SBD/June 24, 2014/Events and Attractions

Low Offensive Output At CWS Could Force Organizers To Considering Changes

Outfield dimensions at TD Ameritrade Park are the same as at Rosenblatt Stadium
Crowds at the College World Series this year "remain strong," but there "remains an overwhelming sense that something needs to be done" regarding low offensive outputs to keep people coming, according to Pat Borzi of the N.Y. TIMES. The CWS last year attracted a record 341,483 fans (24,392 per game), and crowds this year have averaged 21,872 for 13 games heading into yesterday's Finals. Big West Commissioner and NCAA D-I Baseball Committee Chair Dennis Farrell said, "Scoring is certainly one that is on everyone’s mind. Could it use a little more scoring? Yeah, a little bit more. But I don’t think going back to where we were in the 1990s is certainly the answer." The NCAA said that for the "first time since the introduction of aluminum bats in 1974, there were no home runs in the first eight games of the series." Teams hit 32 homers in '10, the final year at Rosenblatt Stadium -- eight more than TD Ameritrade Park "has yielded in four seasons as the host ballpark." Since the ballpark switch, "no team has overcome a deficit of more than four runs to win." This CWS "now has 87 runs; last year’s had 86, the fewest since the NCAA introduced the eight-team, double-elimination format in 1950." TD Ameritrade’s outfield dimensions "are identical" to Rosenblatt’s, but that "is deceptive." Rosenblatt, built "on a hill, faced northeast." The prevailing wind from the south "frequently blew out, helping fly balls carry." TD Ameritrade "opens southeast, accenting the downtown skyline, so the same wind blows in." ESPN analyst Kyle Peterson is "among those who favor moving the fences." He said, "If you bring them in 10 or 15 feet, maybe that will be enough. But they’ve got to do something, because you can’t take the home run out of the college game" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/24).
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