April 2013

2013 MLB Dominican Republic Field & Faciltiies Clinic


???????????????????????????????Had a great time the past couple days with the Academy and Winter league club stadium operators and groundskeepers.   We had representation from 29 MLB Clubs and 4 of the Winter league stadiums.  This was a free clinic to all the guys.    Special thanks to our friends at Covermaster and Diamond Pro for helping out with the discussions.

The Tampa Bay Rays facility always shines.  This year’s clinic went into 2 days and covered facility management and security of the academies.   Carlos and Ismial from the DR office.  You guys Rock!

Celebrating MLBlogs With “TOP 10″ Salute!


???????????????????????????????It’s hard to believe its been 8 years since the commissioners office started the  MLBlogs web site  . When Mark Newman called and asked if I would be interested in providing some tips on groundskeeping.   I agreed and thought I could  probably post something once in a while.    Well 300 + blogs later Im still posting and truly enjoying the opportunity to share information I continue to  learn from others around the baseball softball world.
I’m not the most computer savvy guy in the house by far, but the administrators  at MLBlogs can sure make you look good via assisting with posts, page layouts etc..    The rollover to our friends at WordPress a couple years ago  was seamless and the posting is even easier.    A big shoutout to the folks behind the Curtain in NYC !
One of the highlights is receiving questions from readers.    I recall one question from a 2nd grader in Boston .  He was working on a science project for school and he chose to write about how they make those lines in the grass.  After sending him some photos and suggestions he thanked me for the info an i figured that was it.  His mother actually emailed a couple weeks later with a thank you and wrote how the kids really liked his presentation.
With that I looked back over some emails and blog posts and summarized a few questions below.   To much fun!
Top ten MLBlogs questions over the last 8 years.
10.  Why is the  pitchers mound taller than the rest of the field?
9.   Why was baseball taken out of the olympics?
8.  Who chose the polygon shape of the home plate?
7.   Where can I learn to be a professional groundskeeper?
6.  Do you really need all those people to cover the field when it rains?
5.   How do they make those lines in the grass?
4.  Where can I find the different colors of green paint to make those different lines in the grass.
3.   How do you bend the grass to make it change colors and does that hurt the grass?
2.   My grass has turned white. Is it dead?
1.     Where can I find the batters box key?
….I still think the guy looking for the batters box key is still looking.  The thought of telling someone to email and ask me where it was is priceless.
Great work fellowMLB bloggers  and friends.

Alamodome’s Big League Weekend a Success


2013-03-29 09.49.05

Its official.    The H.E.M big league weekend in San Antonio held at the Alamodome featuring the Texas Rangers and the San Diego Padres MLB exhibition series in a first-ever baseball field layout was a success.  The Ryan Sanders group and the Texas Rangers achieved what they had hoped to see.  A great field, great crowds and an event that has been talked about for a long time.  You really need to see the following link to understand what was achieved in this event the day before easter.  Alamo Dome 1st ever baseball Conversion.  It shows the Dome going from a arena football event to  the game in 5 days.   Two totally different floor layouts.

The transition teams for the exhibition match at the dome (Astroturf, Ryan Sanders Sportsturf, Alamo Dome staff, padding crew, John and his vinyl guys ) did an outstanding job with the renovation.     When you do something that has not been done before,  you really need a group that is focused on the final goal.   Every issue that became an obstacle or a concern was approached with a positive attitude in order to come up with a solution.  Safety issues were set as the main priority and operational challenges were continually defined.   The grounds crew from the Missions ball club also chipped into help with the event.   I will have to say there were quite a few challenges but the team that was assembled worked very well together to ensure success.     Garrett and his entire crew were top notch.  Reid Ryan and JJ Gottch were a great management team.  They were not only great grounds guys but chipped in at the last minute to be the ballboys down the lines during each game.

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The Rangers won both exhibition games and ironically it wasn’t as lopsided as people thought it would be.  The right field fence is only 285 down the line.  Although the guys had fun with the short porch in BP,  during the 2 games it may have only been a issue in 1 home run.    In fact the Ryan Sanders group made BP part of the fun for fans allowing them in to catch all the homerun balls.  They also  added special balls with stamps on them with the sponsor logo  for prizes.  Pretty cool.   Another highlight was working with my “old” friend Tom McAfee who is the operations manager at the Alamodome    A great supporter of baseball in the area and more importantly can still run a pretty good line!   Thanks Tom to you and your team.

2013-03-28 19.41.13

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