05/04/2004: A good--and underappreciated--point....
Rob Neyer, in his column for ESPN.com yesterday, points out the true meaning of "ground rules" in baseball by discussing four ballparks and their ground rules.
When you say "ground rule," people visualize a one-hopper over the fence. Two bases. But that's not really a "ground rule" because it's a standard rule that applies in every professional ballpark in the land. That's why Jon Miller (correctly) calls that sort of hit an "automatic double" rather than a "ground-rule double."Neyer's listing of his favorite ground rules:
Real ground rules are a lot more fun [and] specific to particular ballparks....
- The ivy in Wrigley Field
- The roof and the speakers in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The Metrodome roof and the speakers suspended therefrom have been the cause of a number of bizarre plays:
On July 5, 1992, Twins outfielder Chili Davis was victimized by one of those giant speakers suspended over right field. Davis hit what should have been a home run over the right-field wall, but instead became a "pop-up" to the second baseman after it struck the speaker.
The most famous "roof incident" occurred in 1984, when Oakland slugger Dave Kingman hit a pop fly that went up, up, up ... and never came down. Kingman, who could hit a ball as far as anybody, had unintentionally discovered a drainage hole in the roof. After a while everybody got tired of waiting to see if the ball would return to the field, and so the umpires used their discretion and awarded Kingman a double.
That's the Metrodome, where home runs turn into pop-ups and pop-ups turn into doubles.
- Fenway Park's "ladder to nowhere"
- The catwalk at Tropicana Field
Len on 05.04.04 @ 09:40 AM CST