From yesterday’s New York Times, a walk around Busch III, which greatly impressed George Vecsey. This had me nodding in approval:
The playing field has avoided the intentionally quirky corners and gimmicks of many newer ballparks.
“Our No. 1 criteria was that we wanted it to play like the other Busch,” said Tony La Russa, the Cardinals’ manager. “We wanted it to play fair for the hitters and the pitchers. That’s the way the game should be.”
DeWitt said, “My belief is that asymmetry should be the result of the uniqueness of the site, not just dreamed out of nowhere.”
A quirky corner like the Mets have in right makes the same amount of sense in that park’s location that a hitching post makes in front of my downtown office building.
One other fun thing mentioned that, if I ever knew it, I had forgotten, and that’s that there exists a Mark McGwire statue to match the other immortal Cardinals’ statues, except it sits under wraps in an attic somewhere. The rationale seems rather silly, though: the statues are only for Cardinals who have been elected to the Hall of Fame or have had their numbers retired by the club. The club only retires the numbers of Hall of Famers, Ken Boyer excepted. Since McGwire isn’t going to be elected to the Hall of Fame anytime soon, the statue remains in limbo.
I’ve said it before, but the Hall of Fame wields way too much friggin’ influence. Or, rather, those around baseball allow it to. The Cardinals have the power to honor anyone they want. If Giants’ fans gave Barry Bonds a standing ovation last night, you can bet your bippy that Cardinals fans would be happy to have Mark McGwire honored as well. Who cares if a handful of sanctimonious writers have declared a vendetta against him? He brought an immense amount of joy to the people of St. Louis and an immense amount of money to the owners of the Cards. He should have his day in Busch Stadium and his statue should take its place alongside the other Cardinals’ immortals.