Nooks & Crannies

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric Byrnes

Recently spent a couple days at Fenway Park working the pregame show for MLB Network with my dude Jamison Coyle… Over the course of the 2 days, our job was to capture the atmosphere of the ballpark and provide in depth analysis and information about the series and the park. 

Before we went out to Boston, I had a talk with our Coordinating Producer Rich Chinchamino about potentially doing a demonstration on all the nooks and crannies of the Fenway Park outfield… 

We both agreed that Fenway is, by far and away, the most unique outfield in all of baseball and we figured it would be very cool to show baseball fans all of the things that players need to account for when playing in Boston. 

We started the demo down the left field line and showed how the ball reacts off of the infamous green monster… The top part of the wall is wood and shoots back with decent velocity, yet when the ball hits the old metal scoreboard with a ton of give, it deadens the ball. The green monster also has a ladder on it that was originally installed so maintenance workers could climb up and get the balls out of the net that was above the wall until the green monster seats were installed in 2003… The Red Sox decided to keep the ladder on the wall as an ode to the wall’s history.

We then moved to Centerfield at Fenway Park, which is incredibly tricky… 

At the 376 sign in left center, the wall is actually angled toward left field, while just a few feet over it, the wall squares up and directly faces centerfield which allows for a more true ricochet. As the wall approaches right field, it shoots all the way out to 420 feet and creates a Bermuda Triangle which shoots back in to where the bullpens are. The wall then stays straight until it begins to round off into Pesky Pole territory down the right field line… 

Sound complicated? 

Yup, that’s because it is…

After meditating on the demo for awhile, I realized that our journey around the Fenway park outfield somehow had 3 incredible parallels to the journey of life… 

  1. Just like Fenway, life isn’t perfectly symmetrical… As much as some people think it would be better to have a standardized wall and equal dimensions, it wouldn’t. As a matter of fact, it is actually the different materials, challenging angles and sharp edges that give us LIFE. 
  2. There are certain elements of Fenway Park and certain elements of life that don’t always make sense… Instead of trying to overthink it and demand explanations of  everything, sometimes we are much better off just keeping it simple by instinctually reacting to what life and outfield walls throw at us. 
  3. There is no substitute for hard work and preparation… As our main dude John Wooden so brilliantly reminds us, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Yet, we also must realize that we can be perfectly prepared, but no matter how much we study, we don’t always know which way the ball is going to bounce… 

Bottom Line: So long as we understand and take the time to learn the intricacies of the ballpark and the intricacies of life, we will never be driven by irrational emotions while reacting to the inevitable NOOKS & CRANNIES. 👊

-EB