July 2008

Olympic Logos ….Spray cans vs. Paint machine

beijing 2008logo.JPGAs part of the ongoing practice of everything… we held a logo painting practice a couple days ago on the training field.  The “competition” team and the “look and image team” and volunteers all took part in the fun of spraying the grass.  We need to work more on the volunteers spraying form a bit.  You can see Brickman Sportsturfs Erik Frey’s smile as one of the volunteers paints the logo with the sprayer. We had one side of the field use the spray cans and the other the machine.   It was very quickly determined after using the cans of spray paint ( which were very very expensive) that they would use the competition teams spray machine to paint the logos.  In the olympics the logos are all white as they can not use a color because it could favor a particular team.   A bit of sky clearing rain today.   Should be a good one today! 
logo painting.JPG

How many people does it take to pull a tarp…in China

tarp pull.JPGSince the Beijing Olympic test event last summer to now, BOCOG increased the size of our FOP (field of play) volunteers by another 60.  We now have about a 100 groundcrew.   Half are new and pretty green when it comes to baseball field maintenance.   We are going through a barrage of field maintenance training needs before the teams arrive in a week including tarp pulling since the month of August has the highest amount of rain. As far as club schedules,  the Chinese team is already here.  (Makes sense.)

olympic baseball venues.JPG   

Erik Frey and I split up the crew into smaller 15 to 20 man crews throughout the day.   Still collecting photos of turf signs and we found another one just outside the stadium.  “Keep off the grass” signs are seen pretty often around china. 

keepoffgrass.JPGThe groundcrew is a great group of guys and considering they are volunteering for 30 days of there personal time …its pretty tough to comment on negatives. 98% of the volunteers are college students.  

On the eco front – There has been a lot of chatter about the climate and pollution issue.  Well I can tell you first hand that the pollution issue is being addressed through government regulations, but there isn’t much even they can do about the heat and humidity.  It was 90 degrees at 9am with 92% humidity.


 As you can see from the photo the haze lingers up to about noon then attempts to clear out but never does.  Leaving the venue today at 7pm all you could see of the evening sun was a red glow.   Should be interesting.  

Raising the Olympic Rings

beijingrings2008.jpgNia’Hao… Baseball’s Wukesong Olympic Stadium  is getting a facelift.  As we draw closer to the games all of the venues are sporting a new “look.   Together with Olympic rings, banners and field upgrades these facilites are going to be great.  I would be wrong to say things are going perfectly…but condidering these are the first baseball stadiums being operated at this level there was obviously going to be challenges.  From here on out I will be in Beijing.  Its bitter sweet as it will be my last trip to china and potentialy the last time baseball will be played in the Olympics.  Don’t get me wrong we are going to fight for reinstatement but the black and white of our position as an Olympic sport beyond 8-8-08 is in the hands of the IOC.   A vote that is set to take place in the fall of 09 is the next step to being included for the 2016.  But until then lets enjoy the 08 Olympics as the chinese people have planned a great show for the world.   “Si-Tein”

Preparations Underway for the 2009 World Baseball Classic

DSCF3916.JPGThis past week we took a look at the venues in Mexico City and San Juan that will host the 2009 World Baseball classic.  Foro de Sol in Mexico City is no stranger to MLB events as we have played in the venue a few times over the years.  It was good to see Mr Martine the head groundskeeper of the venue.  It is a synthetic turf field that has been in place for at least 9 years.  He still has the same groundcrew that we worked with over the years.   In addition to Foro del Sol we looked at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in P.R.  This park has been used extensively by MLB games as we ran the venue for the Montreal Expos series in 2003-4 as well as the season opener in 2001 with the Rangers and Bluejays.  Its hard to believe we are only 8 months away from this great event.  More to come on these ballparks as they prepare for the WBC. 
wbc synthetiic turf field.JPG