I was reading this article:

 

http://bleacherreport.com/arti...mlbs-most-hated-turf

 

It highlights the problems the Blue Jays are having with their field, as well as other Major League Fields. Turf, Grass, dirt over concrete, dirt over dirt, what kind of dirt....should there be a standard regarding how a baseball field is constructed? 

 

We all know the distance between home plate and first base is the same on every field, but the ball doesn't bounce the same on every field, even from identical hits.  Should there be some standards?

Original Post
Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

So, it shouldn't be standard what's under the field, what the turf/grass is, or the type of dirt?

 

I guess it would be nice, but I don't think it would ever really be possible.

 

There are just too many variations in conditions and material availability from region to region.

 

For example, here in S. Florida we don't have the same grass you see in the mid-west.  We need stuff that can handle the summer heat and torrential rains - and can grow in what passes for "soil" down here.  We don't have a clay or soil subsurface like much of the country - we have coral rock.

 

Even the infield dirt is different.  I'm not an expert on the ,materials used, but I know enough to be able to tell you the stuff we play on down here is different from the stuff I have seen in Tennessee - for example.

The dirt/grass issue can't be helped for reasons that Rob T mentioned...but I would think if an MLB team is going to put in turf that there would at least be some "standard" for that.  Doesn't seem too difficult to keep stuff like the Blue Jay's situation from happening

Originally Posted by Buckeye 2015:

The dirt/grass issue can't be helped for reasons that Rob T mentioned...but I would think if an MLB team is going to put in turf that there would at least be some "standard" for that.  Doesn't seem too difficult to keep stuff like the Blue Jay's situation from happening

Except that technology changes/enhances the product SIGNIFICANTLY over time, so to do so would require that any team on artificial surface would likely be required to refresh their surface each time a new stadium with artificial turf is installed to maintain the standard.

 

This would likely include having to undo the substructure supporting the turf, which could be an extremely expensive proposition.

 

Also consider that many stadiums are outdoor artificial vs indoor, so exposed to different elements.  Multi-use facilities which also host football, concerts, etc., vs. baseball only.

 

Or, new playing surfaces would be required to use old technology/surface to maintain a standard.

 

Probably a nice thought, but it's a pipedream.

 

Heck, even NBA basketball courts all bounce differently, so it's part of the game.

Originally Posted by Nuke83:

Heck, even NBA basketball courts all bounce differently, so it's part of the game.

I did not know that, I had no idea there was such a great variance.  I have noticed that some of our local fields have a major difference in their dirt/ground, but I just figured because it was local small time stuff.

 

Thanks Nuke!

A bigger deal than the dirt to me is the design of the fields themselves.  A football field or basketball court have standard demensions. 

 

In baseball beyond the layout of the infield it is a wild west show.  Fence distances, height, foul territory even the lighting.  Understand why places like Wrigley and Fenway might get grandfathered but since there are probably 25 stadiums built in the last 20 years - how about symmetrical outfield fences with the same height.

 

BTW even the infield layout varies from stadium to stadium.  Grass height varies, the foul lines are often differently laid out in the distance to the grass from the lines.  Even the cutouts around the bases are not uniform.

I get excited when I get to see a game at Fenway or Wrigley, or ATT Park (not so much at Oakland or Angel's stadium).  My kid gets excited when he gets to play on the minor league fields in Arizona, or at Lake Point.  Why is that?  Because they are different experiences.  A different vibe, a different look, different ways to approach the game - e.g., bunts roll true on a high quality field, or as a catcher being aware of the distance behind the plate, or as an outfielder recognizing he needs to adjust his angles to handle the faster outfield, etc.  This is part of what makes the game, and the whole experience of the game, great.  Why would we want to make them all the same?  Did you ever hear of anyone having a life goal of visiting every basketball arena in the NBA?

I wouldn't want baseball fields "standardized" to where they're all just the same any more than I'd what golf courses "standardized" that way.  It's the differences that make the game more challenging to players and coaches and more fun also for the fans.

 

PS:   Though I do feel there are some things that should be consistent. . . like field lighting and the Batter's Eye backdrops in Milb so that some teams don't have less of an advantage than others.

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