Friday, September 16, 2005

Baseball fever, lawn striping and Rex Sox blunders

Who would have guessed it after an awful April and early May, but the Cleveland Indians are playing great baseball and look like they may make it into the post-season. Right now, they are 1/2 game up in the wild card race over the Yankees, and only 4 1/2 games behind the Chicago White Sox for the division.

I was at a game the other night and around me people were asking, “How do they make those designs in the grass?” Designs range from checkerboards and stripes to an American Flag at Fenway Stadium and starburst at Comerica Park at this year's All Star game.

Those in the landscape business may already know all about lawn striping. But what interested me is how striping is catching on, not just at MLB ballparks, but at regular homes. I recently saw an article from a local paper, the Akron Beacon Journal, about it.

(I was also looking for a picture from the 2004 World Series with the intricately-designed Red Sox logo striped in the outfield. I actually couldn’t find a picture, but did find an article about the Red Sox field being completely renovated last off-season. It looks like the Sox wanted to cut down on their errors, and were blaming the field for their poor defense. Last year, they made 105 errors: 66 at home in Fenway Park and 39 on the road. Seems pretty convincing. But this season, with their new and improved field conditions, they have already made 103, the fifth worst in the majors. I’ll have to wait for the off-season and the Bill James Handbook to see how their errors broke down home vs. away. The point of this all is that it’s a poor player who blames his equipment, or in this case, the field. But I suppose there’s just no accounting for SS Edgar Renteria, who personally have committed 27, or about 1/4 of the team’s errors.)

In any case, I can’t wait until the playoffs. I just hope that I get to go down to Jacobs Field and see a big Chief Wahoo logo in the outfield grass come October.

— Mike Seuffert

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