Friday, March 11, 2011

Down The Line

A documentary about Fenway Park's workers called Down The Line will air Saturday at 4:00 on MLB Network. I guess this begs the question: Will the rest of baseball finally learn the term "canvas alley?"

Of course, William Jaspersohn beat everyone to it with his great book from 30 years ago, "The Ballpark," which I reviewed in detail here. At the end of that post, I said how I should do a sequel--looks like another one of my ideas has been done by someone else. Oh well, at least it got done.

Speaking of down the line, what's with these people at the Red Sox' spring training park who sit down the left field line, and sit on their hands when really slow foul balls roll right to them? Here they are, watching patiently:

Stand up! Reach over the fence! Easiest foul ball you're ever gonna get! The guy on the left is thinking about it, but his fence is too high. Those three facing us, though, especially the adults, could stand up, maybe step up on to the rail there, and reach down and grab the barely moving ball. (There's a screen there but I'm saying just reach over the top green bar. Eh, maybe it is a little too high--but make an effort!)

I think they are standing up! (The kids anyway, not the adults I guess.) It is a high fence - the top bar is about eye-level for me and it's hard to reach over for autographs.

It's actually a pretty crappy place to sit, because the seats are below field level and you have to look through the fence. (At one of the games I went to a guy did somehow manage to dive over the fence for a foul ball, but he hit his head, tumbled over the fence, and then had trouble getting off the field. That may be the only time I've seen someone get tossed from a Spring Training game!)

I'm hoping that's one of the things they fix for the new stadium next year. No seats below field level!
And thanks for the tip on "Down the Line." DVR has been set. I remember your review of "The Ballpark" and thought it was so cool that I went out and bought myself a copy.
Cool--so that Kristen was you. And don't forget to record the show after that show, in case the game beforehand goes more than 3 hrs.

As for the fence--Okay, I can buy that it's not possible to reach over with your feet on the ground, but if you put your feet up on the fence right at field level, you could easily reach down onto the field--guess it proved dangerous for that one guy, though.
Keep in mind that there are only two rows of seats down there--the ushers are never far away and they definitely don't want you to climb. It's higher than it looks, and you'd be falling into a concrete pit with folding chairs--nothing to brace yourself on.

Awful, awful seats. I sat there the first year they had them--since then they've had a warning on the ticket screen! If you're right at that corner they're probably fine, but one you get down the line, those posts line up together as you try to see home plate at an angle. Plus you can't get to your seats until just before game time because they officially let folks stand there to try to get autographs.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States