Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Open Letter to The Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club

I know what you are thinking: open letters are hacky blogger cliche 1a. But this is a copy of an actual email I sent to the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club. Please excuse the ass-kissy tone, my attempts to grease the wheels of progress are awkward at best. If you think this is a sound idea, feel free to email the team and demand they listen to my inane ramblings.

As a Toronto Blue Jay fan, I'd like to praise the improvements made to the Rogers Centre over the last few years. It has certainly become a much better place to take in and enjoy a baseball game. The additional video boards throughout the building provide fans with more information, though additional information regarding opposing pitchers and relievers would be greatly appreciated. I recognize the amount of ad revenue these boards represent but hopefully an equilibrium could be reached to appease the dedicated fan base that drives you business.

The changes to the field of play have been the most pleasantly surprising. The contrast in appearance and performance of the new Fieldturf surface to Astroturf is quite shocking. Video footage featuring the the old neon-green surface can be quite harsh on the eyes, not to mention the incredible impact the old surface had on the game itself.

This brings me my main point, or request as it were. I propose that the outfield fences be lowered by two feet to create more excitement for both players and fans alike.

I can only assume (based on anecdotal evidence) that the fences at the Rogers Centre are so high (10 feet) because of the incredibly springy, bouncy Astroturf which was the playing surface for so many years. A constant stream of balls bounding over the walls, leading to endless ground-rule doubles and reducing the action and excitement of the game. The installation of Fieldturf has rendered this point moot. The new playing surface behaves much like grass, even as Torii Hunter said "slower than grass." The new surface has resulted in the Rogers Centre yielding the 6th most triples per game. This is strange for a ballpark of symmetrical design, and is ostensibly due to balls slowing on the turf and dying in the gaps.

This is no longer a facility which needs to protect against bouncing balls and game slow-downs. US Cellular Field features almost identical dimensions but has uniform 8 foot high fences. With two excellent defensive outfielders under long-term contracts, the subtle change to the home field is one that could benefit the club without being unfair to visiting teams. Lowering the fences would not impact potential advertising space, nor would it present any type of safety challenge or impact either bullpen in a profound way.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my request, I hope that it is considered in time for the 2009 season.


  1. i am DOWN. would be sweet to see rios and wells bring back would-be home runs...

  2. Did you ever get a response on this?


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