Saturday, February 20, 2010

Quick hit!

The Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays, is converting from FieldTurf to AstroTurf. The FieldTurf was comprised of 1,400 trays. The AstroTurf will be in rolls. Was the consideration the quality of the surface for the sports? No way, as usual the decider was the almighty dollar. Money quote:

With far fewer seams than the old FieldTurf, the new surface is expected to minimize tricky hops on ground balls. But Rogers Centre executives were not focusing on infielders' peace of mind when they made the move to ditch FieldTurf after five years of use.

The FieldTurf surface comprised 1,400 trays of fake grass. It took about 40 hours to remove, stack and store the trays so the stadium could be used for a trade show or rock concert. The new AstroTurf comes in long rolls -- roughly 90 pieces for the baseball field -- allowing crews to finish a stadium conversion in roughly half the time.

With the quicker conversion, more non-sports events can be booked around Jays baseball and Toronto Argonauts football games, generating more revenue for the under-used facility, said Rogers Centre CEO Paul Beeston.

The stadium hosted it's first Blue Jays game on June 5, 1989 so it will be some time before they need a new stadium when we can dream of a real grass field.


Until next time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Quick hit!

target field,2010

It's still the depths of winter up in Minnesota, but pitchers and catchers for the Twins will report this Sunday. Once they break camp at the end of March they'll be heading to their brand-spanking new stadium: Target Field.

It's built with a terrific view of downtown Minneapolis, a lovely grass playing field (grown in Colorado).

But, how will it look when the players are actually playing? Thanks to the videogame "MLB 10: The Show" we know.
Check it out:

By the way, the stadium will feature "Knotholes" so fans without tickets will be able to watch the game for free. What could possibly go wrong with this?

Until next time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

As Turn 2 Turns....


NASCAR kicked-off their season this past Sunday with the 52nd running of the Daytona 500. The premier event of the season featued 500 miles of 200 m.p.h. side-by-side racing and an exciting finish.....that was interrupted by two red-flag delays totaling over two hours to fix a pothole. Yes, The Great American Race was halted, twice, to fix what we civilians face every day in traffic. Here's a shot of the first attempt to fix the pothole.


See the guy with the blowtorch? He's heating the material used to fill in the hole. It needs to be hot to work. The cold temperatures apparently didn't allow the material to set up and cure properly so 36 laps later we had this


For the second fix, NASCAR called for each of the 43 teams to come to their trailer. There, they asked for the teams to bring over their Bondo body filler. That was then put into the hole and the race continued with cars bottoming out when they went over that spot.

So how does this happen? Well, the track was last paved in 1978, so the asphalt isn't exactly new. There has been a lot of rain in the Daytona area so far this year and combined with the cold temperatures can cause problems with asphalt.

NASCAR takes great care of their tracks but, as someone once said, "stuff happens".

Was the hole there before the race? Money quote:

The morning before every Cup race, each speedway (Daytona included, as officials confirmed) has a team of people who walk every inch of the track. Some will line up across Turn 1, some in Turn 2, some on half the backstretch, etc., looking for any signs of a problem on the pavement.
Unless the hole already had started, there's no way track engineers could foresee it coming, even if they walked right over it, which someone probably did.

What is NASCAR doing about it? Another money quote:

Daytona International Speedway today has begun installing reinforced concrete in Turn 2, according to DIS President Robin Braig.

“This is the correct course of action to repair the track,” Braig said. “Our team of engineers and asphalt specialists with North American Testing Corporation has previous experience with concrete being used on an asphalt track and it is a proven solution.”

The next NASCAR race will be in early July. We'll keep an eye on the track.

Until next time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Thousand Words About Pictures

I am not a photographer. I take pictures of my kid and I know when to turn the camera flash on; but I have no pretensions about being the least bit good at it. I don't know anything about lighting or composition or really anything about taking a good picture.
I don't take any of the pictures for this site. I steal them. At least the professional ones anyway. The pros receive some compensation along the way, so I don't feel bad about it. I haven't had any occasion to use an amateur picture. I'm not sure how I'll cross that bridge if/when I come to it.
It's easy. For the still pictures I just right-click and save the image address, then paste that into the field on the photobucket and rip it off. For the shots from television, it's a little tricker. I do a 'targeted' screen grab while the action is happening and hope for the best. Then import them to photobucket and use it over here.

Why do I bring all this up? Because I just found one of the jaw-dropping pictures of a stadium I think I may ever see.
It is an amazing a photograph as you're likely to find, in fact, it won the World Press Photo "Sports Features 2nd Prize Singles" award.

Until next time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm Back

Sorry for the interruption!

  • The East-West Shrine game was played at the Florida Citrus Bowl on January 23, and I didn't hear anything about bad turf for the game. If you recall, there were major problems at that venue for the two bowl games played there.
  • Super Bowl XLIV was played in Miami this past weekend and the field looked terrific (as usual). I didn't get any captured shots of the field but I did hear that Stadium Associates is selling chunks of the turf. I checked out their site and noticed a little bit of a typo: The picture of the box says it's from Super Bowl XLVI (46) instead of XLIV (44).


Until next time!