Tag Archives: Home-T-Dome-T

The outfield walls

I realize that Rogers runs the Blue Jays as if it were just an advertising opportunity for its cellphones. I realize the Dome is not a baseball-specific stadium and we’re unlikely to ever see the standards of real grass and actual warning tracks be part of the field. It sucks, but I’ve come to terms with those things.

Imagine Devo pulling back a home run...

Ads, ads everywhere, overpriced beer and a generally horrible atmosphere for baseball are the price to be paid for attending a baseball game in Toronto. Fine. There is one thing I’d like to see fixed though: The outfield walls.

The first issue with the walls is that, at 10 feet high, they’re too tall. GROF did a fine job on that topic a while back though, so instead of rehashing what’s already been said, I’ll just direct you to the post.

The issue I want to tackle is a very simple one: Those damn video boards that are part of the outfield walls.

Look, I’m fine with being bombarded with advertising at the Dome. I’m used to it. No problem. But when the advertising starts affecting the actual gameplay, well, I’m not so cool with that.

How do the videoboards affect the game? I’m glad you asked (even if you didn’t).

You may recall that during Saturday afternoon’s game, Fred Lewis got thrown out trying to turn a double into a triple. Did FdotLew overestimate his own speed? Was the throw an on-target missile that even Rickey Henderson could not have beat?

Why did Lewis get thrown out?

Thankfully I had my portable radio with me at the game (yes, I’m that guy) so I was fortunate enough to hear third-base coach Brian Butterfield explain to Mike Wilner why Lewis was thrown out on that play. Here, from Wilner’s blog, is the explanation:

Brian Butterfield told me that Lewis said he couldn’t really see the ball because of the videoboards on the wall in the gaps, and that that’s a pretty common thing.  Lewis didn’t know a throw was already coming.  The answer should be that if you’re not 100% sure you’ll make it into third base standing – and knowing exactly where the ball is as you hit second is a pretty important variable – you have to stay at second.

It’s the damn video boards! Wilner’s right, you should stick at second if you don’t know where the ball is, but that’s only addressing the symptom. The real problem is the fact that those video boards are out there to begin with.

Rogers, please. Make one concession to baseball fans. Fix the outfield walls. Lower the height to eight feet and get rid of the damn video boards.

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Scapegoating the wrist

Hola amigos. It’s been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I’ve been kinda overdosing on the Olympics lately. As great as those two weeks were, it’s over now and baseball and warm weather are here to save the day.

I’d been making a small effort to stay on top of any big news from the Jays’ camp, but I obviously missed some things. Some things like this interview that Alex Anthopoulos gave to the Fan 590 last Friday. Speaking about Vernon Wells and his new role as “team leader,” Anthopoulos said the following:

I talked to him about it (VW’s wrist) and he said it’s fine, he feels great. I said how does it compare to last spring and he said ‘oh you know, it’s night and day.’ You know, last spring, it was bothering him and our trainers had to inject him to take the pain away and he had to take anti-inflammatories the entire year and, uh, obviously once he was done playing and he was off the anti-inflammatories, the pain started to come back. Again, he won’t complain about it and he certainly won’t point to it as a reason for him not having as strong as a year as he would have hoped for, but I certainly believe that it certainly did impact the year that he did have and he certainly feels good about it. I expect Vernon to bounce back and have a strong year for us.

I like Anthopoulos, I really do, but I have a problem with what he said there.

THE WRIST WAS NOT VERNON’S PROBLEM LAST YEAR.

Seriously, I thought that had been covered enough and accepted as fact. Why is it still being trotted out as an excuse for his poor performance last year, and trotted out by the general manager no less!

Now I’m not going to accuse VW or the team of lying about a wrist injury — you’d have to be insane to undergo unnecessary wrist surgery — surely there was something wrong there. But, if there’s anyone reading this who believes that the wrist was the cause of the poor stats, could you please explain to me why it only really seemed to bother him in the Dome?

Just take a look at VW’s home and away splits last season. He was, offensively, well above league average on the road.

Did his wrist magically stop bothering him when he left Canada? Is there something about the Dome, perhaps lighting or some sort of colour scheme in the stadium, that makes it hard for him to pick up pitches there? Was he actually affected by all the negativity flowing his way from the team’s “fans”?

Unless Wells himself comes out and explains it, I guess we’ll never know the reason. But we can say this: His poor performances at the Dome were not because of his wrist injury.

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Party time. Wooo

stoned lightningTonight’s the big celebration down at the SkyDome. Players from the glory days of ’92 and ’93 will be there in person, signing autographs and participating in some kind of ceremony.

When this was announced before the season began, I viewed the Back2Back as a crass attempt to draw people out to the ballpark when the season’s effectively over and the Baltimore Shitbirds are in town by celebrating the 16th and 17th (hollowware and furniture?) anniversaries of the team’s World Series championships, and I wanted no part of it.

So I jumped at the chance to spend the weekend hanging out by the Georgian Bay.

A strange thing has happened in the last few days though: I’m getting nostalgic for those teams that knew how to win and find myself kinda sorta wishing I could be there to relive it with them (And maybe even meet Dave Stieb!)

But I can’t. So I’m sticking with the party line that it’s a crass ticket grab and I’m going to drink beer by a fire.

I don’t and won’t regret this decision, but I do hope they do this again on a real anniversary (20, 25 maybe?)

I also hope that next time these guys are honoured, the Jays team of the time will be winning and these guys will really be honoured instead of being the bait on the hook that Rogers is trying to catch all of us with.

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Off-day thoughts

I haven’t posted in a while because, well, I’ve been lazy. But also because I haven’t really had anything to really add to the discussion. So here are some thoughts I’ve been sitting on:

• Friday night, I watched Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final instead of the Jays game. I felt conflicted about this, but the thought of watching Sidney Crosby win his first Cup won out. (Have a soft spot for fellow Nova Scotians.)

Anyway, I’m glad I made the choice I did. Not only did I get to see Crosby win, I didn’t have to watch Doc Halladay get injured. I ended up having a good night instead of the agonizing night I’d have had down at the Home-T-Dome-T.

• Looking at my stats the other day, someone happened upon this site by searching the terms “interleague play sucks shit”. It’s true. Interleague play does suck shit, especially since the freaking Florida Marlins just swept our Jays and are now 17-4 all time against the Torontos.

• Other than the fact that the Jays might need him in the rotation until Doc gets back at the very least, if I make another post arguing that Casey Janssen might be better used out of the bullpen, will people still disagree with me?

• A recent Sports Illustrated briefly mentioned that David Ortiz’s struggles may have something to do with a hand injury he suffered last year. We all know Lyle Overbay struggled for quite a while after his hand injury. What are the chances that Vernon Wells’ struggles are linked to the broken wrist he suffered last year?

• I wonder how many times A.J. Burnett pulled a stunt like this in Toronto only to have the nice media here look the other way.

• Here’s an interesting interview The Cito gave on June 10 in which he talks about why there’s no need to change the lineup. He then changed the lineup on June 12.

• And the blog roll grows! Look to the left and you’ll see that John MacDonald’s Cabinet and the Te of Inglett have joined the shortlist. Check them out!

• I know the Drunks already posted what’s below, but I want to get it up here, even if it’s just for me. Catch the taste!

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Domer, where are you?

Domer the turtle and BJ Birdy

So the SkyDome turns 20 today and all I can do is wonder what happened to Domer the Turtle. I know Rogers wanted to rebrand everything (why they couldn’t call it the Rogers SkyDome, I’ll never understand) but Domer seems to have almost completely disappeared.

Save for a few brief mentions on random websites (like this one dedicated to another former mascot from which I stole the above the above picture) and one brief appearance at a game earlier this year in hand puppet form (that nice usher lady — you know the one, “When I say Vernon, you say hit!” — never disappoints) it’s almost like the dude in a half shell doesn’t exist anymore.

Does anybody out there know anything about Domer except that he was formerly the stadium’s mascot?

One more thing

I lied when I said Domer was the only thing I could think about. I can also read (and think about!) this great article Sports Illustrated put together when the Dome opened. Worth a read if even just to laugh at the “stadium of the future!” claims and the great alternate suggestions as to what the stadium should be named: Dome Perignon, Pierre Trudome, Home-T-Dome-T and the Michael J. Fox Dome.

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