Cubs fans (especially those who have been displaced to Arizona and those like my parents who enjoy traveling there every March) are waiting with bated breath to find out whether Tom Ricketts will move the Cubs' spring training home to Naples, Florida. The Cubs have been in Arizona since 1952 (save one year when they were in Long Beach, California), and a move to Naples would be bad for several reasons, including:
-Going from top dog to third ... dog, behind the Yankees and Red Sox, who also reside in Florida
-Longer commutes for players--13 of the 15 Arizona teams are within 45 minutes, whereas the Cubs would be 80 minutes away or more from all but two teams
-Being on the wrong side of a trend--Many teams have moved from Florida to Arizona in recent years, including the Indians (2009) and Reds (2010). 2010 will mark the first time the Cactus League has as many teams as the Grapefruit League.
-Leaving a league with a cool and edgy-sounding name for a league named after a terrible fruit.
-Forcing my parents to go to rainy Florida or simply end their Arizona tradition (hey, it's my blog, I can make that a point if I want to)
(hat tip: Bleed Cubbie Blue)
The Cubs have reached a tentative agreement with the city of Mesa to keep their spring training home out West for the next 25 years.
2. Should it stay or should it go?
While we await Ricketts' decision on this matter, the new owner has made some positive news when it comes to the Cubs' true home--Wrigley Field. Wrigley 20-14 is a series of projects which will result in "a complete renovation of the ballpark." With all the talk over the last few years about a possible new home for the team, perhaps in a Chicago suburb, having a plan in place to not only keep Wrigley but renovate and improve it is music to my ears.
I like Wrigley as it is now, so I'm mostly just happy that the Cubs' brass seems intent on keeping it around for a while ("another 100 years," according to Kenney). But I'm confident the improvements will make for a better game day experience as well, so I look forward to the forthcoming changes!
A 2005 sketch of the proposed "triangle building." Source: Tribune