Friday, December 22, 2006

Path To Goodyear, Arizona/ More Mark Mulder News

I haven't posted in a couple of days, so just a few quick hits on the Spring Training move to Arizona in 2009, and the possibility of signing Mulder.

Let's start on December 20th, with the Akron Beacon Journal's article on both Glendale (Dodgers and White Sox new home?) and Goodyear (Tribe's new Home?) that let everyone know that the money was there for BOTH cities (it was originally reported that it was going to be only one or the other, with various rumors having LA and Cleveland potentially rollin' together, and even having Cleveland returning to Tuscon). Of course, being typical Cleveland writing, the article doesn't set it in stone, saying there are many kinks to work out before it happens.

The Plain Dealer also has a bit more detail on the possible move to Tuscon, talking a bit more about the possibility of moving, how Arizona is still looking for a 2nd team for Goodyear, and how the Dolans think this is a "good, good, sign." The interesting piece in this article is how it could HELP in signing players. I don't disagree with this, but if a player signs with another because of SPRING TRAINING locations...I mean...are you kidding me? Every little bit of help I suppose. They do even allude to the fact that Texas plays in Arizona...and may have been a reason for Gagne's choice of Texas.

The Dallas Morning News had a bit on the Indians and Mark Mulder, with a little more detail. The article is more about Texas making offers and counteroffers, but the intriguing piece is:
Clifton said the Indians and Cardinals have stepped up their interest lately, with back-and-forth proposals and plenty of dialogue.
It appears as though Texas, St. Louis, Cleveland and Arizona are all in the mix. I also wanted to take note about a couple of things. I've been in some interesting banter the past few days with fellow fans about who I'd rather have, Mulder or Westbrook. Who should they throw the money at. Well, I think they can get Mulder for 2 years (really 1 full year after rehab)at a bargain. If he becomes the Mulder of old, Westbrook can't touch that. AND, if this year's any indication, I don't know that I'd pay Jake the kind of money someone else will throw at him. Who's more of a sure thing? Westbrook for sure. But signing Mulder really shouldn't have a bearing on whether they sign Westbrook. Mulder would be a good signing. Not only for his potential ceiling, but for the message it sends to the league. Free Agents want to play here, Cleveland will outbid others to get them, and Cleveland will take a chance. PR is half the battle.

Back to Arizona. Yesterday's PD had another article on the potential move to Arizona, and how Thursday was the day that the Goodyear City Council, and the Arizona Sports and Tourism authority would vote on whether or not they would grant 30 million dollars to the building of facilities for the Tribe to begin playing in in 2009. This article is fantastic in that it lists what is potentially going to be IN this complex. It ACTUALLY DOES look like this deal could help the Indians sign free agents. Potential pieces of the complex?:
  1. It's a year-round facility. Players that live in the area can obviously work out during the offseason, as well as allow those same players to rehab during the regular season. Awesome stuff really.
  2. The facility, particularly the stadium, will be the focal point of a community development project involving retail and residential properties.
  3. A combined big-league and minor-league clubhouse. The building would include administrative offices, weight room and classrooms.
  4. Two half fields for infield practice
  5. One Agility Field
  6. Six practice fields, two for the big-league club, four for the minor leaguers
  7. A 10,000 seat stadium

The folks that built Petco Park for San Diego would be building this facility, if it passes.

And finally, Sportsline is reporting that it's a done deal after today's vote. There really is another hurdle in this deal, as it's yet to be approved with words that are specific to Cleveland, but that should only be a formality. Folks we have a new home for Spring Ball, and, apparently, this is really going to be some kind of Cathedral.

For future reference folks, I have an interesting article tomorrow on Joe Dimaggio, as well as some weekend talk. I'm also kicking of my real OSU vs florida National Championship coverage this weekend. And why not start with the OSU vs. Florida hoops game to start it all off.

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