Disclaimer: I kind of really like Houston as a baseball team. The Jeff Luhnow Experience has been something of a project of admiration, and really, at this point if there is another American League team that I consistently root for, it would be the Astros.
It's a team of oddities, from a 5' 6" second baseman who flaunts every convention to a first baseman hitting .197 who is still an average player because it turns out that home runs and walks are actually pretty valuable. Not to mention that they have performed so well this season while Jed Lowrie has spent the bulk of it on the disabled list, they have used ten different starting pitchers, and they regularly employ guys named Domingo, Marwin, Dallas, and Fausto*.
*Why would you give up and go back to Roberto Hernandez? Why remove the Faustian pastiche that typified the uniqueness of Carmona? Not to mention the gutteral iterances that came as a result (I often pronounced his name as Fausto Haak-mo-naah for some reason), all for the honesty of a plain retread Roberto Hernandez? But I digress.
It's a team befitting the fever dream of a stadium that they play in, and last night, the oddities of Minute Maid Park played a fairly significant role in the outcome of the game. It got me to thinking about steps the Kansas City Royals could take to make Kauffman Stadium play more like the Houston Astros home stadium, to really gussy up the drab and staid look of classic baseball architecture to fit the modern accoutrement that society dictates. Here are some ideas:
- Integrate The Little K into right-center field, move the Jumbotron into the field of play by extending the center field wall, install a fountain (Gordon's Geyser) into left field.
- Rosado's Roses: A string of rose bushes that hedge the first base line from the dugout.
- The Kauffman Boxes: It's just a stack of corrugated boxes that stand behind the second baseman. Different arrangements are permitted. K.C. one game, an eight-bit crown the next, etc.
- A six-foot trench will be dug between the 387 signs from left-center to right-center, lined with Sluggerrr and leftover Tony Pena Jr. bobbleheads.
- Pennant flags will be moved from beyond the left field wall and should be stationed in non-linear plots behind short stop. Over-sized flagstones, one for every 100-loss season, will be placed behind first.
- Outfield walls are comprised of non-Euclidean geometry. When viewed from the right angle, the face of Freddie Patek emerges. From a different angle, the Denkinger Play.
- The Cain Train: A powder blue 1:35 scale model train runs on a line that spans and encircles the outfield warning track, running at regular intervals during innings. Any ball hitting the train on the fly will cue an Amtrak prize giveaway.
- In addition to foul poles, there will now be fair poles placed in a 10'x10' grid throughout the playing field.
- The Immaculate Concepcions: A series of onyx reliefs depicting the Royals seasons from 1980 to 1985, stationed in shallow center field.
- Put the Royals Hall of Fame behind third base, call it Brett's Bunker, jutting from foul territory into play. The Casey mascot will roam the territory on a penny-farthing bicycle.