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Monday, September 25, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks - Tampa Bay Rays

Part 6: Tropicana Field
When I was a wee lad, there were a handful of parks that were almost exactly alike, and a whole bunch more that didn’t stray too far from the basic template – fully enclosed fields, with symmetrical walls (often with the stupid yellow line four inches from the top of the fence) and, often, covered with turf. The National League was swimming in these. They were called cookie cutters, a nickname not bestowed with fondness.
Tropicana Field is the opposite of those sterile ashtrays, at least compared with its peers. It’s the last traditional fixed dome left, and one of just two parks with the fake stuff on the floor. It’s got the catwalks that come into play. Nothing else in the sport is like it. It’s also the only current ballpark built on spec, constructed in hope of landing a major league team, which it did eight years after it was built.
Alas, just being different isn’t enough, as the Trop is generally regarded as the league’s worst venue, by quite some margin. 
Still, even crappy ballparks deserve a good name (or do they? I don’t really know). So, let’s give the fans of Tampa-St. Pete something they can be proud of when they stay as far away from the park as possible on game nights.
But if finding a great moniker for this crappy venue doesn’t excite you, let’s consider this an opportunity to find a suitable name for its eventual replacement.
Ballpark History

Built: 1990
Capacity: 42,735 (naked), 31,042 (with tarp).
Name: Tropicana Field, 1998-present. Stadium was also known as Florida Suncoast Dome and Thunderdome (non-Mad Max version) before being occupied by Rays.
Other ballparks used by club in its current city: None
Distinctive Features: The aforementioned catwalks, the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame, the Ray-filled Touch Tank beyond the right-centerfield fence, the dank, the dank.

Ballpark Highlights:
In 1999, Wade Boggs became the first player to homer for his 3,000th hit.

In 2005, cheapskate owner Vince Naimoli had a Mets scout ejected from the ballpark for using his private bathroom.

In 2008, after a decade of spectacular futility, the newly christened Rays played their first home playoff game, a 6-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox en route to their lone World Series appearance. The game was punctuated by Evan Longoria homers on his first two postseason plate appearances and the appearance of those godforsaken cowbells.

In 2011, the Rays rallied from a 7-0 deficit against the New York Yankees, capped by Dan Johnson’s walkoff homer in the bottom of the ninth. The victory completed an improbable final-month comeback to claim the AL wild card over the Chicken and Beer Red Sox.


TBtB Selections To Date:


San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park

Washington Nationals -
Nationals Park

SoSH U at work Posted: September 25, 2017 at 10:35 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: stadium names

Monday, September 11, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks - Washington Nationals

Part 5: Nationals Park

The rare modern stadium without a corporate sponsor. Alas, Nationals Park doesn’t exactly ring out as requiring a lot of deep thought, though it is a nod to the place that predated old Griffith Stadium.

One would think the club’s D.C. location would offer ample naming opportunities for the ballpark. Then again, one would think the club’s D.C. location offered the architects ample opportunities for exciting backdrops, and they failed miserably in what’s an otherwise OK park, as I recall from my one visit there.

If nothing else, can we try to keep this thread from going all OTP: Politics, please?

Ballpark History


Built: 2008

Capacity: 41,339

Name: Nationals Park (2008-present)

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: RFK Stadium 2005-07. Previous DC teams played at Griffith Stadium, 1911-1965, Boundary/Nationals Field, 1895-1911

Distinctive Features: A sliver of the crowd can get a glimpse of the Capitol. Cherry blossoms line the leftfield pavilion.

Ballpark Highlights: Randy Johnson beat the Nats 5-1 to win his 300th career game while pitching for the Giants.

President Barack Obama threw out the first pitch to kick off the 2010 season, a toss that proved conclusively that baseball was not his sport.

In 2010, top pick Stephen Strasburg was absurdly dominant in his closely watched Major League debut, striking out 14 Pirates* and walking none in seven innings. 

In 2012, after almost seven full seasons of futility that bore striking similarities to another famous Washington outfit, the Generals, Teddy Roosevelt won the President’s Race.

Jayson Werth’s ninth-inning home run off Lance Lynn gave the Nats a 2-1 victory in Game 4 of the NLDS, the first time Washingtonians had seen the home nine win a postseason game in 79 years.

*At the time, the equivalent of fanning 11 major league hitters.


TBtB Selections To Date:


San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park

SoSH U at work Posted: September 11, 2017 at 10:28 AM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: stadium names, washington nationals

Taking Back the Ballparks - Red Sox Unconstitutional Executive Order Thread

This was not an easy call. While there was some support for conducting a vote, even if it was a mere formality, there was even more backing for simply calling Fenway the winner. Moreover, there was a substantial undercurrent of thought that even having a vote threatened the project itself. It’s not an opinion I share, but given I’m relying on the support of Primates to keep thing going, it’s one I have to take seriously. Thus, I hereby proclaim that Fenway Park is the name of choice for the ballpark played by the Olde Towne Team.

The next team will be announced soon.

 

SoSH U at work Posted: September 11, 2017 at 10:04 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, red sox douche, stadium names

Monday, August 28, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks - Padres voting thread

Unlike our two previous installments, the Padres nominating thread didn’t seem to generate a consensus choice for a name for the lovely little ballpark near the Pacific Ocean. And opinion was equally spread with our nominating committee, which is why a hefty six choices will be put before the electorate. As was the case with the Rangers, if you choose one of the selections, you’ll be asked to follow up with a second question.

Voting will conclude one week from today, at which point we’ll announce Team No. 4.

Choose One:
A) Ballast Point
B) Gaslight Grounds
C) The Mission
      1) Alone
      2) Mission Field
D) Padres Park
E) The Shipyard
F) Tony Gwynn Field

Edit: So we have a winner. The Cs dominated, with nearly equal support for The Mission and Mission Field. In the narrowest competition yet, Mission Field claimed the honor.

Choices to date:

San Francisco Giants: China Basin
Texas Rangers: The Ballpark in Arlington
San Diego Padres: Mission Field

SoSH U at work Posted: August 28, 2017 at 11:16 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: stadium names

Monday, July 31, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks - Giants voting thread

We have selected four potential names as a replacement for the replacement for the replacement for PacBell Park, which, as corporate names go, wasn’t half-bad. They are listed below.

Choose one of the four choices, then add in the full name you prefer. If you like Pacific, but think it should be Pacific Grounds, choose C, then write in the preferred full name.

If you’d like to continue to debate the merits of the four choices, please do so at the nominating thread. Leave this thread just for voting, if you would.

And, it should go without saying that we are restricting this to one vote per Primate. And, just so you know, I’ve got Kobach on speed dial and that SOB is just itching to dig up some irregularities.

A) China Basin
B) Golden Gate
C) Pacific
D) West Bay

Edit: BTF’s winning selection has been boldfaced. It’s China Basin, unencumbered by any park, ballpark, stadium or grounds appendage.

SoSH U at work Posted: July 31, 2017 at 10:04 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, stadium names

Monday, July 17, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks - San Francisco Giants

Welcome to the initial nominating thread of Taking Back the Ballparks, where today’s palatial, taxpayer-funded ballyards will be reclaimed from Fortune 500 companies, in-pocket politicians and onerous owners, and returned to the fans who fill them. Over the course of however long this takes, we’re going to select new, distinct and appropriate names for each of the 30 major league ballparks instead of the corporate-sponsored monstrosities they currently call themselves. And, in some cases, we might determine the old sobriquet was just fine.

To get this series started correctly, we’re going right to the stadium in most need of a permanent moniker makeover: AT&T Park, a ballpark that’s already had more legal name changes than a member of the extended Kardashian Klan.

One of the absolute gems* of the HOK era, the stadium has been an upgrade over the Giants previous home in every way but one. Candlestick was a glorious name for a ballpark, either in its full or nicknamed version (the Stick). AT&T will never be anything but the name of a phone company.

Now, you can fix that. In this thread, suggest a replacement for the Giants stadium, and make a case why this new name is preferable. Given the source material (San Francisco and the Bay Area and a history-rich franchise), there should be no shortage of potentially evocative names just waiting to be tapped.

In two weeks, we’ll close nominations here, at my blog and anywhere else that might piggyback onto this exercise. With the help of a few other Primates, we’ll select up to four finalists from the nominees and we’ll begin a full vote to be taken exclusively here at BTF.

* By all other accounts. As with the case with most of the parks, I haven’t been there, so I can only go on the reports of others. The baseball writing staff at the Washington Post just slotted it No. 1 among the MLB 30, for instance.


Ballpark History
Name: AT&T Park (previously Pacific Bell Park, SBC Park)
Built: 2000
Capacity: 41,915
Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Candlestick (aka 3Com Park), 1960-1999, Seals Stadium 1958-1959)
Distinctive Features: As many as you’ll find anywhere. The Coke Bottle and Glove in Left; 24-foot high brick wall in right; McCovey Cove.

Ballpark Highlights:
Giants have played in four World Series since park opened in 2000, winning three. However, none of the title-clinching games took place there, nor was the Game 7 loss to Anaheim in the 2002 Fall Classic.
Matt Cain threw baseball’s 22nd perfect game there in 2012.
Neifi Perez scored on an infield fly.
Ruben Rivera engaged in “the worst baserunning in the history of the game.”
Barry Bonds played a lot of games at the place.

SoSH U at work Posted: July 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 205 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, stadium names

 

 

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