TBtB: Rays Voting Thread

The Rays nominating thread attracted about as much attention as mid-day Rays game with the visiting Athletics.

Alas, we press on.

Choose one of the five names listed below.
A) The Aquarium
B) Rays Field
C) Suncoast Dome
D) Thunderdome
E) Tropicana Field

 

Editor’s Note: This will be the final installment of TBtB for a while. We’re going to take the playoffs off and resume the series in November.

TBtB: Tampa Bay Rays

Part 6: Tropicana Field

When I was a wee lad, there were a handful of parks that were almost exactly alike, and a whole bunch more that didn’t stray too far from the basic template – fully enclosed fields, with symmetrical walls (often with the stupid yellow line four inches from the top of the fence) and, often, covered with turf. The National League was swimming in these. They were called cookie cutters, a nickname not bestowed with fondness.

Tropicana Field is the opposite of those sterile ashtrays, at least compared with its peers. It’s the last traditional fixed dome left, and one of just two parks with the fake stuff on the floor. It’s got the catwalks that come into play. Nothing else in the sport is like it. It’s also the only current ballpark built on spec, constructed in hope of landing a major league team, which it did eight years after it was built.

Alas, just being different isn’t enough, as the Trop is generally regarded as the league’s worst venue, by quite some margin.

Still, even crappy ballparks deserve a good name (do they?). So, let’s give the fans of Tampa-St. Pete something they can be proud of when they stay as far away from the park as possible on game nights.

But if finding a great name for this crappy venue doesn’t excite you, let’s consider this an opportunity to find a suitable name for its eventual replacement.

Ballpark History

Built: 1990

Capacity: 42,735 (naked), 31,042 (with tarp).

Name: Tropicana Field, 1998-present. Stadium was also known as Florida Suncoast Dome and Thunderdome (non-Mad Max version) before being occupied by Rays.

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: None

Distinctive Features:  The aforementioned catwalks, the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame, the Ray-filled Touch Tank beyond the right-centerfield fence, the dank.

Ballpark Highlights: In 1999, Wade Boggs became the first player to homer for his 3,000th hit.

In 2005, cheapskate owner Vince Naimoli had a Mets scout ejected from the ballpark for using his private bathroom.

After a decade of futility, the newly christened Rays played their first home playoff game, a 6-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox en route to their lone World Series appearance. The game was punctuated by Evan Longoria homers on his first two postseason plate appearances and the appearance of those godforsaken cowbells.

In 2011, the Rays rallied from a 7-0 deficit against the New York Yankees, capped by Dan Johnson’s walkoff homer in the bottom of the ninth. The victory completed an improbable final-month comeback to claim the AL wild card over the Chicken and Beer Red Sox.

 

 

TBtB: Nationals voting thread

We’re down to five selections for the Nationals’ park. The key question is whether one emerges from the pack to challenge the only name the place has ever known, Nationals Park. Nats fans, I’m sure, would be happy to call it anything if it meant getting out of the upcoming first round of the National League playoffs.

Choose One:

A) Anacostia Park
B) Capitol Street Grounds
C) Nationals Park
D) Navy Yards
E) Potomac Park

 

TBtB: Washington Nationals

 

 

Part 5: Nationals Park

The rare modern stadium without a corporate sponsor. Alas, Nationals Park doesn’t exactly ring out as requiring a lot of deep thought, though it is a nod to the place that predated old Griffith Stadium.

One would think the club’s D.C. location would offer ample naming opportunities for the ballpark. Then again, one would think the club’s D.C. location offered the architects ample opportunities for exciting backdrops, and they failed miserably in what’s an otherwise OK park, as I recall from my one visit there.

If nothing else, can we try to keep this thread from going all OTP: Politics, please?

Ballpark History

Built: 2008

Capacity: 41,339

Name:  Nationals Park (2008-present)

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: RFK Stadium 2005-07. Previous DC teams played at Griffith Stadium, 1911-1965, Boundary/Nationals Field, 1895-1911

Distinctive Features: A sliver of the crowd can get a glimpse of the Capitol. Cherry blossoms line the leftfield pavilion.

Ballpark Highlights: Randy Johnson beat the Nats 5-1 to win his 300th career game while pitching for the Giants.

President Barack Obama throws out the first pitch to open the 2010 season, proving conclusively that baseball was not his sport.

In 2010, top pick Stephen Strasburg was absurdly dominant in his closely watched Major League debut, striking out 14 Pirates* and walking none in seven innings.

In 2012, after almost seven full seasons of futility that bore striking similarities to another famous Washington outfit, the Generals, Teddy Roosevelt won the President’s Race.

Jayson Werth’s ninth-inning home run off Lance Lynn gave the Nats a 2-1 victory in Game 4 of the NLDS, the first time Washingtonians had seen the home nine win a postseason game in 79 years.

*At the time, the equivalent to fanning 11 major league hitters.

 

TBtB: The Boston Red Sox

 

 

OK, let’s face it. This one probably isn’t going to change. Fenway is just the kind of name we’re looking for in this endeavor, a distinct name with a connection to the neighborhood. And I’m not just saying that because of my lifelong Sox fandom. Fenway’s a legitimate keeper.

And, given the success of TBiA in our second installment, there is a natural tendency to go with what works. So, we’re probably not looking at a lot of real alternatives.

In the event that the status quo is the overwhelming choice, perhaps we can take this thread in a different direction. What would you call the place if you were starting from scratch? Block out the 100-plus years of history of the Fens and come up with the best possible name.

Then, when the vote happens, you can go ahead and vote for Fenway.

Ballpark History

Built: 1912

Capacity: 37,281 (day), 37,731 (night)

Name:  Fenway Park (2004-present)

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds 1901-1911

Distinctive Features: How long do we have? The Green Monster, manual scoreboard and that ladder in left; the triangle in center; Pesky’s Pole down in right; the wall in foul territory in left that shoots out toward the diamond, often forcing shortstops to play balls hit down the line; the Citgo sign.

Ballpark Highlights: In 1912, the year the park opened, the Red Sox won the deciding game 8 here to win the World Series, 4-3-1.

In 1917, Ernie Shore relieved a pitcher, whose days on the mound were close to numbered, after the starter walked the leadoff hitter and got himself ejected. Shore and the Sox caught the leadoff runner for stealing, then he retired the next 26 batters in order in the first perfect game to be later expunged by Fay Vincent’s great no-hitter purge of 1991.

One night after Carlton Fisk’s iconic 12th-inning home run pushed the series to a seventh and deciding game, Joe Morgan’s single in the ninth inning scored Ken Griffey with the winning run for the Big Red Machine in one of the best World Series ever played.

One of the single-greatest collections of baseball talent gathered at the 1999 all-star game, highlighted by the appearance of the greatest Red Sox player of all-time, and the guy my father wanted to name me after before Mom Unacceptable nixed his plans, Ted Williams.

In 2004, the Red Sox began the greatest comeback in the history of history, tying Game 4 with a ninth-inning run off Mariano Rivera then winning the game in the 14th inning on a two-run home run by David Ortiz. It was the impetus to the club’s first World Series title in 86 years.

TBtB: Padres Voting Thread

Unlike our two previous installments, the Padres nominating thread didn’t seem to generate a consensus choice for a name for the lovely little ballpark near the Pacific Ocean. And opinion was equally spread with our nominating committee, which is why a hefty six choices will be put before the electorate. As was the case with the Rangers, if you choose one of the selections, you’ll be asked to follow up with a second question.

Voting will conclude one week from today, at which point we’ll announce Team No. 4.

Choose One:
A) Ballast Point
B) Gaslight Grounds
C) The Mission
1) Alone
2) Mission Field
D) Padres Park
E) The Shipyard
F) Tony Gwynn Field

TBtB: Rangers voting thread

So, we’re down to four.

The overwhelming choice in the nominees was some kind of return to the original name for the Rangers joint, though opinion seemed divided on the full name or the half-measure. So, we’re leaving both options available.

Choose between any of the four selections. However, if you prefer Choice A), then please follow it up with 1) the naked version or 2) the full throw-back to the Ballpark in Arlington.

For those who don’t like either of these options, you’d probably better head to the still-open nominating thread to coalesce behind a single alternative among the expected also-rans.

A) The Ballpark
1) The Ballpark (by itself)
2) The Ballpark in Arlington

B) Lone Star Stadium

C) The Stockade

D) Vandergriff Park

Voting will be open until this time next Monday, at which point we’ll announce the BTF choice, then throw out our third team.