Happy Anniversary You Shit Box

Fenway Park is celebrating its 100th Anniversary today in Boston, and it is completely ludicrous.

No, I’m not writing about the parading out of former Red Sox players, some of whom seemed uncertain as to where they were (including Jose Canseco). Nor am I writing about the toast conducted by an inebriated Kevin Millar and Pedro Martinez, who both appeared to have been practicing said toast a bit too much prior to delivering it.

What’s ludicrous is that the ancient monument to stupidity is being celebrated instead of torn down.

I understand that on the occasion of birthdays and anniversaries it’s common for human beings to be complimentary, but the amount of drivel being spewed forth from writers and commentators today is entirely too much. Prior to today, I was unaware that a building was capable of receiving fellatio, especially one as old as Fenway.

As a ballpark, the confines are ridiculous.

A hundred years ago, building an enormous 37 foot wall in left field might have been a valid method for getting around the limitations of the location, but in 2012 the only thing it’s valid for is explaining why Wade Boggs collected so many doubles over the course of his career.

That idiotic wall is called the Green Monster, but in center field there’s an even bigger monstrosity.  There is an actual triangle formed into the walls out there which at one point reaches the incredible length of 420 feet from home plate.

I wouldn’t dare suggest that cookie cutters be used to design all future baseball stadiums, but there is no charm in arbitrarily positioning rows of seats to run into each other at awkward angles.

Using phrases like “charm” to describe baseball stadiums is the equivalent of using “enjoys long walks in the park” for a dating profile. It immediately translates into stupid, boring and ugly.

Even worse, is when a franchise manipulates the structure of its playing field to favour its own team, which was done at Fenway with the introduction of “Williamsburg” in 1940.

See that unnecessary bullpen area in right center field adding another fiord of ridiculousness into the outfield wall?

Yep, it was put there more than 70 years ago so that Ted Williams could hit more home runs. Now, it’s another laughable section of a decrepit stadium attempting to fool us into feeling nostalgia for poor decisions from the past.

In right field, we also have Peskey’s Pole which at the outfield wall meets a crooked foul line that runs around like the dotted dashes we’re more likely to see in a Family Circus cartoon reenacting where all the characters have traveled than a proper stadium.

All of these horrid features combine to directly influence the results of the games being played there. People want to put asterisks on the accomplishments of steroid users? If we’re going to look at outside sources influencing results, I think we might do better to start looking into the Fenway field where whatever it is that’s being played there shares a deeper resemblance to impromptu stick ball than actual Major League Baseball.

Instead, it acts as a cruel muse to sports writers wishing they had a flowerier side than they do. Fenway Park isn’t romantic. It’s a shit hole for players and spectators alike.

Seriously, go to a game there. If the foul reek of century old urine stains don’t upset you, surely the crick in your neck will convince you that there is nothing magical about the old stadium. You see, more than half of the seats at Fenway are pointed in directions other than home plate or the pitcher’s mound.

I’m sorry. I know you probably spent a ton of money to get tickets to one of the always sold out games there, but don’t pretend you had an enjoyable time as part of a justification for your rapidly declining bank balance.

Whenever I hear about how glorious Fenway Park is, I always remember a story from Bill “Spaceman” Lee. He had just gotten called up to the Majors for the first time and was driving to the stadium. He ended up reporting to the manager an hour late because he couldn’t find the stadium on Yawkey Way. He kept mistaking it for just another warehouse. That’s not a baseball stadium, that’s a piece of shit building.

Playing in a stadium that’s 100 years old isn’t something to be celebrated. It’s something to be embarrassed about. Move on. Even Detroit understands this concept.

Comments (58)

  1. Hey now…layoff D-town. They’re stadium is pure awesome. You can watch the game for free from the street.

    • I’m saying D-Town did it right. They rid themselves of Tiger Stadium and built the best thing about their city in its place.

      • I love Comerica, but just don’t sit down the first base line near the foul poll. The sight lines are awful.

      • Favorite story about Tiger stadium was from the year before it was torn down. It was a really hot day and water started to spray mistily from one of the pipes under the upper deck. People loved it, until they discovered it was a drain pipe from one of the men’s washrooms.[1]

        When your stadium is incontinent, it’s time to say goodbye.

        [1] I can’t actually find this story on the google, but I’ve heard it from a couple of sources.

    • As part of my bucket list, I plan to see every MLB park over the next few years. Any good places to sit at Fenway, and good ways of getting reasonably priced tickets?

  2. First and last time you’ll agree with Luke Scott? I’ve never been there, but I have been to Wrigley and I feel much the same way about it. That same weekend I went to U.S. Cellular Field to watch the White Sox and I cannot tell you how much better it was. Having to ephemeral attachment to Fenway or Wrigley, I tend to agree that they’re dumps.

    • Seriously? Wrigley is such a nice place. Granted, I only sat in the upper deck at the Cell, but it was nowhere near as nice as Wrigley. I expected it to be cramped and uncomfortable, but it was just as nice as newer places I’ve been like Baltimore or Pittsburgh.

      • I sat down the third base line and the sightlines were bad and I had ZERO room…left the park so cramped.

        • Weird, that’s where I sat, too, and was way more comfortable than I thought I’d be. Sightlines weren’t great, but I didn’t think they were that bad, really.

    • I felt the same way when I visited Chicago, Travis. For me, though, I think it was about high expectations of Wrigley (I enjoyed it, and thus matched my expectations), and no expectations of U.S. Cellular (I went because it’d be stupid not to when I was in the city anyway, and I had a great time, thus way exceeded expectations).

      • that might have played a part with me too…although I went to U.S. Cell first in order to avoid being disappointed after Wrigley and it ended up the opposite way

        • I had the exact same experience in Chicago. There also seemed to be more genuine baseball fans at U.S. Cellular as opposed to Wrigley which is just another tourist stop (although I did enjoy it very much). Fenway is a dump. Went to two games there and was uncomfortable and irritated at both. I do think it is a worthwhile trip for any baseball fan though.

  3. I respect your opinion, Parkes, but fuck, this was kind of unnecessary.

    Baseball stadiums are allowed to have personality, unlike all of the other professional sports. Sure, Boston overdoes it all, especially with the gaudy celebratory bullshit, but come on – it’s like you’re just looking for anything you can find to shit on lately.

    I’m not going to troll you. It’s just that, fuck, man. This is a beautiful game. Get over it.

    I

  4. I can’t help but notice the headline is one word lighter than it was just a few minutes ago. Interesting, that.

  5. I will remember this post next time you complain about the Dome.

  6. truth.
    pure. truth.

  7. Of course it’s physically a dump. It’s 100 years old! You don’t get it, but that’s OK. How could you? It’s not like the Jays actually have a history that matters. It’s so not about the actual building itself. It’s about the history of which the building is a part.

    • So just because it’s old it’s aloud to be a shit box, they could at least fix the stadium, keep the important details like that stupid monstrosity in left field, but fix the sightlines. Basically just fix the seats and that stupid foul pole. Also, what the fuck does the jays history have to do with the justification of a shit box stadium in another city, sound like someone without an argument, just because it has history doesn’t mean it has to be left a piece of shit, just look to olympiastadion in berlin, kept the history and the architecture but made it not a piece of shit.

      • “they could at least fix the stadium…”

        Are you kidding me dude? They just spent millions of dollars renovating the place. Have you even been there before?

        • I think he’s referring to the retarded seating arrangements and stadium dimensions, which are still the same.

  8. Actually, as much as you’d like to put words in your readers’ mouth, I *did* enjoy going to see a game at Fenway.

    You’ll have to excuse me for being analogous but what this argument (particularly your issue with “charm”) reminds me of is the growth of Walmart and other Big Box stores that caused the death of hundreds of “charming” downtowns, all for the sake of “progress”. Not enough parking, the stores are too small, the sidewalks are too narrow, that alleyway that always smells like piss… Sounds familiar. Sure, big box stores (or fancy new stadiums) are more spacious, more efficient, more customer friendly, etc. but there’s a reason these places are described as soul-less and scream “Anytown USA”. In fact it’s exactly why there’s a growing movement to restore downtowns around North America to their prior glory before such “progressiveness” took over. Likewise, I think there’s something to be said for the uniqueness of Fenway that provides a sense of place that you don’t really find in a lot of modern stadiums (maybe some do, but neither of us have visited them all).

    The other issue I have is the idea that “…old isn’t something to be celebrated”. People in Toronto felt the same thing throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s and tore down a lot of buildings that were “charming” or “quirky” that weren’t celebrated that we wish were still around today (for example: http://www.blogto.com/toronto/lists/the_top_10_buildings_lost_to_demolition_in_toronto/ )
    Many times these were replaced with nothing more than parking lots for the sake of adhering to modern standards: http://www.blogto.com/upload/2011/01/2011121-St.-Lawrence-and-Area.jpg You can argue you wouldn’t miss it if it was gone, but many others today, tomorrow and 50 years from now will wish they could still celebrate it and (not to be sappy but…) take their kids and grandkids to the same stadium they went to with their parents and grandparents. Shared experiences are important and should be celebrated, especially in baseball.

    As for the quirks of the park and why they exist… who cares? We have the statistical means of determining how ballparks have an impact on player performance. As someone who leans heavily on those stats, I’m surprised it matters to you that something like a wall allows for more doubles to be hit. It’s no different than suggesting that Oakland’s park is a joke because the foul territory is so massive, or the Skydome is horrible because some games are played inside and others outside or even at times both.

    But I agree they should fix the line at Pesky’s Poll.

  9. why is this the only blog on thescore.ca I continually hate reading. you truly ruin my favourite sport. time to get a new blog, this site is better than this bs.

    found a new one: DJF!

  10. Lol! Dont like things that are old and crotchety? Might as well just euthanize your grandmother while you’re at it…

  11. Love the post. Haters will hate. This is just giving another angle, dumbasses! It doesn’t mean you have to agree with it!

  12. Fuck fenway and the masshole saaawx. Big up Buffalo!

  13. I’ve been to Fenway twice – both times sitting directly behind home plate. I had a great time. The fact that the building may be a bit of a shithole misses the point. I had a great time because I was sitting in a stadium where so much history has taken place watching a game that I love being played by the best players on the planet. If you can’t enjoy that, then there’s something wrong with you

  14. Dustin, please tell us how you really feel.

  15. Fenway is old but it’s gotta be on the bucket list of any real baseball fan. For me it’s about the baseball history that you can feel in place like Fenway. 100 years ago news of the 1st game was pushed to the back pages because the Titanic sinking held everyone’s attention.

    I agree the Sweet Caroline crap is awful. Last time I was there I had to endure abuse from the massholes as I sat in the CF bleachers in my Jays jersey. Worse was Paul freaking Byrd beat the Doc that day 7-0. ugh. My tix were $25 on stubhub. 2 days earlier the same seats were $220 for the Yankees. So at least the Jays are a bargain on the road.

  16. The Skydome is a fucking shit box. Fenway may be old and shitty in some ways, but at least it looks and feels like a ballpark.

    • I love that peoples reaction to a statement about fenway is that said object is also a shit box, the skydome is a meh ballpark, but that doesn’t justify fenway being a shit box for the sake of preserving history, by the way many stadiums have been able to preserve and make the stadium experience enjoyable.

  17. Look, someone took the bait!

  18. As if you’re paid to rant about not liking a stadium, so what if it’s old, it has history to it yes there are flaws in it but what stadium is perfect . Shotty journalism yo.

    • it’s not as if he came into work and his boss gave him this topic, he’s paid to give his opinions and analysis on baseball. Since you don’t like it its shotty journalism? you sir are being petty, it’s a well written post that has justification to his opinion, a stadium can have history without being a shit box. yo

    • Fenway is among the worst ballparks in the league. You want to talk history? Yankee Stadium had history, Tiger Stadium had history, they both still built a new stadium in the last 12 years. Fenway is a 100-year old shit box, as the article says. No stadium is perfect, sure, but not many are as bad as Fenway.

    • Questions about journalism aside, the word is ‘shoddy’.

  19. What a ridiculous article, and what a stretch for your writing ability. You sir, are what is wrong with the game of baseball and seriously a joke as a “writer”. I could sit here and write a five page note about why your mom is a dirty old slag, and how her tits sag to the floor, and how her face looks like a pigs ass. But no matter what I say you will see her as mom, and you will love her. You’d probably also get pissed off, and defensive. So that’s what I’m saying, hey awesome article there chief, but you’re late to a party of haters. They all drank the haterade, and it fucking killed them. Hey Dustin. Blow me.

    • Not one thing you said here defends the stadium, why it’s still in use, and serves only further devalue your probably drunken opinion. You sir, are what is truly wrong with baseball, not the writers who insult 100-year old shit stains, but the fans who can’t form coherent thoughts and can’t defend their side of an argument with anything but threats and tired insults.

      • I don’t understand how your such a fanboy to the stupid hatred of Fenway. That’s seriously like hating the color orange. Why? Don’t go to games there then, you and or the writer of this article are not baseball players so truly you should have no purpose of hating the park so much. So you want a coherent reason? Don’t you wish you could have seen a game at the polo grounds? Or maybe the winter classic at Fenway? My point being when I went to a game last year at Fenway and did the tour, there were things from three generations that could be talked about. Dads showing their sons the dings on the monster that nomar hit in his heyday. Like I said before, if you were a player and needed full facilities to “conduct your work” then I’d understand. But bitching to bitch. Then hate boise state for having a blue field, or hate the Yankees for building new Yankee statism 100 feet from old Yankee stadium. See to me it makes no sense, because it’s hating to hate. There, it’s 4 am here and I just got home from work and that’s my most current coherent argument.

      • I don’t understand how your such a fanboy to the stupid hatred of Fenway. That’s seriously like hating the color orange. Why? Don’t go to games there then, you and or the writer of this article are not baseball players so truly you should have no purpose of hating the park so much. So you want a coherent reason? Don’t you wish you could have seen a game at the polo grounds? Or maybe the winter classic at Fenway? My point being when I went to a game last year at Fenway and did the tour, there were things from three generations that could be talked about. Dads showing their sons the dings on the monster that nomar hit in his heyday. Like I said before, if you were a player and needed full facilities to “conduct your work” then I’d understand. But bitching to bitch. Then hate boise state for having a blue field, or hate the Yankees for building new Yankee statism 100 feet from old Yankee stadium. See to me it makes no sense, because it’s hating to hate. There, it’s 4 am here and I just got home from work and that’s my most current coherent argument.

  20. I’ve never been to Fenway, but I can’t imagine I’d feel the same way as you do.

    Went to a regular season game at Wrigley (Cubs vs Pirates no less), and loved the stadium and atmosphere. Admittedly, I was second row, beside the Cubs’ dugout, which helps. Still, I also went to a regular season game at old Yankee stadium (Yanks vs Twins) and loved the old urine-smelling piece of shit. Sat in the bleachers (old shitty wooden benches) and had a great time.

    I appreciate that on the 100th anniversary, because are going to go over the top and have orgasms over it. The real point is that writers and commentators are paid for hyperbole, and you just proved the point the opposite way.

    I also completely disagree with your premise that it is wrong in some way for teams to alter their ballparks to compliment or take advantage of certain players/attributes. That’s all in the game, as far as I’m concerned.

    Again, haven’t been there. I’m sure there are spots to be improved. But if you’re a fan of this game at all, I have no idea how you can’t at least respect the history.

    “These old ballparks are like cathedrals in America. We don’t have big old Gothic cathedrals like they do in Europe. But we got baseball parks.”

    Jimmy Buffett

  21. ” He kept mistaking it for just another warehouse. That’s not a baseball stadium, that’s a piece of shit building…”

    FUCKIN HILARIOUS PARKES!

  22. You’ve become the definition of a baseball hipster and an asshole at that. Instead of giving us anything original or organic thoughts, you just seem to take it as your duty to try and put down any popular trend or sentiment that you disagree with. Thank god you don’t write about the Jays anymore

  23. Fenway may be a shitbox, but it is my shitbox and I love it!

  24. All I can say is…you have a lot of ‘charm’.

    I will cry when they demolish the Dome.

  25. +1

    I’ve been trying to think of a good term for Parkes but ‘baseball hipster’ just about nails it.

  26. Someone has to make this argument its an engaging debate..

    I disagree with your conclusion and I like this element about baseball…

    However, I totally understand this point of view…

    BTW, the 100 level of the Rogers Centre has some messed up seating as well… There are many seats that point towards the outfield.. And the slope is also not steep enough.. I’ve heard many stories from people who have taken kids to a game and they could hardly see the plate…

    That being said, I’m surprised I don’t hear this brought up more often.. Probably because most people who go to a game are more concentrated on the Jumbotron and the assholes trying to start the wave then on the game itself… But if I were Beeston I would do a major remodeling of the RC and fix the 100s…

  27. Perfect. He tries way too hard to be cool by being contrary. It’s embarrassing.

  28. I can not believe you actually get paid to write about baseball. Fenway may not have your precious creature comforts or your cookie cutter dimensions but it is one hell of a place to go and watch a game. It is unique, it is historic, it is always packed with some of the most knowledgeable and passionate fans you’ll find anywhere, it is intimate and just plain cool. This is assuming of course that you are a real baseball fan and love this game, and not just some Hipster writer who wants to stretch his damn legs and slouch in his chair at a ballpark that has the appearance and charm of a prefabricated home. I see some comments on here defending places like Comerica and U.S. Cellular. While we’re at it, why don’t we praise Safeco, Petco, AT&T, Citi, and all of the other horrible cookie cutter black hole ballparks that apparently just fell out of the sky and have no imagination. As a side note, anyone think it a coincidence that we’ve seen 5 perfect games (I include Galarraga’s) in the last 3 years?! Don’t get me wrong, some of these new stadiums, Busch and Chase for example, are wonerful places, but to call Fenway a shit box is downright shameful and disrespectful to the game, and clearly shows a lack of understanding and passion for this game.

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