I’m having a hard time swallowing some of the entries in this Business Insider slideshow about how stadiums may change in the future.
Or should I say in the future!, because so much of it sounds like those flying car/colonies on the moon predictions from the golden days of the space age in that they were simultaneously implausible yet unambitious. I mean, my suburban Ohio gym already has TVs in the bathrooms, so I don’t think that’s a crazy prediction, but I also don’t see why any stadium owner would spring for it outside of the club level. And really, the list is mostly just “put video screens everywhere,” so it’s not that big a deal.
Still, I tried my best to fight through the skepticism. That is, until I got to this one:
No more beer … It would take a lot for teams to suck it up and kiss one of their greatest sources of easy revenue goodbye, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that something bad enough could happen to force their hands’ and outlaw (or at least severely limit) beer sale at games. Some pro teams have already banned the sale of beer bottles and most college stadiums don’t sell beer at all.
None of us will live to see the day professional sports stadiums stop selling beer. I guarantee you that. In fact, if that ever happens I’ll stop drinking beer myself. And those of you who know me understand just how serious a thing that would be.
The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.
Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.
Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.
Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.
Here’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s about some studies of hitters who use weighted bats or doughnuts on their bats in the on deck circle. Turns out that, contrary to conventional wisdom, using a weighted bat for practice hacks does not speed up one’s swing when one uses a naked bat in the batter’s box. In fact, it slows it down.
There are lots of caveats here. The sample size in the studies are small and they all involve college and high school players, not big leaguers. The results, however, are consistent with previous studies and they do make some intuitive sense. This is particularly the case with batting doughnuts, which add weight to a very concentrated portion of the bat, thereby changing the center of gravity and thus the swing mechanics of the hitter.
Whether this is applicable at large or to higher level hitters or not, I still find it kind of neat. I always like it when people scrutinize ingrained habits and ask whether or not that thing we’ve always done is, in fact, worth doing.