Monday, April 17, 2006

Switch Hitting

On Opening Day The CHB wrote how Fenway has "never looked better" and "it's amazing now to think there were plans to tear the thing down."

Here's what he wrote on May 16, 1999, after seeing the plans to tear the place down in favor of a new ballpark: "If the Red Sox can build the new Fenway they showed us yesterday, it could be their best move since they bought a beefy, 19-year-old southpaw from the International League Baltimore Orioles in 1914."

He even allowed that the old park's demise is inevitable: "But once you get past the obvious concession that old Fenway isn't forever, you'll see that this plan looks pretty good. In fact, it's almost too good to be true."

Wonder what changed? Oh yeah: now, the Globe owns part of the Red Sox.


Anonymous said...

I would cut some slack here; if you visited Fenway in 1999 you saw a decaying ballpark, and it was hard to imagine how it could be reconfigured and renovated. Today's Fenway is marvelously improved. The difference? New, smarter, better capitalized ownership.

Sally said...

I remember a Peter Gammons article referring to the deteriorating conditions at Fenway Park. The old ownership in an effort to emphasize why a new Fenway Park needed to be built, did little to nothing to even clean the park between the baseball games. I remember having to wade through peanut shells, popcorn, condiment wrappers etc etc to get to my seat. A lot of people wanted to build a new Fenway Park!

I usually hate CHB! I hate how his opinions are tailored the popular sentiment. The stupid marketing concept known as "Curse of the Bambino"...which was put forth because he was plugging his book. The years of scorn and whining it provided him must have been worth it. The ridiculous feuds he has with the people he is suppose to write about often cloud his writing style, and he rarely discloses the feud. The list could get very very long but on this issue (build a new Fenway or renovate old Fenway) a lot of people have flip-flopped on it too.

The Couch Potato said...

I was just wondering....was it Shaughnessy that Jim Rice upended into a trash can? If not, can we give Jim Ed a mulligan on that one?

X said...

I have to agree with the crowd on this one (i.e., Fenway in 99 was nothing like Fenway today).

But I will share a good laugh I got at CHB's expense. While appearing on SportsPlus (these appearances should be logged as well - they are an absolute shame and full of nonsense), in talking about the 2006 Sox, Dan offered his prediction that "Manny is going to hit more HRs than he has so far." Way to go out on a limb Dan.

Gnopple said...

Yeah, guy. I'm with you on Shaughnessy's sky-is-falling mentality re: the park. He was SO ready to get a south boston Camden Clone back in 2001.

I just posted a column discussing how much he sucks, and how awesome I am:

Anonymous said...

May I ask something as an outsider? This is not meant as any kind of flame against the Red Sox. The Atlanta Braves were the laughing=stock of the Major Leagues for years. But I digress (overused phrase).:
What year was it the Red Sox started selling out Fenway? I remember watching games where the attendance rivaled the Braves'. Fenway had a less than desirable-looking field (Ditto Braves), and the crowds were slight.

jenny said...

2004. The season after the Aaron F'ing Boone Heartbreaker. Go figure.

dbvader said...

Actually Jenny, the streak extends from the last half of 2003. The team sold out the last forty or so games that year. The streak is around 230 games.