DVH In-Game Interview

Question for Matt/Clay:

During the game broadcast on Sunday while they were interviewing DVH during the game they were talking about Baum Stadium. DVH said they had some things in the works (additions, upgrades) but couldnt discuss it until it was finalized.

Do you have an idea of what he is referring to?

I might have misunderstood him, but I thought what he said he couldn’t discuss was recruits coming in.

The announcers thought he was talking about recruits, but I agree with you, I think he was talking about stadium upgrades. During the game before, the announcers were talking about the huge waiting list for suites and that they may wrap around the right field corner. Would they be above and behind the visitor’s bull pen?

Plans are being made for new clubhouse and weight room on 1st base side of stadium. I assume the 1st base side will become the home dugout.

My recollection is that DVH’s comment was in response to a question or statement about Baum, and not about recruits or anything. So I took it as that something is cooking with the ballpark. We already knew about the Jeff Long plan for a concourse that wraps around the park and a new area of suites in right field, but maybe there is something different afoot we haven’t heard about yet.

Given the arms race in SEC ballparks, with Moo U finishing up the redone Dudy Noble, plus what OM and Bama and LSU have done, I’m not sure the old Long plan is enough to keep pace/stay ahead. I would like to see a small grandstand above the RF bullpen and suites above that. Maybe 1000 to 1500 seats, not a huge expansion. Plus the clubhouse and weight room. I would think the weight room could be hooked to the Fowler Center, but clubhouse would be inside the current stadium fence.

He was definitely referring to stadium changes.

I think first thing is to take care of the players with a new clubhouse. I’m interested if they put it on the first base side, could they connect it to the Fowler Center with a tunnel. That would be really cool.

As for the fans amenities, we definitely need something as simple as TV monitors above the concession stands. With the expansions that have been done, it is no longer possible to see the field while standing in line.

And I am hoping for a club seat option. A suite is not in my budget, nor is it even available. But I would love to have a warm place to watch in February. And March. And April. And sometimes even in May…

And a concourse al around the stadium.

I hope you get that, too. Let me know if you do. I’ll make a very strong effort to become one of your very best spring semester friends. I’ll even drive up from LR for the privilege.

What would be interesting about doing something like that behind the right field bullpen is the possible effect it might have on fly balls hit in that direction. As everybody here knows, about 80% of the time, there is a medium to brisk wind blowing in toward home plate from right field. Putting some seats and then suites above them would likely alter that, to some degree.

This is what I have heard.

I think that’s overstated. When the wind is blowing out to right, the grandstands/suites/roof along the third-baseline don’t affect the wind in that direction. I don’t think suites in front of Lake Norm would even do as much to the wind as the current structure behind home plate does. Any fly ball of decent height would get up above the structure.

I agree with Swine on this one, Wiz. It’d take some pretty tall stands to affect wind coming in on a baseball. Not many balls are going to be hit on such a low straight line that they’re going to get over the fence but still stay out of the wind.

Fixed that for you, Jeff, LOL.

The reality is that neither you – nor I – really know one way or the other, for sure. For one thing, we can’t until we know what the addition might look like - how tall it would be, how far away from the outfield fence, etc. Secondarily, it’s not as simple as the fact that the third base line suites don’t affect a ball hit to right with the wind blowing out. Oranges and apples, for many reasons. But let’s not go down that rabbit hole.

What I take issue with here is not that you think the effect will be minimal to almost non-existent (I’m not sure you’re wrong about that). It’s your characterization of my post as “overstated”. I’m NOT sure what effect it might have; that’s why I put it as I did . . . it “would be interesting” . . . “the possible effect it might have “ . . . “to some degree”. Purposely did not “overstate” . . . because, I don’t know. Would it have a major effect? I don’t think so. But in some cases, might a ball that currently dies 3 or 4 feet short of the fence be a home run? I’d expect that might be true, sometimes . . . depending on how strong the wind is, just exactly from what direction it is blowing, and the trajectory of the ball off the bat. Which . . . is why I said it would be interesting to see what effect it may have, when and if something is built out there.

If I’d have said it would likely make the balls carry 10-15 more feet in that direction, then I’d agree I would have overstated the probable effect. But I didn’t.

Uh, Wiz, if that’s what I wanted to say, that’s what I would have said. I don’t know what you’re basing your opinion/guess on, but I’m basing it on what’s already there and what we’ve seen for 23 seasons now.

Oh yeah, and personal experience. I spent my first two years on campus living in (and parking outside) Yocum Hall. If you don’t remember campus layout, Yocum, which is nine stories tall and laid out on a north-south axis, is just south of Humphreys Hall, which is also nine stories and laid out on an east-west axis. You would think that a 100-foot-tall dorm would block the wind to a parking lot located in its shadow. Uh, no. The north wind would just curl around Humphreys and blast the Yocum lot. Now it could very well have caused some swirling. But whatever they build behind the Baum right field fence isn’t going to be 100 feet tall, and fly balls will be above any screening effect that structure might have.

This may sound “trite”, but I’d rather look at it aesthetically. Do “wrap arounds both left field and right field”, when watching on TV, the Pinnacle Foods processing plant is sort of an eyesore (sorry) out there in left field. No offense to the Pinnacle guys, I’ve just been waiting on those trees out there on Razorback to grow.

There is no doubt that plant is an eyesore. It’s an awful thing to behold in otherwise very impressive camera shots of Baum stadium, especially when it’s packed. I’m not sure the trees on Razorback Rd can grow enough to really hide it. Nevertheless, I don’t think our aesthetic sensiblities are going to influence Pinnacle to move their plant or to bring in fully grown oaks to hide itself from our view. I’m afraid we’re stuck with it.

On the right field, however, I can certainly see some grandstands & luxury boxes sitting above them. The view beyond right isn’t as bad as that of the Pinnacle plant, but it’s not as nice as it’d be if we saw an expanded & improved Baum.

Neastarkie, the other thing I thought about in left field is to put a parking garage out there. I used to be able to park out there and have an easy walk to Baum. Now, if you don’t have parking, you are stuck way out northwest of the Baum, and a half mile walk.

I doubt they think that’s a good bang for the buck that far from campus, but I’d love a parking deck there. I live in LR so I don’t buy season tickets or have a parking pass. It didn’t bother me to walk over a mile as recently as last year, but since then I hurt my back & developed sciatic nerve damge so that any walk over about 1/4 mile is really tough. I’m unaware of any handicapped parking for anyone who isn’t a campaign donor. There might be some, but I don’t know where it is or how early I’d have to get there to get a spot.

Once again, I’ll remind you (as I already stated - but, you apparently missed?) that it’s not your conclusion (nor, the fact that you have a conclusion that may be something different than my speculation about what might be) that I have a problem with. It’s that you respond to my my whimsical “gee . . . I wonder if that (whatever “that” ends up being) might have some affect on the balls to right field” as if I’d boldly stated that balls hit in that direction would without a doubt carry 10 to 15 feet further than they currently do (that I’m “overstating” the effect).

I never have a problem with someone disagreeing with a take I may have/post. If they do - they do. That’s their right, and it’s what message boards are for. Depending on the response, I reserve the right to engage them in some back-and-forth debate, particularly if their response is not (in my opinion) well thought out, or factually flawed. But often, I’ll post an opinion, a link to a subject of interest, or pose a question I’m thinking about and just read the responses. However, one thing I detest and am most likely to respond to quickly is someone either “putting words in my mouth” (replying to a post I’ve made implying or flat out stating “you say X” when, in fact, I did no such thing), or spinning their reply as if I’d said something I did not. Your post falls into the latter category.

Finally, with respect, the size and orientation of Yocum has literally nothing to do with anything that may be built, at some future point, in right field at Baum. I’m not an architect, and claim no expertise in this area. But I am close friends with one, and I have discussed this in the past with him. He tells me that wind (and sound retention) effects of outdoor construction is literally unique to each specific structure built, due not only to the size and shape of the structure, but also the surrounding topography and the other buildings proximate to it.

I’ve already said in my first response to you that I wouldn’t be surprised if the effect were very little, iif anything. So, really, our thoughts on the subject are much closer together than they are dissimilar. But, I’m still interested to see what it may be, when and if something is built out there. That’s it. No bold claim - just something I thought about for a few seconds when the topic of adding seats and suites in right field was brought up.

You, apparently, have concluded already that there will be virtually no effect. I’m cool with that.