Feb 27, 2011, 1:59 PM EDT
The Reds and Indians share the Goodyear complex. The team clubhouses and practice fields are about a half mile down the road from the ballpark. Neither the Reds nor the Indians take their BP or infield in the main park, even on game day, so I’ve spent most of my morning driving and walking long distances around the joint.
It’s quite new — it opened in 2009 — so it’s a lot like the hella-complex out in Salt River Fields in terms of its modernity and conveniences and sheer space. It does lack that high-polish shine of Salt River, however, and I think in some ways this is a good thing. I still have this lingering feeling that the clubhouses in Salt River are too comfortable. This place seems like a nice balance between the spartan locker rooms of the old places and the VIP lounge-feel the Diamondbacks enjoy.
Or maybe it makes no difference. For what it’s worth, my observation of the Indians’ clubhouse today was that it was young and loose and fun. If the Indians are going to be one of the worst teams in baseball this season, no one has told them about it. Especially Carlos Santana who, like Pablo Sandoval the other day, was bopping around the place with his headphones on, shirt off, singing and dancing like no one was looking. Must be a catcher/corner infielder thing.
From there I moved a quarter mile further down the road to the Reds’ place. By the time I got there they had left the clubhouse and had made their way out to the practice fields. I stood against a fence near where they were playing long toss. Ryan Hanigan missed one and it hit me on the arm on one hop. Amateur hour, starring Calcaterra. I may or may not have heard a chuckle from the guy standing next to Hanigan.
That aside — and I can’t talk about it anymore on the advice of my attorney (Ow! Ow! The pain! The suffering!) — the Reds workouts were fun. Dusty Baker was loose and joking. The Reds beat guys — including Mark Sheldon of MLB.com and John Fay of the Cincy Enquirer — were nice dudes. The coaches and the team employees were all cool. Just a relaxed bunch. But effective. I couldn’t tell you what makes for a crisp set of infield drills vs. a not-so-crisp set, but Baker clapped his hands and yelled “good infield, good infield” after it was over.
Then it was back to the ballpark. On the way there I decided to study this statue that sits outside in some detail:
I don’t know either. The plaque at its base says that it’s called “The Ziz,” by Donald Lipski. It also says it’s “named for the giant mythological bird.” Here’s an explanation of the mythological bird. It’s something out of Jewish mythology. Annie Savoy taught me, however, that there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and 108 stitches on a baseball, so at least as far as this statue is concerned I’m all kinds of confused, theologically speaking.
Well, not too concerned, for I have perfected Zen:
Sorry to do that again. It just seemed right. And no, that stuff on my shoe was not anything intended for Dusty Baker. It’s wet warning track clay. I can think of nothing I’d rather have sticking to the bottom of my shoe.
An hour or so until game time.
- Video: Rusney Castillo notches his first major league hit 0
- Michael Wacha cleared to return Saturday vs. Reds 0
- Marlins officially shut down Giancarlo Stanton for the season 5
- Umpire Joe West suspended for one game for his part in the Jonathan Papelbon incident 53
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights 83
- Jose Altuve breaks Craig Biggio’s franchise record, tallying his 211th hit of the season 12
- Orioles beat Blue Jays to clinch AL East title 38
- Tanner Roark dominates as Nationals clinch NL East 22
- Chris Davis suspended 25 games for amphetamine use (92)
- Giancarlo Stanton diagnosed with multiple facial fractures and dental damage (91)
- Bud Selig can’t remember the last domestic violence incident in Major League Baseball (88)
- A couple of initial thoughts on the Chris Davis suspension (83)
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights (83)