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Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 11 posts ] 
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 Post subject: Turf
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 1775
Location: Baltimore
Over the past several years I haven't followed baseball as closely as I used to--especially the National League. I don't know much about some of the new stadiums, for instance.

I grew up thinking the National League had lots of artificial turf fields, while the American League had far fewer (KC being one with turf). But several stadiums have replaced their turf with sod, and some stadiums that had turf have been replaced by stadiums with sod, right? And the AL's Twins switched to turf. And the Rays have turf, right? So, I'm behind the times, I guess.

I missed my only chance to see a game in the Astrodome, which I regret because I've never been in a large dome or seen baseball on artificial turf. Does anyone know which teams have gotten rid of their turf?

[FWIW, I don't like turf. Am glad for new sod technology that allows quick drainage in case of rain.]

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:35 pm 
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Location: 60'6" from home plate
I think the only fake surfaces left in MLB are in Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Toronto.

I'm with you -- synthetic turf is evil for baseball. I had a chance to play on it (in the Metrodome) many years ago (on its original extra-bouncy turf). It was surreal -- like playing on a living-room carpet. The hops were true, but infield grounders on the first couple of bounces really accelerate because of the topspin -- much more so than on grass. Running on it was dicey, mainly because when you plant to stop, you STOP. I think that's what wears the knees and hips over time as much as the lack of much cushion.

The new FieldTurf fake turf is apparently much easier on the legs, as it's laid on a clay/sand/ground rubber base instead of on concrete, and the footing is better -- it doesn't grab your feet like Astroturf. I photographed a football game on one of these fields a month ago, and by the end of the game my ankles and feet were covered in little fake turf grass blades (I'm still vacuuming them out of my car). The surface is definitely an improvement, but I still wouldn't want to play baseball on it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:13 pm 
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Location: Washington
Jeff's right. Time and advances in technology improve all things, and today's FieldTurf is much more springy and natural-feeling than AstroTurf or Tartan Turf.

I remember in 1984, when Seattle Seahawks running back Curt Warner tore up his knee in the season-opening game after getting his cleat caught in a snag in the AstroTurf at the late and unlamented Kingdome, he said something to the effect of: "This isn't a fit surface for a professional athlete. It's like playing football on a carpet remnant in somebody's concrete basement after the cats tore it up."


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:04 pm 
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Location: Baltimore
Thanks, guys. Didn't realize there were so few turf fields left. Maybe Tejada will be a better shortstop in the NL than the AL.

Have heard so many horror stories from non-pro football players about the first few generations of turf. Glad my intramural games during high school were played before turf replaced the sod.

Wonder how much more productive longtime Expos like Andre Dawson and Vlad Guerrero would have been had they not abused their knees and shoulders playing on the hard turf in Montreal.

From childhood until recent years I memorized baseball statistics--for seasons, careers, games, innings, what have you. These mean less to me every day because of the changes in scheduling; number of teams; opportunities for minorities; stadiums; gear; questionable means of improving individuals' abilities, etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:05 am
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Location: Chicago
Quote:
From childhood until recent years I memorized baseball statistics--for seasons, careers, games, innings, what have you. These mean less to me every day because of the changes in scheduling; number of teams; opportunities for minorities; stadiums; gear; questionable means of improving individuals' abilities, etc.


I have to ask -- what part about minorities having opportunities turned you off from memorizing baseball stats?
...

Turf is evil: I watched Bears receiver Wendell Davis tear both of his ACLs, simultaneously, in 1993 while running a route in Veterans Stadium, which must have had the worst turf ever. He was running a route, the ball was thrown to him, he had an Eagles defender beat, if I remember correctly, and then he just ... fell. Later I found out that a seam in the turf had caught his foot, tripping him and somehow ripping the ligaments in both his knees. His career was over.
I know this is really snobby, but I think less of teams that play their home games in turfed domes. Teams like the Rams and the Colts -- their recent championships mean less to me because they don't play in the elements the way "real" football teams do.

I know this is a baseball forum. Sorry.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:24 am 
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Location: Baltimore
Mr. V wrote:
I have to ask -- what part about minorities having opportunities turned you off from memorizing baseball stats?


I'm increasingly bothered by the differences in the game between eras, as far as statistics go. For instance, racial segregation made it easier for players to compile gaudy stats far into the 1940s.
Great players have been coming from Latin America for several decades. More players are coming from Asia.
This has been good for the game and for society, but change confuses the issue of stats.

Quote:
Turf is evil: I watched Bears receiver Wendell Davis tear both of his ACLs, simultaneously, in 1993 while running a route in Veterans Stadium, which must have had the worst turf ever. ...


A friend played in a Pop Warner tournament there. Was glad to get out with his joints and brain intact. Had terrible abrasions on his arms.[/quote]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:05 am
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Location: Chicago
Ah, I see.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:23 pm 
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Location: Chicago
One more reason to hate turf: disease. Gross!

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=alxhrJDn.cdc


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:39 pm
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Location: Central Texas
Hmm, let's check that hed: Texas Football Succumbs to Virulent Staph Infection From Turf.

First of all, if high school football has died out down here, I must have missed the obit. Best I know, the state championship games were held in each division earlier this month.

Second, let's read the story:
Quote:
The department wasn't able to obtain enough data to establish a statistical link between artificial turf and MRSA infections, [Marilyn Felkner, the epidemiologist who led these studies] said.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:05 am
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Location: Chicago
Yes, there's a mistake in the hed, but that was not the point. And the fact that a state department couldn't obtain this data doesn't help the story's cause much, and it was not a perfect story by any means.
It's an interesting issue -- I'd never even thought of the possibility of turf-borne illness, but after reading this, it seems such an obvious haven for germs. I'd like to see someone study this, especially in light of MRSA, and find out if there's a difference between real grass and turf in terms of incidences of disease. I'm sure there's no shortage of anecdotal evidence, being that artificial turf has been around for so long.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 7:18 pm 
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Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
Wayne wrote: while running a route in Veterans Stadium...


****I was pressed into service covering the Phillies a couple times in the mid-'70s, and thus I was on that turf a number of times. It was horrible. I don't know how anyone could play there without destroying their ACLs.

Also, I once had to grab a loose baseball that bounced toward me. It made me wonder how the hell anyone could play the infield there.


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