Friday, April 15, 2011

Tonight's Reviewed Non-Home Run

A few years ago, at the old Yankee Stadium, there was a controversial call down the left field line at the foul pole. I think it was an ESPN game, and they had a report from someone in the stands by the pole. One of the announcers then said, "Wait, why is the stripe on the fence so far from being lined up with the pole?" I knew the answer--it's all about angles. Here's that same foul pole, seen looking right down the foul line. As you can see, the white stripe on the wall is lined up with the yellow pole:

However, if you look at the same spot from the side....check it out:

The white stripe is way, way to the left of the pole. But that wasn't some asshole painting a line five feet to the left of where he was told. They lined it up exactly right, as the top pic shows--so that when you're looking right down the line, you have one consistent line going top to bottom, foul on one side, fair on the other.

Tonight, this happened in the Red Sox game. Sure enough, once again, the announcers were very confused (not just Don and Remy, but according to the JoS game thread, the radio announcers and the Jays announcers). They didn't understand why the pole and the line "aren't lined up."

Fenway's a little quirkier than the old Yankee Stadium, though, with the wall coming up to the pole at a very acute angle. Meaning that stripe on the wall's gonna look even more off from the pole, when viewed from the side. Plus the fact that these walls have padding that sticks out. So it's hard to get it 100% exact, but the point is, this isn't just some screw-up, it's what you have to do to make the pole and the stripe align.

Here's the Pesky Pole from looking almost right down the line, you can see it almost looks lined up:

(That's Kristen aka Red Sox Diehard in the pic!) And here it is from the side, with the stripe appearing way to the side of the pole--the other side compared to the above pic), just like at the old Yankee Stadium:

Now it is interesting what happened tonight at Fenway, because the ball hit the top of the wall right in that zone, where it was to the fair side of the stripe, but the foul side of the pole. I think they made the right call, because wall-on-foul-side-of-pole = foul ball. Had the ball come down sooner, it would have hit the wall on the FAIR side of the stripe, meaning a fair ball, in play. But since it kept going, it essentially "curved foul," just in a weirder way. Because the stripe is closer to home than the pole.

Also, how come Don and Rem never mentioned the fan that reached for the ball? One angle made it look like he could have made contact with it, which would have opened up another jar of caterpillars. I wonder if the umps noticed this when they looked at the replay.

In the game--it's 3-0 us in the 5th. I guess I'll update this part later. [Update, 11:00 p.m.: Gimme a goddamn break. They ended up tying it at 3, and then we kind of fell apart making it 7-3 Jays. We do the eighth-inning tease to make it 7-6, but then the top of the order goes down 1-2-3 in the ninth to end the game. 2 and effing 10. Come on.]

Photo credits. The first YS shot came from here, and it mentions the game I talked about, May of 2008.

The second YS shot is from "mtlowe."

The non-RedSoxDieHard Pesky Pole shot is from this page.
Ha, I was just thinking the next time I go to Fenway I want to get a shot of the pole from straight down the foul line, like the yS one you found. I didn't remember that my own picture (from a tour of Fenway in 1999) almost has it!
Maybe they just need to continue the yellow line on the top face of the wall, so that it will be clearer no matter the camera angle.
I would give anything to see a game at Fenway, even though I am a die hard Reds fan. Heck, Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field too, even.
Just saw a discussion on this exact topic on SoSH, and I linked to this article in my reply. There was a rebuttal that Nick Cafardo had mentioned in a Boston Globe column on April 24th that implied that MLB and the Sox were going to "fix" it. And of course, a rebuttal to that article which agreed with you and said it was perfect the way it is.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States