I understand that baseball, despite the game’s inherent balance and symmetry, can at times be a very asymmetrical sport. Quirks are part of the game, and nowadays quirks are part of every new ball park that’s constructed. Hypothetically, in Random Ball Park XYZ, hitting a rocket to left center oftentimes has much different consequences than hitting one to right center, due to the stadium designers inherent desire to “get cute.”
Generally speaking, I’m fine with that.
What I am not fine with is the construction of freak show features that turn the yard into some hybrid of Major League Basbeall and miniature golf that you’d find at a Dave & Buster’s.
So with that said, I say “good riddance” to Tal’s Hill, Minute Maid Park’s version of a clown’s mouth or a rotating windmill. It was announced yesterday that you, Hill, are going to be dismantled and destroyed sometime in the coming months, and this may sound cold, but I couldn’t be happier. I’m ecstatic, really.
You see, Hill, you serve no purpose. Actually, you do worse than serve no purpose — you add a wrinkle to baseball games that was never meant to be added. You force players to periodically run up a g****mn hill! DURING A BASEBALL GAME! I’m fairly certain when Abner Doubleday was scribbling the rules to his game down, he did not have the installation of random inclines on the field of play as part of his plan.
There’s no other way to put it, Hill — you suck. You’ve always sucked. You contain a flagpole that is part of the field of play. Do you have any idea how stupid that is? Why didn’t we just surround you with a moat and make players jump over a body of water for the right to face plant themselves on your surface in trying to make a catch? Hell, let’s put some gators in the moat! Why didn’t we sprinkle you with banana peels and play the Benny Hill music over the P.A. anytime a player got within ten feet of you?
All of these things would be less ridiculous than a hill in the field of play in an MLB stadium.
Not to mention the illogical dimensions that your existence has saddled our ballpark with for lo these many years. So let me get this straight — a little dink and dunk 315 foot squeakier to left field can be a home run but a 430 foot rope to center, is a long out. Yeah, go ahead and count me as one Houstonian that Minute Maid Park’s field of play will no longer be shaped like an ice hockey rink.
Hell, your best moment, Hill, wasn’t even an actual baseball play. Your best moment occurred when a scofflaw ran onto the field at Minute Maid Park and led some keystone cops on a zig zag chase through the concourse and out to the streets. That’s YOUR legacy, Hill:
So $15 million later, you will now finally be out of our lives, Hill. Fifteen million bucks for a Hill-ectomy, the best surgery money can buy. Good riddance, Hill. Fifteen million bucks spent fifteen years too late.
Listen to Sean Pendergast from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter @SeanTPendergast.