Pitchers and catchers report Friday. The rest of the team reports a week from tomorrow. The first game is a week later, against Cleveland. Mark Sheldon has an excellent introduction to the Reds spring training. It’s quite comprehensive in discussing the roster, expected lineup, rotation, bullpen. It talks about the players who have left the […]

Over the weekend, Carson Cistulli at FanGraphs had this note about JJ Hoover. Go check it out. I really hope Hoover makes the Cincinnati Opening Day roster. The kid can pitch. Chad DotsonBlame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His […]

A longtime reader of the Nation, Rich Thompson, recently traveled to Arizona. He has kindly written up his report of the trip. Take it away, Rich:

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Rich sporting his Reds 1940’s replica jersey.

Rich sporting his Reds 1940’s replica jersey.

Being a baseball and a Cincinnati Reds fan, one of my bucket lists to do’s was to go to Spring Training and this year, I made it happen.

Probably as with many fans, the challenges to make such a trip happen often relate to scheduling (personal & professional) and finances. This year, with a little planning, I made such a pilgrimage to Arizona to take in three games over a four day period.

To share the experience, I was able to persuade my good friend Mike Rankin from Chicago, IL (who is a big White Sox fan) to meet me in Arizona to take in some of the games. Naturally, we both had to see the Reds take on the White Sox in Glendale and see his Sox take on the Tribe in Goodyear.

Ok, enough of the preliminaries and pleasantries; now let’s get into the reviews of the parks and players.

The Parks
Overall Thoughts & Reflections on Goodyear

Goodyear

Goodyear

All in all, Goodyear is a very nice and intimate facility. Sight lines are very good throughout the park but if you’re expecting a place to sit in the shade, there are only two locations; one is off of the 3rd base line and the other is in right field, which acts as a club dining area too! In both locations, be prepared to pay a bit extra. However, spring ticket prices are extremely reasonable; most tickets are $30.00 and under. Another thing which was great about the Goodyear experience is that the ushers will pretty much let you sit anywhere except the club area once you are admitted into the park and if other seats are available. This is nice, for this also allows you to sit in various locations to get a different perspective of the park and the game.

If you wish to go and see the players warm up and work out, you will have to walk, bike (Yes, fans actually bike to the games! I found this to be very cool since I am a cyclist myself), or drive to the practice fields, which are about a mile away from the park. It should also be noted before the games start they have buses bring the players over from the practice facilities to the main field. Parking is $5.00 dollars per car to park next to the stadium and it is free if you park in one of the auxiliary lots which is a nice walk and not too far away in my opinion.

Overall Thoughts & Reflections Glendale/Camel Back Ranch, Spring Training home of Chicago (AL) and Los Angeles (NL)

Glendale/Camel Back Ranch

Glendale/Camel Back Ranch

Unlike Goodyear, which had an intimate feel to it, taking in a game at Glendale/Camel Back Ranch felt much more like attending a regular season MLB facility. In my estimation it is almost twice as big and Goodyear and it offered many more amenities. Even with that said, ticket prices were still incredibly reasonable, I believe my buddy, the White Sox fan, paid less than $20.00 dollars per ticket and we were on the 3rd base line/2nd row back from the Reds dugout. It also worth mentioning parking is free at Glendale/Camelback Ranch.

Visually, Glendale/Camel Back Ranch is a stunning facility and the practice fields are literally connected to the main park, which you can access once you enter it. To make the practice fields even more inviting, the planners literally create a town park atmosphere with shade trees, lush grass, and running water features to sit around as you enjoy the practices of the players and coaches. Yes, I think that this facility is just another example of two bigger market organizations (White Sox & Dodgers) with deeper pockets showing off what they can do. However, I still applaud the Dodgers, White Sox, and the town of Glendale for building such an outstanding fan friendly venue.

Impressions of the Players

Please keep in mind that my sample size was small since I only took in three games, but I did notice some things that Reds fans might find interesting. I will start with the pitchers and then cover/highlight the position players, and then the prospects that I saw.

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Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

The Reds are 2-10 in Spring Training, the worst record of any National League team. It’s time to panic.* *No, it isn’t time to panic. It’s just spring training. Keep calm and carry on. Chad DotsonBlame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds […]

You can’t hide in Jungle Jims. The florescent lighting won’t allow it. I’m in aisle 4 eyeing the Dead Guy Ale when I spot him. You know you are officially a sorry little baseball geek when you can spot a bench coach wearing civilian clothes across a beer cave and a football field of party trays […]

Imagine you grew up in poverty, scraping and scratching in the playground dirt to make something of yourself. Imagine further that you’re a prisoner of the local authorities, encumbered by anger and the callowness of your youth; blessed with unnatural talent, yet unable to get out of your own way. Let your imagination fly and […]

Welcome to the new and improved version of Redleg Nation Radio, featuring co-hosts Doug Gray (of RedsMinorLeagues.com) and, well, little ol’ me. Doug has been a longtime friend of the Nation, and we think we’ve hit on a format that will be entertaining, and allow us to publish episodes much more frequently than before. Even […]

The Reds and Indians kick off their Cactus League season this afternoon. As noted yesterday, Tony Cingrani will get the start for your beloved Redlegs. You can listen to the game through WLW or MLB.com. Even better, you can discuss the game right here, at Redleg Nation. Go Reds. Chad DotsonBlame Chad for creating this […]

I was listening to the broadcast yesterday (and suffering through Jeff Brantley’s torturous schtick) when Mat Latos threw a pitch and came up lame. My heart started beating again at some point after that. Now, it appears that Latos is going to be fine: Latos strained his left calf, but isn’t worried it’s serious. “I’m […]

The Reds have made their first cuts of the spring. Sixteen were cut, and there were no surprises: IF Kristopher Negron, IF Neftali Soto, RHP Josh Judy; IF Didi Gregorius, IF Henry Rodriguez, RHP Pedro Villarreal; IF/OF Donald Lutz and RHP Kyle Lotzkar were optioned. C Tucker Barnhart, RHP Nick Christiani, RHP Daniel Corcino, C […]

Related: over at C-ing Red, “Overanalysis Spring Training Edition: Cueto Pitch Velocities.” Most importantly, Tara notes that Johnny Cueto threw “a couple sliders that were nice and slide-y.” Excellent. Chad DotsonBlame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, […]

I’ve always been of a mind that Juan Francisco was pretty heavily overrated by the Reds organization. I love his power, but Francisco has always seemed like Wily Mo Pena Lite. The Reds organization has seemed to have a pretty high opinion of the big guy and, let’s be honest, they know more than I […]