June 18, 2013
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009
HOK gets blamed for the increasingly stale retro-park craze, but it's what the fans and, ultimately, the clubs want. According to this article in Fast Company, however, it, and other architectural firms, are doing different things elsewhere:
Ever since Camden Yards opened in Baltimore in 1992, new stadiums have chased nostalgia. "Teams want to rebirth themselves into who they were in the first era of baseball," says HOK Sport senior principal Earl Santee. "People want to see a traditional sport like baseball played in a traditional building." So the Yankees' new $1.3 billion park echoes their original 1923 one, with the same vaulted arches and stone facade. The main entry is still at Gate 4, guarded by golden eagles, and the seats are the same blue.
I don't suppose there was ever any chance that the New York parks were going to break away from the retro thing, but I had higher hopes for Washington and some other places. I don't need spaceships, but there isn't a ballpark out there that can even arguably be described as bold or forward looking from a design perspective.
It's weird to think that, of all of the new ballparks out there, two of the oldest in operation -- Dodger Stadium and Kauffman -- may have the best claim to actually posessing a modern sensibility about them.
Originally, the Cardinals had planned on having an elaborate "Ballpark Village" built around their new stadium, complete with office, retail, residential, and restaurant space. A grand plan indeed, and one that no doubt aided their effort in obtaining financing for their new stadium. The thing to remember about such plans, however, is that they can be changed radically by events like, oh, the emergence of a flaming crater in the place where this country's real estate market used to be:
The Cardinals today announced their plans for the Ballpark Village site during this summer's All-Star Game: a parking lot and a softball field.
Today and next week local governments in Miami will be voting on the Marlins' ballpark proposal, and it seems like smaller towns are considering similar plans for minor league parks three or four times a year. Almost all of them continue to be premised on surrounding development, many of which themselves are called "Ballpark Villages" too. My guess: no one is including parking lots and softball fields in these proposals. Yet here they are in St. Louis, willing to serve as a giant warning sign to those who would spend the public's money on grandiose commercial development schemes.
But if you're on the city council, who are you gonna believe? The blueprints, or your own lyin' eyes?
Aaron Boone's baseball career is likely over after it was decided that he needs open heart surgery:
Aaron Boone of the Houston Astros says he will have open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve.
I'm sure even Red Sox fans wish him a speedy recovery.
Hope and good feelings notwithstanding, if Jay Jaffe thinks he's going to get his 28th round pick back in our Scoresheet League, he's got another thing coming.
Those of you who went to law school are familiar with the Socratic Method. A professor calls on a student, often at random, and starts asking, as opposed to lecturing, about a holding in a given case. Questions start broad and seemingly neutral, but then the questions get more pointed, with the professor increasingly challenging the student's answers and assumptions until they damn nigh reach the breaking point. Then maybe the professor plays devil's advocate or asks that you do the same. Maybe hypotheticals are offered and the student is then required to shift gears and respond to those. The key to it is that the student is very much on the spot and often uncomfortable. Personally, I hated it in law school as I suppose most students did, and that was the case even when I had done the reading and was prepared to answer questions in class.
But for all of its unpleasantness, I can't help but admit that it's a very powerful teaching tool. All of the law professors I now consider to have been the good ones used it, and none of the ones I consider to be the poor ones did. I remember more of the stuff I learned in Socratic classes and, truth be told, I think in those terms when I first encounter a new problem, be it in the law or otherwise.
I'm guessing that odradek at Let's Go Tribe feels the same way, as he has applied the method -- via Socrates himself -- in assessing Indians' perpetual prospect Adam Miller. As with law school, the process is somewhat uncomfortable, but the insights gained by having gone through it are invaluable.
Ken Griffey will probably DH in Seattle, but he'll no doubt see some time in left field too. As this wire report notes, that will be a novel thing for him, inasmuch as he has played almost exclusively in center and right over the course of his career. I found Griffey's comments on that interesting:
"It's about figuring out the angles," Griffey said. "Centre field is the easiest position to play, because there are no angles. You just go to where you think the ball's going to come down."
No, I don't think Griffey has the legs to play center anymore, but it's easy to forget that playing a good centerfield isn't just about being fast enough to cover all of that ground. Indeed, I'd argue that Andurw Jones' stellar play in centerfield had way more to do with him simply being able to figure out where the ball was going quicker than anyone else than it did sheer athleticism. Griffey did that pretty well himself before his body started betraying him. I haven't watched enough Reds' games in recent years to know for sure, but one wonders if Griffey's defensive problems had more to do with his inability to read the angles in the corners than his bad wheels.
One would think that you'd make sure beer would be available BEFORE moving your AAA team into a new ballpark, but then again, what do I know?
I never smoked, but I had a lot of friends who did back in high school, and the greatest thing about it was Camel Cash. Little currency-like coupons with Joe Camel's face on them that, when collected in great numbers, entitled underage smokers everywhere to exchange them for beach towels and cassette players, and squeezy water bottles and all manner of other branded merch. It was fabulous. My friends were so excited for this stuff that they greatly increased their tobacco intake in order to get better and better swag. The morality of such an incentive program escaped me because, hey, free beach towel.
Now Miller High Life is getting into the act:
Through the Extras loyalty program, Miller High Life will celebrate baseball, as well as many of the players who helped make it "America's Pastime." High Life Extras allows legal-drinking-age consumers to earn reward points by purchasing specially marked packages of High Life and High Life Light, and redeem those points for High Life gear. The Extras program is now offering baseball-themed High Life merchandise.
Like I said, I didn't smoke, but boy howdy do I ever drink! Pass me the champagne of beers, friend. Daddy wants an Atlanta Braves barstool!
This is an odd story. A bad English-Spanish translation cost the Cuban team the use of two of its relievers for its elimination game with Mexico on Sunday. They won though, so no harm no foul. And, as the article notes, it may even work to their advantage tonight as the two pitchers are once again eligible and better rested.
Of greater interest to me is the fact that, in addition to a mercy rule, the WBC has enforced pitch counts. Essentially, this is a little league tournament then, right? And I'm still supposed to take it seriously?
The Dodgers are close to signing Pedro Martinez.
No, the Astros are close to signing Pedro Martinez.
No, I'm sorry, the Astros are not close to signing Pedro Martinez.
Hey, I love rumors as much as the next guy, but sometimes maybe it's best to wait for the news to actually happen before reporting it.
Things to read while thanking heaven above that you weren't jailed for contempt of court yesterday afternoon:
And no, for the record, I was not out of order. He was out of order. The whole COURT was out of order.