Somebody please tear down Tropicana Field already

Fans watch the Tampa Bay Rays play the Philadelphia Phillies at Tropicana Field during game one of the World Series in St. Petersburg, Florida on October 22, 2008. (UPI Photo/David Mills) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

I don’t care if it turns it into a parking lot, an ice cream stand, or a tampon factory, but can someone please put Tropicana Field out of its misery?

Yesterday, during the top of 9th of Tampa and Minnesota’s tied 6-6 game, the Twins’ Jason Kubel hit a towering popup that would have likely been caught if the Rays played in a normal stadium. Instead, the ball hit the catwalk some 190 feet above the infield and dropped for a single.

The final result: Twins 8, Rays 6.

Before some know-it-all points this out, yes, I’m well aware that one moment in any sporting event determines the outcome of a game. Tampa could have been leading 6-3, 6-0 or 16-0 and Kubel’s popup would have relegated to a highlight for future blooper reels.

But it wasn’t 6-3, 6-0 or 16-0 – it was 6-6 and the Rays could have gotten out of the inning had the ball not hit the catwalk. Not to be overly dramatic here, but the catwalk could have cost the Rays a win in the middle of a pennant race.

No offense to the fine folks that poured time, money and effort into building Tropicana Field, but it is by far the worst ballpark in America. Some seats are obstructed by foul balls, the lightening is too dim and did I mention it’s a freaking dome? A dome in Tampa, Florida? I know it rains a lot out there, but the showers don’t last very long – at least not long enough for some genius to say, “Hey, here’s an idea – let’s build a dome!”

Tear the thing down.

(Watch the video of the play here.)

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2009 Fantasy Baseball Preview: DH

All 2009 Fantasy Articles | 2009 Position Rankings

Ugh…DH’s. Is there anything less thrilling when it comes to fantasy baseball? They’re like the equivalent to kickers when it comes to talking about fantasy football. Still, you have a utility spot to fill in your lineup and there is some power to be had here, which means we’re apt to discuss some kind of approach to drafting designated hitters.

So here it goes: Avoid them if at all possible. That’s right, forget about them and don’t, under any circumstances, draft Big Papi in the top 20. It makes no sense to spend a high pick on a hitter with deteriorating power who is just as likely to miss a chunk of the season again as he is to hit 30 home runs.

Look, we mean no harm to Ortiz – he’s still a quality player and he could have a bounce back year. But chances are Jim Thome will produce just as many home runs and you can have him much later in the draft.

Of course, the question is, do you even want to select Thome, or any other DH for that matter? By the time you need to address your utility position, your starting roster should be set and you will have already started to stockpile pitchers. You can take a guy like Thome or maybe roll the dice on a Travis Hafner rebound, but understand that, in most leagues, any DH you select is going to eat up your util slot since they don’t qualify at any other position, which diminishes your overall roster flexibility. Why not save that utility slot for another OF or a corner infielder, someone who can fill several different spots on your roster and someone who, quite frankly, could be more valuable to you? Then you can get back to finding the next Tim Lincecum or cashing in on one of the many prospects you’ve already targeted as sleepers.

The one thing you will find at DH is power, which will make some of these guys appealing if you find yourself a little weak in that department on draft day. Below are your best bets to give you a fair amount of dingers and RBI’s this season. Don’t worry about what they’ll produce in terms of an average; if you select a DH sniffs .280 this year, drop to your knees and thank the fantasy gods for the gift.

Read the rest after the jump...

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