Monday, November 14, 2011

O's Unhappy with Ed Smith Stadium Cleanup

Two years ago, the Orioles and the city of Sarasota, FL had a public lovefest as Baltimore moved their Spring Training operations to the Gulf Coast.

According to Tampa Bay Online, the honeymoon is over:

As the costs of an environmental cleanup at Ed Smith Stadium reach $1 million, the Baltimore Orioles are saying the city of Sarasota needs to pitch in more money.

The Orioles last week requested $420,000 to improve poor drainage at its spring training practice fields, a problem the team blames on an old city dump buried beneath the facility.

City Manager Bob Bartolotta says the Orioles are "trying to make a convoluted argument" to get the city to pay for field upgrades that should have come from a $24 million stadium renovation funded by taxpayers...

The Orioles are calling for that field to be rebuilt and fitted with a system of underground pipes at a cost of about $415,000. The team is also calling for a geotechnical analysis to see if the three other practice fields at the 53-acre ballpark on 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue need drainage systems...

Last December, the city and county signed off on a $975,000 cleanup plan — more than $500,000 of it to drain an underground plume of water polluted with vinyl chloride, a compound used to manufacture plastic.

It sounds really messy, physically and legally.

You would think this would have all been worked out beforehand and maybe it was and they just see it different ways. But I do find it entertaining how quickly the relationship soured between Sarasota and Peter Angelos.

Anyway, none of this will affect Spring Training 2012 (any changes the O's are pushing for will be completed before the end of the year or after Spring Training is over) or the long-term prospects of the Orioles keeping their Spring Training home in Sarasota. Neither side is going to terminate this relationship over $500,000.

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