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The Tropicana Field catwalk strikes again

Jul 18, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

Tropicana Field AP

And now your semi-annual reminder that Tropicana Field is really not fit for the playing of professional baseball games:

The Tampa Bay Rays’ second baseman hit a ball in the eighth inning of Sunday night’s game against Boston that broke a light on an overhanging catwalk down the third-base line. Parts of the light dropped to the playing surface in foul ground between third base and the Boston bullpen. No one was hit by the debris, which took around three minutes to clean up.

Three minutes in a nearly six-hour game doesn’t really make much of a difference, but man, it’s always wacky whenever we’re reminded that we have a major league ballpark that was built in such a way that it cannot properly accommodate batted baseballs.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    Honestly, this place is a dump and poorly constructed baseball park. I was there for several games in their inaugural season when I was stationed in Tampa while in the Air Force and I can tell you that there is many obstuctions on that catwalk that can be hit. The place doesn’t have the feel of a major league baseball park.

    Growing up and going to games at Veterans stadium were bad enough (the Vet was a dump, too). But, even the Vet doesn’t compare to this place. It’s not even close.

    If the Rays plan on staying in Tampa, they need a new stadium.

    • kellyb9 - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      And the one thing the Vet and this place have in common…. multi-purpose stadiums. You shouldn’t play baseball on a football field or in a hockey arena.

      • hittfamily - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        Very wrong. It is not a multi purpose stadium. It sat empty for 15 years til a baseball team showed up. Sure, there were monster truck rallys and such, but the Bucs, Rowdies, Lightning, USF etc have never played there.

      • doworkci - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        yes he is right the lightning played there after they left expo hall at the florida state fairgrounds….tropicana field was once name the thunderdome…..research my friend before you put your foot in your mouth again….

      • hystoracle - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:01 AM

        And USF has played there – there is a yearly College bowl game played on the field now. They and the people of Tampa bay are fully aware that a new stadium is needed if the team intends to stay here.

      • hittfamily - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        Temporary home is far different from “multi purpose stadium”. After the Thunderdome became “Tropicana Field” in 1996, it has never been “home” to anyone but the Rays. The Lightning have Never called Tropicana Field home. They did play 3 seasons in an empty Thunderdome until their stadium was built, but it was because it was an empty building that had seats, not because it was a suitable hockey arena. I guess that makes Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park multi use arenas, rather than baseball fields that once a year play host to a hockey game and a football game.

        From Wikipedia: “Another criticism of the stadium is the drab interior environment, especially early in the (Devil) Rays existence, when the stark concrete interior was compared to a large warehouse. However, since it was designed specifically with baseball in mind, it is somewhat smaller and the atmosphere is somewhat more intimate than in other domed stadiums, which often are built to also accommodate football games.”

        What part of that suggests multi purpose. I dont have to research, but thanks for making me so I could prove my point….my friend

  2. Old Gator - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    The Tropicana Tumulus isn’t fit for bacteria. Time to hollow it out and make it an annex to the Dali Museum. Even dead, he can fill it with more people than the Razed apparently can.

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:32 AM

      Actually I hear the entire place is basically a gigantic petri dish Gator.

  3. bigxrob - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    Was the Trop built for the Rays when they were awarded the franchise, or was the building already there?

    • halladaysbiceps - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:28 AM

      It was already there for sometime prior to being awarded the franchise.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:34 AM

        It was a trap for a MLB team basically taking 6 years to lure one in and snap the door shut behind them….

      • kopy - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:35 AM

        Completed in ’90. They first tried to get the White Sox when they were having trouble getting New Comiskey (probably just an empty threat to anguish taxpayers), and then they lost out on the Rockies/Marlins expansions and had to wait until the next go-around.

      • doworkci - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:57 AM

        not to mention the giants

  4. hittfamily - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    So a foul ball hits the catwalk once a month. Big deal. It impedes play far less than the overwhelming stench of B.O., urine, and gunshot residue like that abortion Yankee stadium. The flies flew to Joba in the playoffs because even they couldnt take the smell of the Bronx. That place could gag a maggot.

    A seagull gets hit by a popup at least once a week on flyballs in Fenway, yet the media fail to report it. Im not a bird expert, but everytime I’ve been to a landfill I have seen a massive flock of seagulls. Seagulls like dumps I guess.

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:33 AM

      • APBA Guy - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:55 AM

        Check out “She Drives Me Crazy” posted by Len under Craig;s ‘Turn around, bright eyes” heading.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 18, 2011 at 12:00 PM

        Ah…Fine Young Cannibals—and appropos to Rupert’s probable view of Brooks right now.

  5. Utley's Hair - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    I seem to remember my high school and grade school having some sort of cage around lights and clocks to avoid glass being broken from errant throws and such. And that was in the 80s and 90s—hence the Flock of Seagulls video above. 8) Seems cutting edge technology took a back seat to the circus theme at the Big Trop.

  6. aceshigh11 - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Hmm, not quite Roy Hobbs blasting one into the lighting rig at the end of The Natural.

    • hittfamily - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:05 AM

      They did have enough humor about the situation to play the song from “The Natural” though, then “Walking on Broken Glass” between innings.

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