Monday, May 28, 2007

Arlington Gnashin'; A.L. Symmetry

Never in my lifetime had the Red Sox swept a three-game series in Arlington...until this weekend. This gets me thinking about the old ballpark there, in which we always had so much trouble, regardless of how well we were doing otherwise. I miss that old park. Arlington Stadium was her name.

There was something sensual about its simplicity. One could call it the definition of a cookie cutter, yet it seemed unique. Of course, I've never been to Texas, and my memories of games on TV at that park are aging, the place having been demolished over a decade ago. But it appeals to me now because in my mind, on the proverbial cold winter's day, when I think of baseball, I envision it being played at night, in scorching heat, set against that basic blue wall of Arlington Stadium. In 1985.

Sure, most baseball dreams take place in the cathedral of Fenway. But that's different. There's baseball and then there's baseball at Fenway Park. When I'm thinking just "baseball," my mind goes to Arlington.

After reading the story of the stadium, I'm even more fond of it. I hadn't known it started out as a minor league park that held little more than 10,000 souls. I also never knew it sat below ground level, in a "natural bowl," or that it was first known as Turnpike Stadium. These things make it seem even further from the circular 70s parks, despite its admitted symmetry.

My glorification of this drab diamond, now dust, has more to do with memories of summer nights a kid in the 80s.... Maybe it's the fact that you could see the heat on your screen, and it was nighttime! In the woods of New England, even on sweltering nights, you never saw the heat, because you didn't have baseball stadium lights in your yard. On top of that, those central time zone games were extra exciting, as you knew you'd get to stay up a little bit later.

It's sad that all the parks from my childhood are disappearing. Symmetry has been sent to the cemetery, which is good, but along with it have gone some inimitable road-side attractions.

1986 photo of Arlington Stadium courtesy

We usually have trouble while visiting Texas at either ballpark. But this '07 Sox team is ANYTHING but usual. Have a healthy and happy weekend, you AND yours! The sun has just returned, and I'm sure it will where you are....give it a couple hours. And the winds will shift, ridding us of this moderate humidity......that wind will be blowing from leftfield out to right tonight as Trot takes his rightful rightfield position. How much fun will that be? I'll be standing! And cheering....a whole lot!
I thought you'd be the one to mention the Tavarez bowling move to Youk. I haven't seen in mentioned anywhere, yet it must have been one of the weirdest moves I've ever seen. Tavarez is a nut.
I'd heard some of his previous "rolls" on radio.. this one was awesome, though! Good call. I was dyin' as soon as I saw him do that. Dyin' of laughter. What if that ball had just stopped in the gras??
Jere, I know! Is this a quiz? OK. Knowing Julian, he would have "blow dried' the infield greenery before his on the ground strike to Youk, who is ON FIRE!!!!!
'07 has been so much fun, Jere...and Tavie for 5 innings has been golden. And he'll be sweet relief when Jon gets back. Papi will be back before's Tuesday right now, and if Tito wants to give him tonight off and Wednesday too, there's an off-day Thursday, before the "right now" losers come to Fenway.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States