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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Former Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes hates Fenway Park and Wrigley Field

In the Harrington Era, I agreed with Hughes assessment. The changes made by Henry’s group, though, changed my mind. It doesn’t have some of the amenities of the newer older parks but they don’t have Fenway’s charm.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:52 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fenway park, phil hughes, wrigley field

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   1. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5736425)
I suspect from a player's perspective the older parks suck. They don't have the creature comforts that the new places have and that's what they care about.
   2. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5736516)
I suspect from a player's perspective the older parks suck. They don't have the creature comforts that the new places have and that's what they care about.


Yeah - the Cubs, of course, did a YUGE Wrigley renovation too.... and based off of the pics, the home team facilities look pretty sweet and up to par with any other modern park. However, they haven't done nearly - or any - photo ops or big spreads on any of the improvements on the visitor side.

My understanding is the visitors improvements are pretty minor/aesthetic.... so I imagine visiting team views on Wrigley remain fairly.... poor.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5736518)
I just realized that the NFL's Redskins are probably to blame for one of the worst parts of Fenway from a spectator's point of view. Thousands of seats on the right side famously face centerfield, resulting in everyone craning their heads to the left to watch almost all of the action. I had always assumed that it was just a design blunder, as Fenway had been built specifically for baseball. But the major reconstruction of Fenway in the 1930's was during the brief time that the Redskins played there, and I'd guess that the design put some consideration (way too much consideration) into the fact that football would be played there. The only way those seats make sense is for watching a football game.

Am I the last to realize this?
   4. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5736526)
Yeah - the Cubs, of course, did a YUGE Wrigley renovation too.... and based off of the pics, the home team facilities look pretty sweet and up to par with any other modern park. However, they haven't done nearly - or any - photo ops or big spreads on any of the improvements on the visitor side.

My understanding is the visitors improvements are pretty minor/aesthetic.... so I imagine visiting team views on Wrigley remain fairly.... poor.


IIRC, the visitor's locker room is in the last round of renovations, which I think is this offseason. We went to the season ticket holders day this year, so we saw both. Well, they don't let you in the Cubs locker room, but you can see it and it's as awesome as the pictures look (and they don't let you take any of your own pictures there).

They let my kids hit in the visitors cage (and that's pretty small) and the locker room itself is up a few flights of stairs and really is as bad as you've heard - tiny room, really small lockers, old old paint and carpet and didn't feel like any ventilation.

So yes, night and day experience for the home and visiting teams.

I'm not gonna publicly share my pics from this, but if you want to see them zonk, let me know and I'll send you a link.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5736527)
I hadn't heard of that bit of Fenway history - but I do know that when I sat in those CF-facing seats a few years ago, it was pretty obvious that at least our section had been renovated fairly recently, and that they must have put the seats back in the same way as before.
   6. Perry Posted: August 30, 2018 at 06:05 PM (#5736579)
My understanding is the visitors improvements are pretty minor/aesthetic.... so I imagine visiting team views on Wrigley remain fairly.... poor.


C'mon, they don't have to hang their clothes on nails any more, they put up actual hooks. What more do these mollycoddles want? Hot water in the showers?
   7. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 30, 2018 at 07:28 PM (#5736631)
Gotta go with Hughes on this one. Sure, if you've just come up from the minors and are accustomed to pedestrian level amenities, then these old clubhouses are ok.

However if you're used to staying at the 4 Seasons and living in a $9 mil dollar house then spending hours in some dingy clubhouse with poor facilities would be a little maddening. Especially when you consider that the guys that own Wrigley and Fenway aren't exactly struggling for cash.

I've been to both Boston and Chicago and they are both great cities but I wouldn't want to sitting in a stuffy, cramped space with 25 other blokes on an August afternoon with 90F and 80% humidity for any long period of time.
   8. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: August 31, 2018 at 04:25 AM (#5736789)
For a normal or slightly larger person (6'1" 190) most seats in both parks are small and uncomfortable with poor sight lines. Especially Fenway.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 31, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5736857)
I'm sure Hughes's 5.98 career ERA at Fenway has nothing to do with this.
   10. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 31, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5736883)
Like most old parks Fenway has the best and worst seats in baseball. If you get a good seat at Fenway it is virtual perfection. But the bad seats (grandstands 4-6), ugh. The seats where the stands jut out down the third base line is like being in fair territory. You have a better view than the shortstop I think.
   11. Brian C Posted: August 31, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5737065)
For a normal or slightly larger person (6'1" 190) most seats in both parks are small and uncomfortable with poor sight lines. Especially Fenway.

I've been to plenty of parks and the seats in Wrigley are pretty much the same generic seats you find in any stadium anywhere.

Also, 6'2" 250.
   12. Spahn Insane Posted: September 01, 2018 at 12:30 AM (#5737295)
6’2”, 235, had season tickets at Wrigley (500 level) for 15 years, no discomfort. Only been to Fenway once, but had a blast, and the seat was just fine comfort-wise.

As a nod to Jose’s post: I sprang for a good seat at Fenway, which is a major plus of being willing to go out and do stuff alone. Well worth it.
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 01, 2018 at 07:14 AM (#5737323)
Like most old parks Fenway has the best and worst seats in baseball. If you get a good seat at Fenway it is virtual perfection. But the bad seats (grandstands 4-6), ugh. The seats where the stands jut out down the third base line is like being in fair territory. You have a better view than the shortstop I think.

AFAIC the biggest problem by far in either Fenway or Wrigley is that the tickets are so damn expensive. Obviously there are logical reasons for those prices, but those reasons don't make the tickets any more affordable.

I've been to both of those parks a fair number of times, and thought they were both among the top 5 I've visited among the 28 I've gone to, but then all those visits were before dynamic pricing and automatic sellouts became the rule, and even the best seats in the house were available and affordable.

As for Fenway having some of the worst seats in baseball, I agree that the ones down the RF line are horrible, but I'm not sure how much worse they are than sitting in an upper deck seat in a similar location in a typical cantilevered stadium, where upper deck seats down the lines are practically a county away from home plate.
   14. Hysterical & Useless Posted: September 01, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5737360)
I've been to the latest Yankee stadium twice now (free tickets both times!), last year in RF, last week in left. In both cases, view was mostly good, though the immediate corner was obstructed.

Irritating thing was there was an important play in the LF corner last week (double down the line scoring the runner from 1st) which we couldn't see. You'd think they'd show a replay on the ginormous TV screen, right? Nope. Still no idea whether there was a bad bounce, or a minor fumble or double-clutch by Gardner, or what.

Only been to Fenway once, 1979. Out in RF. Long way from home, but cromulent view. Was not invited to either clubhouse.
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 01, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5737366)
As for Fenway having some of the worst seats in baseball, I agree that the ones down the RF line are horrible,
That’s where I was. It as like there was a baseball game going on behind me over my left shoulder. The thing is, the ‘view from seats’ image on stubhub was facing the plate, so the seats looked good when I bought them. There should be a warning.
   16. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 02, 2018 at 12:51 AM (#5737581)
While I haven't been to Wrigley in about ten years, I have been to about 20 games there, and I'd say there are 15,000 seats I would never want. High rows lower grandstand, when they put in the suites overhead, these seats are terrible. Can't see the sky, the PA sound is like being trapped in a trunk of a car listening to the radio. All the upper grandstand behind the poles particularly if you are outside the bases. Exiting the game from up there sucks. I recall a handful of lower level seats that frankly have a lot of cross path fan traffic which gets annoying over the course of a game. Avoid those, and you've got yourself a great seat.

My Fenway experiences (8 games between 1984-2007) are about the same as above. My personal faves are either that LF line sections which face the plate, or right up on roof on either 1B/3B side. Not a friendly place for tall people in the main level.
   17. BDC Posted: September 02, 2018 at 08:43 AM (#5737594)
view was mostly good, though the immediate corner was obstructed


I find this in a lot of parks – due to the fetish of having as little foul ground as possible. In Arlington, you always lose one of the OF corners unless you are in the third deck behind home plate, or the lower deck precisely behind home plate. Is there any other sport where the in-person sightlines so often deliberately obscure part of the playing area?
   18. SandyRiver Posted: September 04, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5738150)
As for Fenway having some of the worst seats in baseball, I agree that the ones down the RF line are horrible, but I'm not sure how much worse they are than sitting in an upper deck seat in a similar location in a typical cantilevered stadium, where upper deck seats down the lines are practically a county away from home plate.

I've only been to 5 MLB parks, none of which still exist, and have been near the back of top decks in 2, pre-reno OYS and Shea. No comparison! At the Stadium one looked down from nearly atop the field (or so it seemed, with the very steep 3rd deck.) At Shea it seemed like the jetliners coming out of LaGuardia were closer than the action on the field. (Did not help that it was a mid-May day with very cool northwest winds howling.)
   19. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 04, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5738165)

I find this in a lot of parks – due to the fetish of having as little foul ground as possible. In Arlington, you always lose one of the OF corners unless you are in the third deck behind home plate, or the lower deck precisely behind home plate. Is there any other sport where the in-person sightlines so often deliberately obscure part of the playing area?


As you might expect the seats on top of the Green Monster are pretty amazing but unless you are in the first row any ball that hits the wall or near it is obscured from your viewpoint.
   20. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 04, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5738175)
But the major reconstruction of Fenway in the 1930's was during the brief time that the Redskins played there, and I'd guess that the design put some consideration (way too much consideration) into the fact that football would be played there. The only way those seats make sense is for watching a football game.


They don't seem to be that great for football, either.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: September 04, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5738179)
They don't seem to be that great for football, either.
I'm not sure we're talking about the same seats. I mean the ones to the left of the near half of the field in your picture. Those are generally facing the correct direction for football.
   22. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 04, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5738190)
They don't seem to be that great for football, either.

Very few stadiums designed for baseball are much good for seeing football from much of the lower deck. Same with most of the multiplexes. In most of these venues the best seats for baseball are the worst ones for football.

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