January 29, 2003

Changes to Fenway? My God, that's like remodeling the Vatican! But this sounds pretty cool: bar-stool seats atop the Green Monster. (NYT link...couldn't find anything on it elsewhere, including Boston Globe and Red Sox site)

posted by msacheson to baseball at 10:00 AM - 8 comments

There are people in Boston who want a new stadium and people in Boston who are hell-bent on keeping Fenway and keeping it exactly the way it is. Neither argument makes much sense to me. On one hand you have a stadium with enormous amounts of tradition and the appeal of that is enough to keep it around. But why can’t they keep that tradition by keeping the ballpark and just upgrade what is in all fact a terrible stadium. I’ve always felt that the top of the Green Monster would be a cool place to have seats. Hell, they’d be a ton better than the bleacher seats that face backwards. The place is a cesspool with tradition. Keep the tradition, lose the cesspool. Go the way of Soldier Field or Lambeau Field not the way of RFK to FedEx. This is a terrific idea.

posted by 86 at 11:37 AM on January 29, 2003

It was in Sunday's Globe, but good luck finding that online after two days. It's a crap idea, just like the milk bottles, the Coke bottles, etc. 86, ignoring the fact that your very username should bar you from this conversation, I have to respectfully disagree. How many seats can you really put on top of the Monster? 280 barstools. Does that amount to a player's salary annually? I don't see the division lines you're talking about: with the exception of a few zealots, the Save Fenway folks mean "fix it up and keep it", not put it in a Ziploc and preserve it forever. The problem they ignore is that it's a difficult place to do any work. The reason they're putting 280 barstools on top of the Monster is because you couldn't put in the support for a large amount of proper seats. Is putting another set of bleachers on top of the current (read: ancient) foundation viable? I don't know. What I do know is that the comparison to remodeling the Vatican is specious: I'm sure you can take a proper crap in the Vatican without catching a disease (though you might back into the stall to be safe) and there are seats for adult human beings there. Fenway is a happy museum for the silly shitheads who populate stadia nowadays: rich businessmen with corporate tickets who don't care about the team they're "rooting" for. I've stopped being annoyed with the Save Fenway folks who would preserve a building at the expense of the team that made the building worthwhile. They obviously don't care about the Sox enough to go to a game (and who can with the prices driven through the roof). Why they care about the building by itself is past my understanding. Preserve the park, as it is, forever. Move the Sox to a sensibly sized park that has real seats and can provide whatever revenue stream will keep the team competitive (not that it isn't now). If you can do the South-Boston-by-the-water thing, all the better.

posted by yerfatma at 12:03 PM on January 29, 2003

Doesn't matter. The average joe won't be able to find a seat anywhere in the park anyway.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:33 PM on January 29, 2003

Fatty, I agree with all of your points. I was exaggerating the one about the Fenway purists and you set that straight. And I understand your concerns about my username. Though, you should know that I speak not as an enemy, but as a supporter of altering junky stadiums. I have to go to Shea to watch my team and Shea is as crappy as Fenway, minus the tradition.

posted by 86 at 01:00 PM on January 29, 2003

I wasn't offended. I just have this (hysterical) blind spot when it comes to the Save Fenway! Sandanistas since Bob Ryan did a Saturday column on them a couple years ago. When it was pointed out to one of the True Believers that his plan would render Fenway unusable for a complete season, his response was (to the effect of), "Couldn't they play somewhere else?" That's when I tried to stop listening. In reality I just get doubly pissed now.

posted by yerfatma at 03:33 PM on January 29, 2003

Not really apropos of anything, I was thumbing through my copy of the companion book to the Ken Burns film Baseball, and I came across a double-spread photo of Fenway at night, taken from the air. I was astounded to note that the big-ass Citgo sign, which from ESPN replays I had always assumed to be right across the street, is actually about a half-mile away. I also recall reading somewhere -- but I have no idea at all where -- that the Red Sox' title draught has to do with the change in the wind currents over Fenway when they built the press box. Does anyone else recall seeing this theory anywhere?

posted by Jaquandor at 03:52 PM on January 29, 2003

I think you're mixing things up with the 600 Club, which drove Wade Boggs to . . . well I dunno, do something even nuttier. The Red Sox title impasse has been the result of poor management. During the days before Yawkey, they had no money. During the days of Tom and Jean Yawkey, management's attitudes were "old skool," to put it kindly. During the days of Jean Yawkey, management was filled with villanous idiots and worse. Then we had Dan Duquette who came in with the right idea (farm system) and proceeded to do the opposite. We'll see what happens next, but as a stat fan I feel better about the current management's prospects. Swirling wind currents are far down the list of problems.

posted by yerfatma at 05:49 PM on January 29, 2003

How about this Fenway proposal: 1. Build new stadium. 2. Go condo with Fenway structure. Money from the sale of the condos goes directly to the development cost of the new park. 3. Field and Green Monster become public park and, why not, host the occasional baseball game. Stadiums have become housing before. Stadiums have become public spaces before. (I'm having trouble finding the imagery/support for this but the Piazza Navona in Rome was a Roman Circus at one time, and many Roman arenas become housing space, squatted during the middle ages after the fall of the Roman Empire. I thought the problem with "86" as a user name was that it eighty-sixed every post. I really loved my one experience at Shea. But then that goes for most ballparks for me. Can't think of one that I really hate -- maybe it's because they all contain a ball field. :-)

posted by 8ighteenAcres at 03:23 AM on January 30, 2003

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