The rain begins to fall in a steady stream in Oakland. My All Star helmet shimmers with moisture as the drops bounce softly off the polished black surface. Working the Red Sox and A’s finale of a short two game series, I begin to muse amidst the darkening clouds and plummeting temperatures, “I do not believe I have ever seen it rain here.”
At some point, Red Sox broadcaster, Jerry Remy ponders a similar thought and voices it to the Red Sox Nation. It was a good friend, Roger Nusbaum who was watching the game and relayed Remy’s words to me afterward.
While the rain continues its unusual onslaught on the monstrosity of the Al Davis stadium, I wondered how often the grounds crew had ever unfurled the tarp over the field during a game. It is one of the most well manicured and meticulous diamonds in baseball. The grounds crew here rarely receives the credit it deserves.
My thoughts take a conspiratorial turn pondering if a tarp even exists beneath the green canvas covering. Is it all just a ruse? Maybe an empty steel tube lies beneath. Fortunately, the rain trails off and the possibility of seeing this mystery tarp will go unanswered – at least for now.
Speaking of the Red Sox, the historical foul pole down the right field line in Fenway, known affectionately as “Pesky’s Pole” was in the news recently. The phrase, “Pesky’s Pole” rolls off the tongue for Bostonians like a smooth Sam Adams after a long day at work. While the pole has stood at the foot of the right field short wall at Fenway since 1912, I guess the positioning and alignment of the pole has now come to attention.
The phrase, “Pesky’s Pole” rolls off the tongue for Bostonians like a smooth Sam Adams after a long day at work.
Interestingly, it is a pole on the other coast which is garnering greater attention this week. Petco Park is set to unveil a new right field pole today in San Diego. It is an 80 foot, 950 pound replica of a Taylor Made driver towering alongside the familiar yellow pole. It will be made part of the new ground rules at the stadium and becomes the latest in the trending creative sponsorship race.
The pole in Fenway is one of the few that actually has a name. It was coined after Johnny Pesky, the Sox infielder of the early 40’s and 50’s. I wonder what, if anything, the San Diego pole will be called. Maybe Corey Pavin uses Taylor Made, and “Pavin’s Pole” will stick after the UCLA graduate. Too bad the pole is not in left field. It would be all too fitting in honor of San Diego native, Phil Mickelson to call it “Lefty’s”.
Whatever the fans or media eventually nickname the pole, it certainly takes the customary signage on the outfield wall to a new level for the sponsor, the club and yes, the umpires who will enforce the ground rules.