This Saturday at Friar Fest we had the pleasure of chatting with Tom as we stood in line for catching pop-fly's. We stood there in the blistering heat along the warning track in front of the "sand box" in right center. I threw him the idea of pushing the fences back as far as you could and getting rid of those terrible "bleachers", making it more like Peoria. He thought I was crazy. But it could have just been the sun.
Now, I know we've discussed the fences a thousand times here... bring them in, push them out, raise them, lower them, paint them purple, whatever... I'm going to do it one more time. (For Tom's sake)
This ownership is obviously pinching pennies on the payroll. Well it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know speedy guys like Cabrera are a dime a dozen compared to the Pujols, etc. If you are not going to invest in power, and most likely dump any players that have power, you might as well help out your fast guys and pitchers. Imagine all the inside-the-park home runs that are possible. Imagine Manny staring down the pitcher and jogging around the bases as his long fly ball to right-center doesn't even make the track.
The "bleachers" out there are the worst seats in the stadium, you can't see crap. The fence is in the way and tickets are even marked "obstructed". I've sat there once during a sold out game. I didn't make it two innings. I walked up and sat on the grass so I could see better, even though I was farther away. Originally, when the Downtown ballpark was being pitched to the public we were promised a bigger "Park at the Park" and it would look similar to Peoria. The other thing about those "bleachers" is just that... they're called bleachers. It's as if the bleachers are forced upon us. This is not Wrigley or Old Yankee Stadium, we don't need "bleachers". Not to mention that "sand box" is a gimmick, and a hazard to kids. Move it to the north side of the Park.
Here's a couple before and possible after shots, along with one from Peoria. First, get rid of the fence in front of the batters-eye. Home runs would have to travel to that little walkway. Keep the right center fence in line with the batters-eye. Build that fence exactly the same as it is in Peoria, where it's about 3 feet high on the park side and 8 feet high on the field side. I know I'm probably in the minority here with this idea (Jbox hates it), but I stand by it.