The dead ball era ended again last night. The red turd cardinals chased Clayton Kershaw way too early. It was a horrible anomaly in a post season that has featured shutouts and 1-0 games, Mendoza line batting averages, and strikeouts galore. But it will start again tonight with Max Scherzer on the mound.
Pitchers have surpassed hitters in complete mastery, for now anyway.
But the see saw will tilt back in favor of sluggers some day. some way. It always does. It was only four decades or so ago when the powers that be lowered the pitcher’s mound after Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and Sandy Koufax made hitters look foolish for too long.
So maybe it’s time again to lower the mound or alter the composition of the ball or move in the home run fences or delve into what baseball writer William Miller wondered the other day- the next wave of stadium nuances…..
Candlestick Park sat at Hunter’s Point in south San Francisco. Pacific Ocean winds blew hot dog wrappers across the infield and outfield interrupting games. Fans called Candlestick the coldest place to play baseball on earth and the worst too. So did the players. It was and still is my favorite stadium.
It was more than the wind. It was the rocks jetting above the stadium steel and concrete. You could see em’ while seated in the lower grandstand. There were no air conditioners, no retractable domes. There were no swimming pools beyond center field, no carnival distractions in the concourse. It was a baseball stadium, not a shopping mall.
The Giants were never good while playing in Candlestick Park so it didn’t serve them as a home field advantage, but it could have. If those rocks had been integrated into the playing field as maybe a home run wall, the Giants could have drafted with a 6th tool in mind—“great rock climber with agility, concentration, and a fearless instinct.”
Each stadium architecture in this ridiculous vision could integrate the local environment much like Frank Lloyd Wright did. Players would be way more selective about where they play, but it wouldn’t be about money or winning.
It’d be about tip toeing around jelly fish while trying to steal a bases in Miami or avoiding such hardship. You get the idea. There are 30 teams in 30 different locations. Even Queens is different than the Bronx. That’s plenty of climates and conditions to let nature run wild through the stadium walls.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have geology and geography to study and a book on Friedensreich Hundertwasser to read. There are limestone quarries in and around Milwaukee and somehow, someway I want them to be a challenge to St. Louis Cardinal pitchers in 2014.