The Reds, A Final Loss

The Reds final spring training game at Ed Smith Stadium
The Reds final spring training game at Ed Smith Stadium
SARASOTA (2009-04-02) -

The Cincinnati Reds lost their final spring training game in Florida. The score was Pirates 6 - Reds 5. But the team isn't the only loser. Sarasota no longer has a major league team, a spring training tradition for more than three quarters of a century.

Baseball fans went to Ed Smith Stadium to see the Reds take on the Pirates but a political protest of sorts broke out during pregame announcements.

Sarasota Mayor Lou Ann Palmer tried to rally the crowd. She introduced her political counterparts who tried and failed to keep the Reds from leaving. Her efforts were booed.

But, baseball fans aren't the only losers. Sal Naimo sells programs at Ed Smith Stadium to raise money for the Knights of Columbus charities. He says now they'll have to find another way to raise about $35,000 a year.

"Everything has been baseball for so many years. Now, it's coming to an abrupt end. That's sad, it really is," Naimo says. He blames elected officials for not giving the entire county a chance to vote on whether to fund a new stadium. City of Sarasota voters said no.

Sarasota failed to cement a deal for a new stadium. So, the Reds accepted an offer from Goodyear, Arizona.

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