Monday, March 23, 2020

COVID-19 Thoughts

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
PHOTOS BY CANDICE EBLING

There is one company that I know which is benefitting with the Corona name and that’s the beer as we see these commercials on the air. For those that like to drink, I’m sure that the beverage is relaxing. Although I doubt it will happen, for some reason I think the ads should be taken off the air temporarily because the name is an unpleasant reminder of the unprecedented world we live in.

Being the owner of an online publication, The South Florida Tribune, 90% of My Media Distribution Partners are unable to send content because their sports have been either postponed or cancelled. Thankfully, the Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars have picked up the slack during NFL Free Agency Frenzy.

One area that will be utilized more will be additional broadcasts with the South Florida Tribune Broadcasting Network. We have a good line-up of shows. The signature shows are The Sports Exchange and South Florida Tribune Podcast which is a non-sports show.

A week ago, we returned from Arizona as we spent time with family and finished our goal to see the two remaining stadiums in the Cactus League. We saw the Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park in Mesa and the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. It was great to cover another LA Dodgers game at Camelback Ranch vs The Milwaukee Brewers, in Glendale, AZ., in what turned out to be the last Spring Training Game before the everything would be canceled because of COVID-19. We went to Phoenix and saw the Milwaukee Brewers remodeled facility in Maryvale. I drove Candy to Phoenix Municipal Stadium which used to be the Spring Training Home of the Oakland A’s.

Thanks to my desire to take a red-eye flight, Candy and I came back on a less crowded flight from Phoenix to Fort Lauderdale, that reduced risk of obtaining risks of getting COVID-19.

We then proceeded to stock up on supplies and toilet paper, which nowadays seems impossible to get.

As reality sets in and every sporting event gets cancelled on the planet, in addition to many businesses closing such as restaurants, will this become the next Great Depression? We hope not.

Who would have thought about dealing with Social Distancing?

Working from home is something I’ve never dealt with, but now wearing a t-shirt and sweat pants is certainly a better option than being stuck in the hospital fighting for my life.

What is my new routine these days? Watching sports shows to find content for my network, being uplifted by the generosity of many people and companies in and out of sports that are giving back to help the less fortunate, in addition to watching News Shows to find updates on the Spreading of COVID-19. I Need to know the numbers as it could be influential of future travel plans.

Being a Florida Resident, we’re used to preparing for Hurricanes and loading up on supplies. COVID-19 brings out the analogies, We’re all in the same boat and this is a world wide dilemma. Also, misery loves company. Now with the power of prayer, we can only hope that COVID-19 comes up with some medications so we can hope to see normalcy at some point.

Unlike Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tornados, you can rebuild areas in time. But COVID-19 is an enemy we can’t see and that’s the most frustrating aspect of this unprecedented pandemic crisis.

We can only hope the death toll is limited.

Meanwhile, I pray for everyone that they’re safe and healthy and follow all the warning in Regular and Social Media and don’t self destruct. In Fort Lauderdale during Spring Break, several students came down here and now have COVID-19.

For the time being, we just have to wait and aside from going to the stores to buy food, it’s imperative that we master Social Distancing!

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. He’s the Owner of the South Florida Tribune and it’s Broadcasting Network. He’s also a writer for the Detroit Monitor.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The New Dodger Town

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
PHOTOS BY CANDICE EBLING

If there is ever a team in The Grapefruit League that I enjoyed covering, it was the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I enjoyed taking the two hour trek from Deerfield Beach to Vero Beach.

The Dodgers were always cooperative to us whether the Detroit Tigers played or some other team.

I had great memories speaking with the likes of Managers Tommy Lasorda, Grady Llittle and pitcher Jerry Reuss.

To this day, we like to drive up to Historic Dodger Town as the place looks fantastic.

There is nothing covering the fans should it rain at Holman Stadium which had a capacity of 6,500. There were no shortage of practice fields. Historic Dodger Town had dorm rooms for the players to stay.

Down the third base line the fans were very close to the players and there were no shortage of conversations. I can recall a conversation I once had with Derrel Thomas.

But as I sit in the Press Box here at Camelback Ranch which which holds 13,583, this is a different environment in The Cactus League. The seats are tan and the stadium is brown. It has that desert feeling.

There are no dorm rooms to house any players. There are lots of practice fields all over the complex.

The Dodgers share the stadium with the Chicago White Sox.  In 2009 both clubs began their first season.

Each team has State Of The Art, year round working facilities along the left and right-field lines which they use for rehabilitating players. They also have their executive offices.

The Dodgers use the facility for their low level rookie league, which is the Arizona League. They play in the back fields.

The Glendale Desert Dogs play in the Arizona Fall League where the best MLB prospects show their skills in the stadium.

In front of one of the entrances, there is a statue of Lasorda and another of White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas.

On this day, there was a different feel as the Dodgers faced the Milwaukee Brewers.

The game was scheduled to start at 6:05 PT but due to rainy conditions in the area, it was pushed back to 6:35 PM PT.

What was great when I picked up My Credential was I had clubhouse access.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get in the clubhouse as well as my colleagues because today was the first day MLB banned the media because of the Coronavirus.

I talked to a Dodgers writer and he said it's inevitable that the regular season will get delayed because of the virus.

Dodgers Outfielder Mookie Betts, in the photo and President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman talked about all aspects of the inconveniences of the Coronavirus. They also told us that despite the virus, there is still a season to prepare for.

Earlier in the day, the NCAA Announced that March Madness will be played without fans in the stands. Also, all spectator sports are evaluating what steps will take place to avoid placing there fans in danger.

Before the end of this game, The NBA suspended the rest of the 2019 season when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Tonight, the Brewers entered the game with a 10-6-2 mark while the Dodgers are 9-7-1.

These are two teams that made the 2019 Players. Milwaukee was 89-73 while the Dodgers had the second best record in baseball at 106-56.

Both were ousted by the World Series Champions Washington Nationals.

The Dodgers defeated the Brewers 4-1 in front of 8,364. The game was called because of rain in the bottom of the seventh inning.

But as I look at this venue, now that I've seen all of the stadiums in the Cactus League, this one ranks in my top two.

Having been to most of the Grapefruit League stadiums, Camelback Ranch is easily in my top five.

Was it tough seeing the Dodgers leave Vero Beach, FL?

You bet it was.

But the reality of the situation is it's just a four hour drive from Phoenix to Los Angeles and a 45 minute flight. The move was inevitable.

Aside from what I've written, the photos tell the story about the Dodgers new home.

Next stop, Dodger Stadium.

The last time I went there was during the 1984 Summer Olympics when I watched the US team play against South Korea.

Camelback Ranch is definitely a must see if you come to Arizona for Spring Training of the Arizona Fall League!

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. He is the Founder of The South Florida Tribune and it's Broadcasting Network. 

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