The St. Louis Cardinals organization raised eyebrows and questions recently, when they turned their self-styled “Baseball Heaven” into a hell of an ordeal for their grounds crew.
The Cardinals inexplicably staged a college football game in Busch Stadium this past Saturday, two days before their team’s final home stand of the regular season, and less than two weeks before the beginning of the MLB playoffs. The Cardinals successfully staged an international soccer friendly match earlier this year, which was a huge success. But that was soccer. The field was not torn up the way it was in the football game, and the grounds crew had four days to put the field back to rights.
This time, the crew had about 36 hours to roll out 13 truckloads of sod, and the result was not pretty. Head groundskeeper Billy Findley and his crew did a fabulous job with the time and materials they were given. Mike Matheny said after that game that the field looked the same as it had before. He was being honest, no doubt, but he was looking at it from field level. From the upper decks, it really was a field of seams. Gone was the beautiful arch that had been crafted into the grass all year, along with that beautiful checkered pattern. Some of the sidelines and yardage lines from the football game were still there. It was ugly. It didn’t seem to affect the outfielders too much, although Bryce Harper slipped fielding a fly ball (he caught it). The Cardinals were lucky nothing worse happened.
Why would the Cardinals organization do this so close to the end of the season and the postseason? Did they not think the Cardinals were going to be in the playoffs? It’s baffling. One thing is certain, if Findley and his crew can get that outfield looking something like its former self before the Cardinals’ first playoff game and the arrival of the national media, they’ll have to be in the conversation for MVP.
Sara Lefebvre is a St Louis Cardinals writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Google.