FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. “There’s a [bullpen coach Bobby Ramos] ray, there’s one that’s kind of big… And I saw a Rocco [Baldelli] ray — he’s very, very smooth. And I noticed a very quick, darting Carl [Crawford] ray out there. And there was a very graceful left-finned ray, kind of like a [Scott Kazmir]. Very smooth.”

    and thus begins the saga…of the defenders of the game.

    Comment by anon — December 29, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

  2. So dumb question: Has anybody hit a home run into the ray tank?

    Comment by rbt — December 29, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

  3. I don’t think it’s particularly innacurate to maintain that building an aquarium into the walls of the field is different than just plunking one down somewhere on the premises.

    Comment by Andrew — December 29, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

  4. I wondered that too, and couldn’t find an answer. Anyone else know?

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 29, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  5. Carl Crawford once hit one that collided with the wall of the tank

    Comment by bender — December 29, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

  6. AAR, I had to laugh at the SimCity2000 reference.

    Comment by jj3bagger — December 29, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

  7. Johnny Gomes! He’s the answer to any Ray’s HR question, can’t find video, but he hit one that either went in or was a foot too far (Gomes never comes up short lol). That’s from my memory at least, a few online commentors mention it in other places as well.

    Comment by LameJoke — December 29, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  8. Another quote from the linked article:

    “We just sat down and said, ‘What can we do with this part of the ballpark that’s never been done?’ And we just came up with the idea, ‘How about an aquarium, is that even possible?’”

    An aquarium HAS been done. It’s simply inaccurate for him to suggest otherwise.

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 29, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

  9. I agree with Andrew. This article is just an exercise in semantics.

    Comment by BlackSwan — December 29, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  10. Here’s an expanded part of the linked article for context.

    “The Home Run Feature is very similar. It will have a very Miami feel. Then we started talking about behind the plate.”

    In recent years, Marlins officials visited a number of new stadiums, observing their features. What they noticed is the wall behind the plate is similar no matter where they went.

    “In other ballparks, behind home plate, there was a lot of brick and limestone, or just green padding,” Samson said. “We just sat down and said, ‘What can we do with this part of the ballpark that’s never been done?’ And we just came up with the idea, ‘How about an aquarium, is that even possible?’”

    Comment by BlackSwan — December 29, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

  11. Have you not read an Alex Remington article before?

    Comment by Paul — December 29, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

  12. Tampa native Luis Gonzalez is the only player (I’m pretty sure) to hit a HR into the Touch Tank during a game. This was a few years ago when the D-Backs came to town for an interleague series. They now have a netting in front of it so it will never be done again.

    I freaking love the Touch Tank, I stop by almost every game I go to. It’s awesome.

    Comment by Bob — December 29, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  13. Point taken. I’ve been away awhile.

    Comment by BlackSwan — December 29, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

  14. That made it the best FanGraphs article ever.

    Comment by Chris — December 29, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  15. Wait, did you praise the Marlins for investing in a new stadium? Hahahaha

    Comment by Nate — December 29, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

  16. Wait, is this the anniversary of the infamous NHL article?

    Comment by Paul — December 29, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

  17. Alex, I know it’s mid December, but seriously, you couldn’t find anything more important to write about? I think what gets me is article’s tone. That you’re actually taking Samson to task for not knowing more about the timeless tradition of putting fish tanks in stadiums. You made a non-story out of nothing.

    Comment by jpg — December 29, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

  18. I think that Luis Gonzalez hit one into the tank in 2007

    Comment by higuys — December 30, 2011 @ 4:29 am

  19. What the Rays have isn’t actually aquarium. It’s technically an indoor pond with a viewing window.

    Also you took the Samson out of context. He was saying that nobody ever built an aquarium into the walls behind home plate.

    Comment by TheFishGuy — December 30, 2011 @ 8:20 am

  20. Eh, aquariums are fun to write about. Do I think Samson is a horrible guy for not giving the other team a bit of free press by saying, “Well, we know that other people have had a ballpark aquarium before but they haven’t had one here“? No, he isn’t a horrible guy. But it was a misleading quote, and I hadn’t read anyone write much about the subject of aquariums in baseball before. So I wanted to write about it.

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 30, 2011 @ 9:18 am

  21. You’re very kind to remember it. It actually is, just about. That one came out on December 30, 2010.

    Ever since that piece I resolved to know more about a subject before writing about it than I did then.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/nhl-winter-classic-im-glad-selig-didnt-think-of-that/

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 30, 2011 @ 9:19 am

  22. Thanks, BlackSwan. You’re right, I may have misinterpreted Samson. It seemed to me that he was saying that no one had done it ever. If he was just talking about behind home plate, then he’s technically right. It still seemed to me that if he wasn’t going to mention the Rays, then someone should.

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 30, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  23. I had this idea back in like 2006 or 2007 at the old raysbaseball.com site (when it was still a fan site, before the team bought it), complete with bad MSPaint representations. How freaking cool would it be to see a guy robbing a home run by leaping up a wall of a fish tank?

    Comment by Kevin Gengler — December 30, 2011 @ 9:38 am

  24. Sampson’s line is at least misleading. He’s acting like it is a novel idea. It’s not. He just put it somewhere else. If someone puts a fish tank in front of the left field terrace, they could just as easily say “no one has done this before” but that’s misleading.

    Also, every stadium that has ever been built has something unique about it. The simple fact that every aspect of your stadium is not an exact copy of previous work is not something to brag about. If Sampson had just said “we thought it would be cool to put an aquarium behind home plate” that would be fine; but he’s acting like he should win some sort of creativity award for this, which is a bit much.

    Comment by TK — December 30, 2011 @ 9:51 am

  25. Er… Samson. Sorry, Fish fans.

    Comment by TK — December 30, 2011 @ 9:53 am

  26. Well then I choose to believe that this article is a parody to celebrate the anniversary.

    Comment by Paul — December 30, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  27. I know you hated it and I freely admit that it wasn’t my best work, but I’m still kind of flattered that you found it so memorable.

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 30, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  28. No. its pretty damn novel and creative to have a massive tropical fish tank served as the wall behind home plate. Its utterly unique. Give credit where it’s due. No one has done it, its really damn cool and will look really cool on tv.

    Comment by Bpdelia — December 30, 2011 @ 10:24 am

  29. You’re absolutely right, the TV angle is the really interesting piece of this. It’ll certainly look a whole lot cooler than the new home run sculpture.

    http://miami.marlins.mlb.com/mia/ballpark/webcam.jsp

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 30, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  30. Building a fish tank into a wall has been done before, so this isn’t novel. Samson says “no one thought to do it” as if he cracked the code of what to do with the first and third base line walls. That’s misleading. He decided to put an aquarium in the stadium, which has been done, and then decided to build it into a wall, which has also been done. Like I said, every stadium is unique, that doesn’t mean a guy tooting his own horn for supposed creativity shouldnt be called out for doing so.

    Comment by TK — December 30, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

  31. “I can praise them for many of the other things they’re doing: They’re clearly investing a lot of Miami’s property taxes into their team and their stadium”

    Fixed.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — December 30, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

  32. What other team has a fish tank as their first and third walls? Having an aquarium in the stadium somewhere isn’t that cool of an idea. May as well have a petting zoo too. However, having it as a part of the wall, that you will see at all times? Please, give me some article about some podunk indy team or some podunk minor league team that has also done this, because I’ve never seen an ML team with that.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — December 30, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

  33. What other team has a car-shaped cutout on its outfield wall? What other team has a hill with a flagpole on it? What other team has a right field upper deck that hangs over the field? What other team sells sushi in the concession stands? What other team has 10 cent beer night? What other team has a white guy dressed as an Indian come out of a teepee when they hit a home run? What other team has been investigated by the SEC for fraud?

    Samson acts like he thought of something ingenious that any other team, had they thought of it, would have done first. That’s not true. He’s overselling and he should be called out on it.

    Comment by TK — December 30, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  34. Just for accuracy no prop taxes involved. Its all hotel and restaurant taxes. Its shady but still not property taxes.

    Comment by Bpdelia — December 30, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  35. Listen i dislike samson and loria as much as anyone but i think your over reacting a bit tk. The guy didnt claim to end world hunger just a bit of horn tooting over something that is pretty cool. Of course being miami its guaranteed the fish somehow escape and devour every indigenous fish but thats another issue

    Comment by Bpdelia — December 30, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

  36. Hah, fair enough. At least they’re spending it on the team instead of lining their own pockets.

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 30, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

  37. As much as it’s fun to pick at you, some of us really appreciate that you’re willing to take on obscure topics – and stick to your guns. Happy New Year, Alex.

    Comment by Paul — December 30, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

  38. Only if you consider taxes to be non-fungible, property taxes were raised at the same time construction was being paid by the municipality. I also am highly doubtful the hotel and restaurant taxes will even come close to meeting the costs of the stadium. Especially considering the estimated 40 year cost to the municipality is 2 billion dollars.

    Also you have to be extraordinarily naive to even consider Loria isn’t lining his pocket with the increased revenue from the new stadium, the naming rights (which somehow he owns without paying for most of the stadium), and concessions and ticket sales from even nonbaseball events (again even though he didn’t pay for the damn stadium). He’s paying enough to not get beheaded by the city. This is the same guy who was earning nearly 40 million in 2008 by putting out a subpar team.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — December 30, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

  39. All “bird teams” (Cardinals, Orioles, Blue Jays… Am I forgetting any?) should have massive aviaries. Aviaries are like aquariums, right? People like aviaries?

    No?

    Comment by Justin — December 31, 2011 @ 4:28 am

  40. Agreed! And the Boston Bees should have had an apiary.

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 31, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  41. I really hope none of those fish swim in front of Randy Johnson’s fastball! Clearly, those fish have the same level of risk as an unrestricted bird.

    Comment by azruavatar — December 31, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

  42. Dude Andrew is right, you took it out of context

    Comment by Amen_Ra — December 31, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  43. ‘What can we do with this part of the ballpark that’s never been done?’

    Comment by Phils_Goodman — December 31, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

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