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Sep 16, 2004:



There's a New Scheriff in Town

Damon, Millar Go the Distance for Schill
Sox Trump Tampa 11-4

A Ton of Seats

The Boston Red Sox announced their intention to add an additional two thousand seats to venerable Fenway Park. In the past few seasons, the Sox have modified the ballpark by adding the Monster Seats and the right field roof seats without changing the atmosphere or the character of the venue. New box seats have also crept ever closer to the playing surface, with fans able to distinguish the cologne of players (not Bartolo) and sprinkle in comments about players’ nose hair.

Where exactly will another 2000 seats fit in the major leagues’ smallest park? It’s too obvious to suggest that the box seats are moving in even closer. Fans need chain mail to watch from the boxes now.

Only through some true imagination can Theo and the Trio squeeze in the anticipated seats, that at fifty bucks a pop, could add another eight million dollars or so (plus concessions) to Sox coffers.

‘Gondola seats’. The Sox intend to string a series of wires from the roof boxes on both sides of the field. After using the facilities, Sox fans would board gondolas suspended from the wires and peer through glass-bottoms to the field below. Of course, the gondolas would be in play, creating yet additional caroms for enemy outfielders to overcome. Painting the bottom of the gondolas white might even confuse Minnesota outfielders.

‘Laugh-in seats’. On the NBC ‘Rowan and Martin Laugh-In’ show, characters appeared from behind a wall through ‘window’ seats. The Sox will add hundreds of ‘window’ or ‘laugh-in’ seats in the wall. During the game, the windows are opened, and any balls hit through the windows are ground-rule doubles. Of course, during visitor at-bats, if a ball were launched toward the wall, fans would close the windows to keep the balls in play, reducing the chances of extra bases.

‘Triangle seats’. The Sox could install many hundreds of seats in the centerfield ‘triangle’ adjacent to the bullpen. Players drive only a handful of balls during each homestand into this remote area of the park, so run production would probably increase marginally. Free agent pitchers need not apply. The seats could alternatively be named the ‘Wayback Wasdin’ seats.

‘Pole seats’. The Pesky Pole goes largely underutilized. The Sox intend to construct seats suspended from this landmark, too. If the pole is sixty feet high, with seats every six feet, then another ten seats are projected. It does give ‘standing room’ new meaning. Getting fans to sign off on liability concerns shouldn’t be much of a problem with such a unique vantage point.

‘Backstop seats’. The upper portion of the screen could surely hold Generation X-ers, particularly those who would be willing to ‘camp out’ in designated squares, lying either prone or supine during the game.

‘Hammock seats’. The back wall of the bleachers provides yet another opportunity for profit, er, entertainment. Fans could easily hang suspended from either pitons and ropes or specially designed hammock seats.

‘Helo seats’. Currently, with the high cost of fuel, the Sox have elected not to put fans in specially designed Sikorsky MH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters. The Sea Stallion has a large fuel capacity with extended loiter time and can spend up to six hours on station. A specially configured Sea Stallion could easily fit up to fifty Sox fans, giving them a unique perspective of the ballpark, also providing heavy armament should crowd control come into play from Jeff Nelson or other surly bullpen types. A fleet of ten Sea Stallions would be noisy, but also assist in keeping the field dry should inclement weather arise.

I’m sure that other readers can develop some equally cost-effective seating plans for Ye Olde Towne Team. After all, a team that sold out its entire eighty-one game schedule surely counts a lot of dreamers among its fans.

- Ron S.

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