Just saw this mentioned on MLB Network and thought I’d bring it up here on the blog, if only because nasty visions of faded green began floating through my head.
The Rays are installing AstroTurf at Tropicana Field. The name alone makes you think of the rough, fast carpet that used to cover baseball fields all around the league, but this isn’t the old school turf made famous in Houston. This AstroTurf is similar to what’s currently used in Toronto.
“This turf is probably a little bit slower; our turf was getting real fast,” Rays infield coach Tom Foley told the St. Pete Times. “It’s a darker green, it looks real good to the eye. The rolls are true, there’s no snaking, and we should get the same hops we’re used to. It just may be slower.”
The Times notes that the new turf is “less bouncy” than the stuff used in Toronto.
It features a horseshoe-shaped polymer fiber that the company says will remain upright longer to create a more “grass-like, uniform, predictable” surface, leave fewer rug burns when fielders slide or dive…”
I’m sure this is a technological advancement, but I’d rather see the game played on natural grass any day.