Tag Archives: Fenway Park

Broken Bats, Barry Bonds and The Easy Way Out.

broken bat image

John Bowker, Giants vs Cardinals, April 18, 2008.

It takes a lot to get me back into blogging mode these days.  And it’s not because I don’t want to but, like everyone else, I’m busy.  So when I read an article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal I couldn’t contain myself.

The article was written by Jo Craven McGinty,  “Behind Broken Baseball Bats, Broken Records.”  Blame Barry, she says, and that got my attention.  Evidently the year that Bonds hit his record 73 home runs, he was using a maple wood bat, unlike the ash bats that were commonplace in the majors at the time.

Today the use of maple wood bats has increased to nearly 75% of all bats used in broken bat 2the major leagues.  There’s controversy about whether maple vs ash bats contribute to more home runs.    The problem is that maple is more likely to split into multiple pieces when it breaks, while ash “flakes”.   In other words, it can hurt people.  Like it did on June 5 at Fenway Park, when it smashed into the stands and into the face of a fan.

Kurt Ainsworth, Marucci Sports, puts it this way.  “When you have future Hall of Famers putting up crazy numbers, it’s hard for MLB to take those bats out of their hands.”  Really.  Is that what it means?  You mean Barry Bonds record home runs was due to his “bat” and had nothing to do with steroids?   According to Lloyd Smith, Director of the Sports Science Lab at Washington State University, “The speed of the ball coming off maple is no different from the speed of the ball coming off ash.”

But here’s the kicker.  According to McGinty’s article, which also deals with the diameter, density and slope of grain of the bats, regulations have reduced the number of broken bats.  “Since 2013 the minimum density of the barrel of the bat is 0.0245 pounds per cubic inch.  The Regulations have reduced the number of broken bats.”  But, as she notes, there are exceptions to the rules:

“Players who used low-density bats before the rules took effect are grandfathered in and at least 15% of maple bats used in MLB today have densities below 0.0245.”

Are you kidding me?  If there’s any substance to this regulation at all, why would you take the easy way out and let any of the players keep using the maple bats?

I’ll bet money on the fact someone out there has the answer.  And I hope it’s not because the guys who are hitting the homers are the ones who are still using those bats and drawing the fans through the gates.  I mean it can’t always be about the money, can it?

Those Pesky Cardinal Fans ~ Doing it again!

So I’m watching the game tonight and out of the blue comes a huge “BOOOOO” from the stadium.   The crowd evidently didn’t agree with the umpire’s call of a strike against one of their own.  Then the little black box appears on the lower right side of the telly screen and sure enough ….. that ball was a smidgen outside of that little black box, meaning, of course, it was definitely a ball and not a strike.   Now how in the world did they know that?  I mean those “boos” came instantly, no chance to second guess, just johnny-on-the-spot.  The umpire was standing right there at the plate, and the crowd of some 40,00 was, shall we say, somewhere out in left field and they knew it was a bad call.

Cardinal Fans Most Knowledgeable

Cardinal Fans Most Knowledgeable

I remember posting back in 2011 about those Classy Cardinal Fans and how they’re not only the best fans in Major League Baseball, but also the most polite and the most “knowledgeable”.  They won some sort of award for this as I recall.  But, really, this humongous outpouring of boo’s tonight was instantaneous and it was the only time all night they booed.   I don’t get it.

So when I log into WordPress to post this little ditty, the very first blog I see is none other than Craig Calcaterra on Hardball Talk, talking about this very thing ~ the Cardinal fans I mean.  Take a look at what he says about it here and you’ll see what I mean.

Obstruction Call Tonight

Obstruction Call Tonight

And if you weren’t fortunate enough to watch the entire game (it was a  good one!) take a look at  Hardball Talk’s piece on the obstruction call that ended the game.   You’ll be hearing lots more about this one. Wow!  Whatta great  game.  Doesn’t get much better than this!   Can’t wait for game time tomorrow!

Rating the Best Baseball Ballparks.

Here’s a great read courtesy of Dan Lindsey’s “Diamond Baseball Tours” Facebook page and reprinted from the New York Times “Five Thirty Eight” Column by Nate Silver.  My home park is AT&T in San Francisco and it’s without a doubt one of the very best.  

“Classic Primanti Bros Sandwich” includes salad and french fries piled inside”

However, I can understand the PNC Pittsburgh #1 ranking.  I was there in 2010 and the first clue was the accessible parking.  We were on a tour bus and the bus parked less than a 5 minute walk away from the main entrance.  Ordinary tour buses dropped us off and then we walked a marathon to get back to the bus, if we could even find it!   Second great thing about the park was the food.  “Primanti Bros.” may sound familiar.   They’re on a “100 Things To Do Before you die” list.  It’s a beautiful park with friendly staff. 

“Fenway’s Wooden Scoreboard”

The #2 Ranking to Boston’s Fenway Park is also understandable.  I’ve been there twice and both times it was an emotional experience.  Probably the park’s history, and I don’t know why, but the “Sweet Caroline” and “MTA” songs that were played both times brought the house down with everyone singing at the top of their lungs.  I can’t explain it ~ neither song has anything to do with baseball.  It’s just one of those things.   It’s an old and beautiful wooden park with a lot of class and truly devoted fans, where they still post the daily baseball scores on a wooden board by hand. 

So it was easy to acquiesce those two parks to my beloved AT&T.  Good read and a great job Nate Silver, bringing us right up to the 2012 playoffs.  

Worst Ballpark Food? You Decide ~

Last month ESPN held a contest to decide the “Best Ballpark” in the major leagues.  Miller Park in Milwaukee won the contest while AT&T Park in San Francisco came in a distant second.  You can read about it in the “Related Articles” section below.  But when I read this I couldn’t help wonder if the ballpark food entered into this, because everyone knows AT&T Park is hands-down the winner in that category.  Here’s a sampling of the food at Miller Park I found this morning at “My Boyfriend Fatty’s Blog“.    I would categorize these as  “Worst #1 and Worst #2.  See what you think.

Worst Ballpark Food #1.   This is called the “Crazy Meatloaf Sandwich” from the Comet Cafe, near the Milwaukee Brewers Miller Park.  It may not be the worst, but it sure looks like it!

Worst Ballpark Food #2.  This didn’t actually look too bad until I realized what’s in it.  It’s called a “Pulled Pork Parfait” and I can only begin to wonder what the cream-colored filling is made of.   This little gem is available at a concession stand at the Brewers Miller Park.

Peanuts and crackerjacks anyone?

This day in Baseball History ……fans at Fenway. Where’d they go??

“1965.   At Fenway Park in front of only 1,247 fans, Boston right-hander Dave Morehead no-hits the visiting Indians 2-1.  On the same day, the 100 loss bound ninth place Red Sox fire their GM, Pinky Higgins.” 

I found this statistic fascinating!   This day in history, 1965, your couldn’t GIVE away tickets to watch the Red Sox play at Fenway.   Only 1,247 showed up for the game!  Wow!   Times have changed and so has baseball.   I was in Boston in June and talked with a cabbie there, exuberant about the fact I got to see the game that day.  It’s  hard to get tickets to a game at Fenway Park these days.  On June 17, 2009, Red Sox fans were celebrating their 500th consecutive sellout at Fenway Park!  And this is a park with 33,871 night time seating capacity that had an average attendance of 37,811 in 2009!   Go figure. 

But on September 16, 1965, seating capacity for Fenway Park was 33,524.   Imagine going to a professional baseball game and you’re one of 1,247 fans.  That means there are 32,277 empty seats.  Whew!  You could even hear yourself holler, if there was anything to holler about.  I mean that season they ended up losing 100 games. 

It’s different now.  If you’ve ever been to Fenway you’ll get this.   Once you get nestled into your wood seat you don’t 

Fenway Park

dare move.   This is a small stadium and I’d estimate maybe 12,000 fans are mulling through the concessions stands and restrooms at any given time.  So once you leave your seat, figure about 45 minutes before you’ll get back again.  Best advice……do all your stuff before you sit!     So right now, today, Boston’s in 3rd place in their division, up and down this year.  But it really doesn’t matter.   Boston Red Sox fans are no longer fair weather fans.  They’ve had  winning seasons and  losing seasons since  1965 .  Not to worry.  They manage to sell those seats game after game, year after year.   And it’s one of the best stadiums in Major League Baseball!   I love Fenway Park.  I love the fans, the food, the team.  

Where’d the fans go?   They went right back to the park and that’s where they’ve been ever since, God love em!