Ohio State baseball: Bill Davis Stadi...

Ohio State baseball: Bill Davis Stadium gets an artificial surface | BuckeyeXtra

There are 21 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Jul 7, 2011, titled Ohio State baseball: Bill Davis Stadium gets an artificial surface | BuckeyeXtra. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

Ohio State will be joining a growing list of college baseball teams that play on artificial turf.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Columbus Dispatch.

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zappa912

Toledo, OH

#1 Jul 7, 2011
The game should be played on grass. Another cycle of playing on artificial surfaces will eventually be followed by a return to grass. Only the folks who install new playing fields really get anything out of this grass to artificial to grass nonsense. It looks to me like a wasteful use of funds for a useless purpose.
Curtis

Fort Wayne, IN

#2 Jul 7, 2011
Before you know it, OSU's turf grass team will be out of a job. Some sports are just meant to be played on a grass surface. Grass stains are supposed to go on certain uniforms. Next thing: artificial surface for the osu golf course. No divots, see? You dont have to replace the divots after your shot and can play all year round since we are not in the South.
Erik in Massillon

Sebring, OH

#3 Jul 7, 2011
It's Coach GREG Beals. This will also help in recruiting too.
Buck in Raleigh

Durham, NC

#4 Jul 7, 2011
Curtis wrote:
Before you know it, OSU's turf grass team will be out of a job. Some sports are just meant to be played on a grass surface. Grass stains are supposed to go on certain uniforms. Next thing: artificial surface for the osu golf course. No divots, see? You dont have to replace the divots after your shot and can play all year round since we are not in the South.
Maybe they can get some artificial color for artificial uniform stains, too.:-)
Mark S

Cincinnati, OH

#5 Jul 7, 2011
Let's face it, Ohio weather can be wet (and not particularly sunny) in March and April. You are competing against teams in the South that typically have sunny and drier weather at that time of year. This will help OSU compete.

To help even the playing field between northern and southern teams, the regular season should start much later, but that isn't going to happen. Most of the season is over by the time the Major League teams take the field for their openers.
zappa912

Toledo, OH

#6 Jul 7, 2011
Let's summarize here:

Artificial turf--Artificial stains--Artificial recruiting(because the 45 degree, 15mph winds in March and April won't matter anymore)--Artificial competition.

Baseball in the north is no fun for the Indians, Tigers, Reds or their opponents either in April.

I would have preferred to see that money used to help provide more partial scholarships for baseball so that we could recruit better players and be more competitive, assuming the new recruits are willing to put up with the spring weather.

I still think this is a wasteful use of funds for a useless purpose when we are discussing spring baseball in Ohio.

Just my opinion!!!
Ken Baum

Toledo, OH

#7 Jul 7, 2011
zappa912 wrote:
Let's summarize here:
Artificial turf--Artificial stains--Artificial recruiting(because the 45 degree, 15mph winds in March and April won't matter anymore)--Artificial competition.
Baseball in the north is no fun for the Indians, Tigers, Reds or their opponents either in April.
I would have preferred to see that money used to help provide more partial scholarships for baseball so that we could recruit better players and be more competitive, assuming the new recruits are willing to put up with the spring weather.
I still think this is a wasteful use of funds for a useless purpose when we are discussing spring baseball in Ohio.
Just my opinion!!!
I feel just the opposite of your opinion. this is a move being made to assure they play games when normally you couldnt get them in because of wet weather. This could bring in some better competition on weekday games as well. The grass this year was in so bad of shape its amazing they got some games in after all that rain we got in ohio this spring.
zappa912

Toledo, OH

#8 Jul 7, 2011
Ken,

You may well be right. But in ten years, I will bet there will be problems, real or perceived, that will result in a return to grass again at a cost of several hundreds of thousands of dollars which could have been used for more baseball scholarships.

Just my opinion.
An American

Columbus, OH

#9 Jul 7, 2011
No happy medium here. Grass is best and traditional, yet this year proved Spring ball only does not play well in OHIO.
Next it will be the injury reports and how the turf was an effect.
Best of luck no matter guys.
Michael Scott

Columbus, OH

#10 Jul 7, 2011
Is it too much to ask the Dispatch to get the coach's name right? GREG Beals, not Rick. Pitiful.
Ken Baum

Toledo, OH

#11 Jul 7, 2011
zappa912 wrote:
Ken,
You may well be right. But in ten years, I will bet there will be problems, real or perceived, that will result in a return to grass again at a cost of several hundreds of thousands of dollars which could have been used for more baseball scholarships.
Just my opinion.
I dont have a problem with what you said. The only thing i would be worried about is injuries but i dont know how much of a problem this kind of turf causes compaired to the astro-turf.
zappa912

Toledo, OH

#12 Jul 7, 2011
Ken,

I would like to know the track record of the new turf product, long term and short term, pros and cons, before installing it. As opposed to being the guinea pigs, like the old users of astroturf.
go bucks

New York, NY

#13 Jul 8, 2011
zappa...

1. The fact that you'd like to see money be used for more scholarships is irrelevant. NCAA rules limit 11.7 scholarships per program, which are divided as the coaching staff sees fit.

2. This was spearheaded by a private donation from Swisher. He contributed a very large sum of money, which allowed the project to get the green light. As you seem unaware, private donors are allowed to place stipulations and state exactly what their donation may be used for.

3. Your issues about player safety are also irrelevant. The baseball team, along with football, softball, lacrosse, etc. will use the indoor facilities at Woody Hayes and the outdoor practice fields next door. These fields are field turf as well. Guys are used to running, cutting, sliding, etc. on the field turf as the entire offseason is spent on the field turf. The baseball team uses Bill Davis for fall practice and in-season. Once the weather gets too cold after the Scarlet and Gray world series, players train inside at Woody Hayes on field turf and continue to train there typically until getting back from spring break trip. Unseasonably warm winter days will allow players to get outside, but again, on the artificial surface football practice fields.

All surfaces have risks and rewards, and in this case for a cold weather school, field turf makes great sense.

In terms of grass stains and what not, you are saying this based purely on emotion. Smart business people and decision makers take emotion out of the equation, and typically look at what is best for the program, student athletes, recruiting, etc. and field turf hands down makes sense.
go bucks

New York, NY

#14 Jul 8, 2011
zappa...
Also, one last thing about your prediction of problems and going back to grass in 10 years...
Do you realize the field turf product is not a new invention that has no track record? Teams have been using this since the '90s and you never hear of player complaints or increased injuries. If you can, I'd really like to see an example (provide a link) of a team switching back to grass after a substantial period of time playing on field turf.
Also, its track record is wonderful. Players can still wear metal spikes and have superior traction and grip compared to grass. In my opinion, it's also easier on the joints compared to when the dirt is very hard/dry if the grass isn't always watered constantly.
The only downside is sliding head first on turf. I always gashed my elbows more on turf than dirt/grass. Players will be more likely to wear a 3/4 sleeve as a result.
Bo - Woody Never Cheated

Grand Blanc, MI

#15 Jul 8, 2011
go bucks wrote:
zappa...
Also, one last thing about your prediction of problems and going back to grass in 10 years...
Do you realize the field turf product is not a new invention that has no track record? Teams have been using this since the '90s and you never hear of player complaints or increased injuries. If you can, I'd really like to see an example (provide a link) of a team switching back to grass after a substantial period of time playing on field turf.
Also, its track record is wonderful. Players can still wear metal spikes and have superior traction and grip compared to grass. In my opinion, it's also easier on the joints compared to when the dirt is very hard/dry if the grass isn't always watered constantly.
The only downside is sliding head first on turf. I always gashed my elbows more on turf than dirt/grass. Players will be more likely to wear a 3/4 sleeve as a result.
r they goin under like the FB team
zappa912

Toledo, OH

#16 Jul 9, 2011
Hey go bucks,

Thanks for the education on field turf. You have a lot of experience with it so your comments make a lot of sense to me.

Also, I was unaware there was an NCAA limitation on baseball scholarships.

I did not consider that Nick Swisher's generous donation was earmarked for the new turf. I fully realize a donor can designate a specific purpose for a gift.

I have no examples of teams switching back to grass because I was under the impression that it had not been in use for a long time.

However I do have one final question based upon your convincing argument in favor of field turf. Why don't more cold weather major and minor league teams and college teams with outdoor playing surfaces use it?
go bucks

United States

#17 Jul 16, 2011
I think it's primarily due to cost. In the long run it's probably cheaper, but the initial cost is through the roof compared to sod...probably makes a lot of ADs and people in the finance office balk at it when they see the huge cost at the start.

I was reluctant at first on it with thoughts of the old school AstroTurf that felt more like concrete. But once I was playing on the new style turf, I was immediately convinced. A hard ball field in the heat can be tough on the body, but the AstroTurf is more forgiving.
go bucks

United States

#18 Jul 16, 2011
Also, MLB and high level minor league teams have a larger ground crew budget so they don't need turf. And since baseball is not a revenue producing sport at the college level, most athletic budgets have no money for it unless private donors can make it happen.
zappa912

Toledo, OH

#19 Jul 19, 2011
go bucks wrote:
I think it's primarily due to cost. In the long run it's probably cheaper, but the initial cost is through the roof compared to sod...probably makes a lot of ADs and people in the finance office balk at it when they see the huge cost at the start.
I was reluctant at first on it with thoughts of the old school AstroTurf that felt more like concrete. But once I was playing on the new style turf, I was immediately convinced. A hard ball field in the heat can be tough on the body, but the AstroTurf is more forgiving.
Your postings at #17 and #18 make sense. Obviously, your experience on the new turf is first hand and understandable to me. I will look forward to seeing the OSU baseball team playing on the new surface next spring. Might even sneak onto the field when no one is looking just to see how it feels underfoot. Thanks again for the updated education.
Blue_Ha_Ha

Toledo, OH

#20 Jul 24, 2011
Curtis wrote:
Before you know it, OSU's turf grass team will be out of a job. Some sports are just meant to be played on a grass surface. Grass stains are supposed to go on certain uniforms. Next thing: artificial surface for the osu golf course. No divots, see? You dont have to replace the divots after your shot and can play all year round since we are not in the South.
...and besides, our horses won't have anything to eat when we go to the games.

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