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The Rays change the rules regarding balls off the catwalks

Oct 4, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

It’s not often that you see a ground rules change in midstream, but Major League Baseball has approved of new ones for Tropicana Field, effective for the playoffs.

Specifically, for balls off the A&B catwalks (i.e. the two highest rings). Previously, if a ball hit those rings, the ball was in play, and it was fair or foul depending on where it came down. Now, balls that hit those two catwalks are dead balls.

In effect, a play that often serves to bring embarrassment on everyone involved — the ballpark, the defenders trying to track it and the batter standing on first base trying to figure out what to do — will now become a do-over.

I suppose this is better. Not as good as a ballpark suitable for the playing of baseball games, but better.

  1. Jonny5 - Oct 4, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    Why not just torch the lid off that abomination?

  2. easports82 - Oct 4, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    How about an updated picture of the Trop? They’ve added giant bats and balls to the exterior columns to show people that baseball is actually played there.

  3. Jonny5 - Oct 4, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    Any post season predictions Craig?? Aaron?? Drew??

  4. Detroit Michael - Oct 4, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    I predict that you won’t read any post-season predictions on this blog today. They’ve got two more days to fill before Wednesday’s games start!

  5. Utley's hair - Oct 4, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Damn…carnival…theme…stuck…in…my…head…shoot…me…now!!!!!!!!

  6. ttwsglen - Oct 4, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    I have to disagree. Those plays always gave the game a backyard wiffleball quality. I wouldn’t want that in every major league park. I wouldn’t want that in just about any major league park. But one park? Kinda fun.

  7. RichardInBigD - Oct 4, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Oh, sure, just as Josh Hamilton, one of the few in the game capable of hitting something that monstrous, is about to descend on this toilet, they change the freakin’ rules!!! I fear what this may do to visiting hitters psyches in games where all 7,000 Rays fans are screaming wildly. This is bulls*%t!!! I’m sure Bud Light signed off on this. Hell, he may have even suggested it.

  8. Old Gator - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:03 AM

    Only the lid? The Tropicana Dump should be immolated in a synchronized dynamiting, then carpet bombed until the largest piece left, when dropped into a fishtank, would elude a diatomaceous earth aquarium fileter. My only concern is that shares of Forest Labs would take a hit because of the reduced demand for Lexapro from Rays fans who no longer had to endure three hours of that place, the entertainment equivalent of being prematurely interred.

  9. ejjames - Oct 5, 2010 at 5:14 AM

    If a ball hits the catwalk at Tropicana Field and no fans are there to hear it, does it make a sound?

  10. JB (the original) - Oct 5, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    Doesn’t seem right to change the rule at this time. The game has been played in one fashion all year (and I would imagine have had plays affected by it) and as such the rules should stay consistent for the postseason, otherwise you could have teams saying ‘well, if that rule was in place back on July 17th….we woulda/coulda….’ Now, there’s no doubt that the catwalk rules should be changed, but it should be from the beginning of day 1 next year. Bud, if it was so problematic that you didn’t want to be embarrassed on National Television for goofy plays/rules, shouldn’t it have been that way all season?

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