Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Schilling, Arroyo looking good.

"But today was a very big day. Everything that I'd hoped would happen, happened." The words of Curt Schilling after throwing three simulated innings against a team of minor leaguers. Twenty-four of Schilling's thirty-seven pitches were strikes and the only runs he let up was a two run home run hit off a hanging splitter. Schilling still plans on being out for the first two weeks of the season, but everything about yesterday's simulated game seemed positive. Schilling felt good and everyone was happy with the way he threw. Once Schilling gets his season going I predict a near repeat of his near Cy-Young worthy 2004 season.

Bronson Arroyo went six strong innings to get the win in Boston's 7-3 victory over Derek Lowe and the LA Dodgers. Lowe let up only two runs on a two run shot by Kevin Youkilis, but still took the loss.

The current Red Sox ownership has no plans for a new stadium. I've always been torn on this issue. On the one hand, Fenway is a fantastic place to watch a ball game. It has more charactor and more recognizable features than any other stadium in the league. It has a history and it has a unique charm. On the other hand it'd be nice if the Sox were able to add another 15,000 seats in a new stadium. Perhaps that would make tickets a bit cheaper and easier to come by. Besides that, the stadium is pretty old. A nice, new park with all the mordern features could be a positive thing. I honestly have very little to compare Fenway to. The only other ballpark I've been to is Yankee Stadium, a place that I am completely unimpressed with. I'll be heading down to Baltimore to catch a game this year so I'll be able to see what a new ballpark looks like. All that, however, is besides the point. The Red Sox would like to improve upon Fenway and the surrounding neighborhood instead of building a whole new park. The team is looking to add more parking, a subway station on Yawkey Way, improved streets and sidewalks, and a cleaner environment.

On a final note....

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A picture of Lowe in another team's uniform is a beautiful thing.

Fenway has so muych magic and has more spirit that 15 ballparks put together. Yaz and Ted played on that field and so did the great babe ruth. Just think what the fans would do. Fenway is the mother of all parks.
I'm unhappy with this decision. Sure Yaz and Ted played there, but that doesn't affect the ballpark experience today. The seats are uncomfortable, the aisles are too small, the concessions and concourse areas are too small and dank, the capacity is too low, large areas of seats face in a poor direction, and there are way too many obstructed views from poles and the roof overhead for the infield grandstand. These are all areas that need to be addressed to make Fenway a viable ballpark into the future and none of them were mentioned in the article as future improvements. The current owners have done a good job making small improvements, but what I've listed for the most part are massive projects.

As negative as that sounds, if they can make the improvements, than I'll be happy that they stay in Fenway.
Sam, I don't think there'd be too big of an uproar amongst the fans. I think the majority of them are torn like I am. They really like Fenway, but realize that a new park could be even better.

Kellen, I do agree about how history doesn't affect going today. Some people look at me like I'm nuts when I tell them how very unimpressive Yankee Stadium is. They'll say something stupid about how much history is has and how many great players have played there..... Silly me, I thought it was just a generic, ugly place filled with New Yorkers... History is a very, very minor reason on why I like Fenway. I mostly just don't want someone to build a new park in Boston and screw everything up. I don't want a park that looks like every other park in baseball.
History is nice if you can have it, but to me it's one of the last things I'm looking for in a park. If you build a beautiful new field eventually it will have it's own history, and it will have the entire history of the Red Sox franchise behind it.

One thing that isn't really brought up much is something you just mentioned. Do you have any idea how tough it will be to come up with a new park for the Sox? If it's an exact replica of Fenway with more modern amenities people will wonder why we just didn't stay and build modern stuff around the history. If you build a "retro" park like the ones of the last decade that have been modeled after Fenway it will feel like every other park in the majors and it will feel like a cheap rip off. The huge stadiums lack charm. So if you're setting out to build a new park, where do you go?
I'm going to save my final judgement for after we head down to Baltimore next month. I'd like to at least see what a new ballpark has to offer. But I think it'd be damn near impossible to come up with a new design that'd please everyone involved. Hell, just in the outfield alone there's the scoreboard on the monster, the monster itself, the triangle, and the three inches of foul ground that are unique to Fenway.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 12:15 on NESN they're going to carry the press conference talking about how they'll keep Fenway Park. Hopefully they'll disclose the future improvements they'll make.
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