Thursday, January 22, 2009

Camelback Ranch Pines for Hitters' Approval?

Ha, you thought I was using the word "pine" as a verb, right? PWNED! That's right, I pulled out one huge can of grammatical whupass and pulled off "pine" as a NOUN, dog! W00t!

Ahem. Context.

That's because the Dodgers' new spring training facility has opted not to use a "batter's eye" in center field--instead relying upon a "densely planted grove of mature Arizona pines." Guess McCourt couldn't afford a black tarp, like every other major league stadium:

Although the Dodgers have gone to great lengths to make their new spring training facility in Glendale, Ariz., the finest in all of baseball, it already has generated one mini-controversy. Rather than the traditional green screen or wall behind center field, the "batter's eye" at the main stadium will consist of a densely planted grove of mature Arizona pines.

Officials of the Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox are crossing their fingers in hopes that the trees will provide enough of a background and block out enough of the desert sunlight.

"That's a no comment right there," said Los Angeles catcher Russell Martin, who joined a tour of the facility on Jan. 15 with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. [How funny is this, that Martin just dodges the question rather than lambast his owner's obvious foolhardiness!]

There is, however, a contingency plan in place in the event the trees aren't sufficient. In fact, there is said to be screen already constructed that could be erected on short notice if players complain that it is too difficult to pick up the ball out of the pitcher's hand.

"The hope is that the trees will serve as the batter's eye," McCourt said. "We'll see if they are opaque enough. It's a fast-growing tree and a dense-growing tree. They're going in as big trees, and they grow fast."

Check Frankie out! Miserly MLB owner by day, blabbering botanist (or is that "histrionic horticulturalist"?) by night!

Remember, this isn't the first time that McCourt has forgotten the batter's eye. In April 2008, his renderings of renovations he wanted to pursue for Dodger Stadium made a similar notable omission in center field (see bottom left, plus galleries).


Eric Karros said...

Sax, do you also enjoy verbing nouns?

Steve Sax said...

Hey I pine for the ride when I ride the pine.