that it’s dramatically cheaper to drive or fly to FL than AZ from the DC area.

        I’ve read a couple of times that Selig would block a move of a team in ST from FL to AZ (because it would piss off the other 14 and then start a chain reaction), so I have to wonder how valid that threat is. The most logical solution is for two teams to pool their resources and upgrade one of the older facilities (e.g. Winter Haven, Vero Beach) but I have a feeling that’s a non-starter, too. At least it runs counter to the Selig principle of squeezing the most money of a municipality.

  3. Travel costs for all the players and staff would be much higher for Arizona as opposed to Fla. Also all of the minor league teams are located on the East Coast so proximity to the ST site for Instructs and rehab is better.

  4. I wonder why Potomac starts a week later than Hagerstown? Is there a reason for that? Or am I misreading something?

    • You’re probably looking at the promos for the teams’ HOME openers. Syracuse and Hagerstown start the season at home, Potomac and Harrisburg on the road.

  5. Potomac starts the 6th on the road. Hagerstown starts the 5th at home.

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