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02/09/12 1:35 PM EST
Reds spring truck loaded for long trip west
Clubhouse manager Stowe, staff pack for Friday departure
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- When it comes to loading up the truck for Spring Training, Reds clubhouse manager Rick Stowe has it all down to an efficient science. Stowe and his crew mobilized near the loading dock at Great American Ball Park on Thursday, and moved everything a baseball team needs for about seven weeks worth of Spring Training. "It's actually a skid or two less of stuff than usual," Stowe said while on the move. "We pretty much have a presence in Arizona there all year round, so we can leave some things there." The 18-wheeler the Reds have commissioned is scheduled to depart on Friday for a 1,863-mile trip west from Cincinnati to the club's complex in Goodyear, Ariz. Stowe will fly out and meet the truck there to help lead the unloading process. Armed with forklifts and push carts, the Reds staff loaded skids and pallets of supplies on to the back of the truck. Everything from baseballs to bats, caps to jerseys, baby cribs to bicycles and potato chips to energy drink mixes can find its way to the loading dock for transport. There was no shortage of duffel bags, golf club bags, trunks that were either already in the 53-foot long trailer or waiting to be loaded. The truck isn't just available for players' belongings but also members of the front office, coaching staff, medical staff and broadcast crew that will be spending extended time in Arizona with the team. Reds pitchers and catchers are due to report to camp on Feb. 19, while the full squad reports on Feb. 24. And much of what goes out west must come back east. The Reds will need their stuff in time for Opening Day on April 5, when they play the Miami Marlins.