Over at the Star.com, Brendan Kennedy gives us more on a story that Minor Leaguer posted on, back in February, about the refurbishment of the old turf, the plans for a new turf next year, and the eventual plans for real grass in 2018 (bet you they push that back a couple of years) at Rogers Centre.
Kennedy's story talks about the problem of making the fake grass soft enough so that players don't get hurt but hard enough that the ball bounces somewhat like a ball would bounce on real grass.
Farrell simply tested by trial and error, seeing how the ball reacted while adjusting the rubber infill accordingly. He set up a pitching machine and fired balls into the outfield to ensure every bounce was consistent, and also hit groundballs to some of his staff to gauge the turf's playability. "I'm not going to lie, that's an enjoyable part of the job," he said.
It is kind of interesting that MLB doesn't have a standard for fake turf.
To add to the list of things I didn't know:
"For grass in the spring of 2018, you've got to sow the seed in 2015," said Eric Lyons, an associate professor of turfgrass sciences and physiology at the University of Guelph.
Lyons said the sod requires at least 12 growing months, which, given the Canadian winter, means a minimum of a year and a half. Plus, if you want the grass installed at the beginning of spring, you need to harvest it the previous fall, he said. Commercial sod farmers also like to guard against the possibility of drought or disease. "They could produce it in two years, but they wouldn't be able to guarantee it."
This is going to complicate things, since the team has to figure out what type of grass might grow best in the rather strange climate they will have inside Rogers Centre. Add in the problems of trying to retrofit drainage into the building and everything else that has to be done, I'm not sure if they can get it done by 2018.
At Sportsnet.ca Shi Davidi notes how the 3-man bench ties Gibby's hands for moves in a game. Last night, one move used all three players on the bench. I'd feel sorry for Mr. Gibbons (I've got to stop calling him Gibby all the time, the diminutiving (I know, not a word) of his name was on purpose, near the end of his last term with the team, because I thought it was time for him to go) but he's part of the decision making team that gave us the 8-man pen, 3-man bench, so when that decision handcuffs him, well....he earned it.
The brutal self-assessment? "I was so non-competitive in the box, you could have saved the pitcher pitches and saved everybody the headache and put an out on the board."
"I was trying to hit homers, trying to do damage,"
And, if you are interesting in betting some of your hard earned cash, Bodog.ca tells us the Vegas odds makers are making the over/under on Michael Pineda possible suspension at 10 games. I'd take the under.