Monday, July 18, 2011

Catwalk Controversy: 2011 Revival

Looks like we can look forward to another week's worth of Tropicana Field-bashing after 16 innings and nearly six hours of fun last night.

The game would have been shorter had a Sean Rodriguez pop-up not shattered a light hanging from the catwalk. NESN tweeted, "shards of hot glass are falling on Tropicana Field after the catwalk's struck again. Batboys are collecting the glass in their gloves."

My first thought is, "I wonder if it's the same bulb I shot in my 2010 story on the Trop's catwalks?"

But my next thought was how strange it is that the Tampa Bay region spends more time defending its stadium and its fan base than the team's management does.

I can't remember a time when the team's top brass has been over-complimentary of the region's fans and when it says anything about The Trop, it's obviously about the need to replace it. A little stadium promotion would go a long way toward making fans want to visit.

St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster, however, dons his marketing cap when it comes The Trop, comparing its quirks to the ivy at Wrigley Field or the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

And Pinellas Co. Commissioner Ken Welch took it a little more personal last night, tweeting, "Watching the Rays game - The ESPN commentators whining about the Trop got old a couple of hours (or years) ago..."

Sorry Ken, the talk isn't going anywhere. It's not like Stu Sternberg will try to convince anyone to embrace the park's pesky "quirks" the way the Red Sox front office did when the region was lamenting Fenway Park's tiny seats, poor sightlines, and illegally-close foul poles in the late 1990s.

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