12/09/08 7:06 PM EST
Colletti likes idea of sharing spring site
Dodgers, White Sox GMs discuss move to Camelback Ranch
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
General managers Ned Colletti of the Dodgers and Ken Williams of the White Sox and managers Joe Torre and Ozzie Guillen fielded questions that initially focused on the pros and cons of two teams sharing one site, something the Dodgers haven't done while spending the past 61 years at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla.
Colletti said he's never been with a club that shared a spring site but said there are more pros than cons, the key one to him being the ability to stage a game on short notice because of the other team's availability, rather than settling for a Minor League or intrasquad game.
Torre noted the proximity of other Arizona complexes compared to Florida and how that will facilitate a manager or coach staying back to attend a morning workout and still make it to a road game in time. With two-hour drives in Florida, that can be a challenge.
"Arizona is a lot more concentrated," said Torre, who had never trained in Arizona until the Dodgers returned from China this spring for an abbreviated trial run in the Cactus League. "Less time on the bus, more time on the field."
Colletti said the Dodgers will use the facility year-round as their player development headquarters, with a full-time staff in place. Players who live in the Phoenix area will have use of the facility for offseason workouts.
"They'll have the opportunity to work out any day," Colletti said. "There will be extensive video equipment. We'll have former Dodgers as instructors in the spring and to teach what the game is all about."
The White Sox still have short-season teams at other sites and will use the facility in the spring, according to Williams, but will keep a medical staff there for rehabilitations.
Colletti said much thought went into planning the facility so it would maintain the "quaint" feel of Dodgertown.
"It will continue to be accessible for fans," he said. "The closeness of Vero you rarely see any other place."
The facility includes a 13,000-seat stadium, where the Dodgers will play 17 games, two against the White Sox as visitors. They open March 1 against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch-Glendale, will play 12 games against National League West opponents and on March 12 will play against an Asian qualifier for the World Baseball Classic. They will play a night home game March 24 and will wrap up the Cactus League schedule April 1 in Scottsdale against the Giants.
The ballpark includes 3,000 lawn seats, 12 luxury suites, a party deck and a unique center-field rotunda entrance. Fans will enjoy the ballpark's modern amenities and design as well as dramatic mountain views from within the park.
The 141-acre site is located on Camelback Road just west of the Loop 101. The baseball facility includes more than 118,000 square feet of Major and Minor League clubhouse space, 13 full baseball fields and three half-fields. The site will feature walking trails, landscaped grounds and an orange grove. There will also be two ponds and a fully stocked lake between the Dodgers and White Sox facilities.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.