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The Fenway infield remains awful

May 10, 2010, 4:12 PM EDT

Fenway infield.jpgPeople were complaining about the Fenway Park infield when I was a kid. Heck, they were probably complaining about it when Jerry Remy and Glenn Hoffman were kids. Tall grass. Bad bounces. Gophers and stuff. Just all kinds of nastiness.

I figured that bit of charm had largely gone away, what with the meticulous makeover Fenway has seen over the years. But apparently that’s not the case, as Nick Cafardo collects multiple quotes from Red Sox and Yankees players, all of whom preface or end their complaints by saying “not that you can really complain . . .”

On the list of things that bother me in baseball, this comes in somewhere below the fact that men don’t wear straw boater hats to games anymore and somewhere above the fact that ketchup and relish gang up on mustard and cheat to win the Sugardale Hot Dog race during Columbus Clippers games at Huntington Park.  It’s just one of them things.  In the case of the infield grass it’s part of home field advantage and, though frustrating, it’s no different than ballparks having different sight lines and wall configurations and all of that.

Will it ever change?  Maybe.  The Cubs did an overhaul of their notoriously awful infield grass before the 2009 season, and now it appears to play a lot smoother than it used to.  The Red Sox could do something like that if they wanted to.

My guess though: they won’t, at least until they sign the next circa-2000 Alex Rodriguez who makes a point of demanding it. And given how long the Sox have gone without a big deal shortstop, don’t hold your breath.

  1. Dan W - May 10, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    In regards to the Sugardale race at Huntington…
    Which is worse, the fact that Ketchup is 0-13 in all the games I have been there…or the fact that I keep track?

  2. michael standish - May 10, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    That infield makeover at Wrigley was not, in fact, done in 20009; it just felt like it.

  3. d - May 10, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    They actually dug up the infield and re-did it not to long ago (put in new drainage, leveled it, etc). Of course, with all the concerts, ice-hockey and other assorted events, I imagine the infield substrate is not that great, and needs to be re-done.

  4. d - May 10, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    it was very recent – the field was over-hauled in 2005!
    http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2005/01/25/a_new_field_of_dreams?mode=PF
    I guess it didn’t last very long

  5. Chris - May 10, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    I took a tour of Fenway in March and they said they had all new grass installed. They had scare coyotes on the field to keep geese away!

  6. JT - May 11, 2010 at 12:38 AM

    Craig, I’m gonna call your bluff and demand a good rant on why men need to wear straw boater hats to games. I definitely want to read that one.

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