Jump to content

HardballTimes: The Flattening of Local Baseball


weams

Recommended Posts

I'll put it here and move it with breadcrumbs so that those who want to read it today get to see it.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/tals-hill-and-the-flattening-of-baseballs-local-character/

At the end of the season, The Astros are finally going to remove Tal?s Hill from center field at Minute Maid Park. The death of Tal's Hill was inevitable; it is a combination of an easily mocked gimmick and a looming injury risk, and the only real issue keeping it from being removed as soon as Jim Crane bought the club is that somebody has to pay for the park's makeoverr.
(The local character of the game at my high school - and throughout most of my area, unfortunately, was largely, We're just waiting for football season to start - These schools regularly used the same area for the baseball outfield and the football field. Our fence was an ugly plastic, blaze orange snow fence right in front of our football bleachers, and a number of area schools spent too little on baseball to even plant grass in the infields. The pre-game conversation on the ground rules surrounding the goalpost in left field was always an adventure. If a struck ball hit it on the fly, it was ruled foul, a rule that definitely cost my team a home run once when I was a sophomore. And if an outfielder hit the goal post on the fly with a throw, all baserunners were given two free bases, something that once turned a simple ground ball down the left field line into one of the most unlikely and hilarious little league home runs I've ever seen.)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"looming injury risk"? How many people have been hurt fielding balls on the hill? Any? How many balls go out there? One every five games? Ten? Did anyone ever get hurt on the hill at Crosley they modeled this one on?

Did anyone ever get hurt at Sulphur Dell?

Yes, it was a gimmick. But so are all fence asymmetries that aren't defined by property boundaries - which in modern $billion mallparks is all of them, since nobody has built a park on a strangely shaped 1.5 acre plot since before WWII.

I'm kind of torn here. Baseball parks have character largely because of their varying field dimensions. But there's an awful lot of gimmickry, a lot of new stadiums with features that try to be cool by mimicking things in old parks that were there because of actual constraints that don't apply to the new places. At Ebbets Field it was 296 to right because there was a street at about 305, and the stands had to fit so you weren't moving the plate. It's 318 to right at OPACY because the architects wanted it to be 318, they could have made it symmetrical. Ebbets had to be that way.

There are fine lines between cool and kitschy and silly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Posts

    • This clip shows Bradish shaking his elbow a few times. Also throwing 99 which might have had something to do with it. I hope he learned his limitations.  Kyle Bradish's strong start against Phillies | 06/14/2024 | MLB.com
    • I'm kind of heading towards rooting for Kjerstad or Beavers to be trade centerpiece of whatever comes. EBJ's 2024 has been pretty tepid so he is not at a good sell point.     Norby seems to fit well as a backup to future outfields mostly made up of Cowser-Mullins-Kjerstad-Beavers-EBJ. The other 29 clubs, including whatever dozen odd end up selling next month - there are probably enough variances in their takes on Kjerstad and Beavers there is something Elias can arbitrage. I take it as a given someone like Seth Johnson or Trace Bright at least will be a secondary piece, guessing Povich-McDermott-De Leon-Forret maybe represent a tier Elias prefers to keep.
    • Gibson has a career 5.09 ERA in the 2nd half. And he turns 37 in October. He's due for some regression.
    • Yeah I am kind of torn on that.   Obviously you don't something actually on the ball so that the ball may go through the air differently, but if pitchers are having to over compensate to try and get the grip and therefore the spin that they want.....then is it worth it to allow a substance so you can avoid all of these injuries?   Let a pitcher keep something sticky on his glove or hat and allow him to be able to touch that area if he wants.  I really don't see a problem with it. For example, as much as some of you hate my bowling references, in bowling we do the same exact thing that a pitcher does, try to get as good a grip as possible so that we can create as many rpm revs, spin and hook as possible.  All the best bowlers have rev rates in the 500s and we are all allowed to put whatever we want on our hands to create that.  Rosin.  Stickem.   Tape on the fingers.  Tape inside of the bowling ball fingers.....whatever.  And I have never in my life heard anyone say that doing that should be illegal.  It is legal, everyone does it, and no one has a problem with it.  We are also allowed to surface our balls with a sand paper like pad that can give it a surface that hooks more, or a surface that hooks less. Again, all perfectly legal.  I think baseball may have to adjust their thinking on this if pitchers keep falling like flies. 
    • That probably happens but its not a big deal. Smartphones probably do tons of data tracking on what you search online. And they know exactly where you are at all times.
    • I thought trying to resign Flaherty would have been a better choice, assuming he wanted to stay of course.  He had a better track record of being very very good compared to Gibson Again though, I have no idea if he even would have resigned. 
    • I thought trying to resign Flaherty would have been a better choice, assuming he wanted to stay of course.  He had a better track record of being very very good compared to Gibson Again though, I have no idea if he even would have resigned. 
  • Popular Contributors

×
×
  • Create New...