Cubs Fans Opening Day Outrage

A NY Times story explains it all. Tremendous Upside Potential provides the picture and another comment.

Meet the Seamheads Ballpark Database

Every ballpark, every year, every dimension, every park factor. The new Seamheads Ballpark Database promises to be an invaluable resource.

Metsgrrl’s Guide to Citi Field

Yes, the new home of the New York Mets is more than a year old, and I haven’t been. To see the Mets, that is. I’ve been to the very beautiful ballpark for the Tout Wars drafts this past March, hosted by the NFBC, and I entered the year looking forward to visiting the new ballpark for fun. In otherwords a game. But once baseball season starts we begin work on the football magazine. Spare time goes to the family. Time flies, there is editing to be done. Etc etc you know what I mean.

But now the magazine is on its way to the printer, and longtime Guide and Patton$ contributor Mike Fenger is in town with his baseball loving daughters, and we’re going to the yard.

Metsgrrl (on the right)

So, I started casting around for information and came upon this excellent piece of work. Metsgrrl has guides to other parks and tips for traveling to them. The wider travel site is newish, but you can see the seeds of a similar love for the ballpark experience her work abroad as the metsgrrl blog shows for all things Mets. All highly recommended.

Ps. In my list of favorite ballparks it’s hard to fend off the glories of Fenway and Wrigley (Chicago), and alas I was a dues paying member of the Save Tiger Stadium committee for a while but never got there to see a game (I did once stand outside while the Tigers were out of town, and soaked in its surface glories), but I’d like to make a quick case for Comiskey Park. Beautiful ironwork, old style enclosed ballpark, excellent sausages even in the 80s, and a general feeling of the dusky dark appeal of the morbid baseball fan. I can see why they moved on, but that place was baseball’s Notre Dame.

One other story: I did see a game at the Polo Grounds when I was wee lad of seven. It was a night game, Mets versus Colt 45s, and I remember it similarly had a darkness similarly to Comiskey, except that the game I saw in Chicago was a day game. Those two were baseball parks Edward Gorey might love (though I dare say his game was more badminton than rounders). Lost and mourned, at least by those who got to get there.

Save $25 on First Pitch Arizona!

For what I think is the seventh time I’m heading out this November for Ron Shandler’s First Pitch Arizona symposium. This year’s dates are November 6-8, though I’m flying the fourth so I can get in a game on Thursday afternoon.

You cannot imagine how great it is to watch some of the best young talent around (this year we have Stephen Strasburg) in a near empty park, allowing you to sit just about anywhere you want (including behind home plate, where you can sometimes spy the radar readings of the ML scouts who are always in attendance.

Read more…

The Houses That Ruthlessness Built

Alan Barra, Village Voice

I’m not sure I agree with Barra that the Yankees and Mets are cashing in, coasting instead of spending the ducats necessary to win. But the quote from Marvin Miller calling to task the phrase “fiscal responsibility” is powerful. If only we knew how much money the teams were making we could judge their decisions in this way. That we don’t know, yet we’re building them luxury palaces of profit maximization, is the real scandal.

Or maybe that’s the fiscal scandal. The possibilities that Brian Cashman isn’t very good at his job and that the Wilpons are as inept and dysfunctional as the Angeloses are very real, and I think better explain why these two big-spending teams aren’t very good.

Get Thee to St. Paul!

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0522081saints1.htmlAmazing “bobblefoot” promotion planned by the St. Paul Saints in honor of National Tap Dancing Day. Explain that to the kids. If you go, please snag one for Rotoman. 

Life After Barry Is a Strikeout At the Ballpark

WSJ.comThe economic impact of Barry Bonds turns out to be a survey of the craziness of fandom.  

Hawk attack at Fenway Park

Boston.com

A photo series of the hawk attacking Alexa Rodriguez at Fenway last week. It all seems so much more normal in pictures.

New Ballpark Webcam

The Official Site of The Minnesota Twins

Construction is underway on the Twins new ballpark, and it was announced this week that despite cost overruns (already!) that the Twins themselves will make up the difference.

Meanwhile, my wife, author of Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash, tells me that the stadium is being built less than 1,000 feet away from a giant trash incinerator that will be releasing all sorts of toxics from the materials it burns. The upper deck of the new yard will be at about the same height as the smoke stack of the incinerator.

This link is to the report analyzing how many of those metals will end up in the playing field, how much players and fans will inhale and ingest (there is actually a formula to determine dirt ingestion in the report), and how that compares to EPA and other (many elements don’t have established harm levels yet) standards.

So far, things look good, though the discussion of the effects on a Child Season Ticket Holder fired my imagination, if not any sense of imminent alarm.

It’s good the builders and the county government and the Twins are thinking about these things. Let’s just hope they get it right.