Quirky ballparks are all the rage, and that’s fine. But after watching the Cardinals play in Houston, I have to wonder what they were thinking when they built the Astros’ new park. I’m glad we’re trying for unique parks, but the quirks in Houston interfere with the game, and some cases, are downright dangerous. The outfield wall where the bullpens are located consists of a concrete curb and a chain-link fence. Roger Cedeno, chasing a fly ball, stepped awkwardly on the curb and is lucky he wasn’t hurt more seriously. Somebody will be. A major league playing field is no place for a concrete curb. It reminds me of some recreational softball fields I’ve played on. The uphill incline to the center field fence is a little silly. The pillars that run all along the left field fence are guaranteed to cause controversy when an umpire can’t tell if the ball hit above the line for a home run. And the left field wall is only 315 feet from home plate. That’s way to close for major league hitters, who are hitting home runs at an absurd rate already. I think the Astros need a new ball park.
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