Take me out to the ball game….
The Prince William Park Authority has approved major renovations for the Pfitzner Field to begin after the Nationals’ season ends on September 6. Renovations will include the installation new grass, a new irrigation system, new sod and soil. The cost of this project will be about $300,000 and will be shared by Prince William County and the Park Authority. The Nationals will oversee the progress which is supposed to take 6 to 8 weeks to complete.
The field is 27 years old and was the subject of quite dust-up several weeks ago. Quoting Potomac owner Art Silber, according to insidenova.com:
“The field is 27 years old and has never been rebuilt. With the amount of clay underneath it and the natural subsoil in the area, it’s difficult to develop a proper drainage system and develop some low spots in the outfield. It’s also impossible to get the water to not accumulate. That has created some situations that are less than ideal.”
Park Authority executive director Jay Ellington said that one of the project’s main purposes is to raise the elevation of the outfield and that the Nationals are working on obtaining a waiver from the office of minor league baseball that allows the field to be under the regular field standard.
This project will be the latest in an attempt to get Pfitzner Stadium’s field in proper playing shape to avoid the difficult predicaments Potomac has experienced this year.
An April home series against the Frederick Keys was moved to Harry Grove Stadium in Maryland due to field issues.
A July 14 home doubleheader was postponed due to unplayable conditions even when the weather was perfect for a game.
Dust up is probably putting it mildy. The Washington Times reported a heated exchange of barbs that involved Washington Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo, Potomac National’s owner Art Silas and Prince William County Supervisor Chairman Corey Stewart.
The short version is as follows:
A ferocious storm tore through Northern Virginia last week. The hourlong deluge left creeks of muddy water flowing along roads, snarled traffic and soaked the field at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, home to the Potomac Nationals, Washington’s high Class A affiliate.
When the next day’s doubleheader was postponed – on a pleasant evening more than 24 hours after the rain had stopped – Washington general manager Mike Rizzo issued a statement calling the field a “safety threat” and “even more dangerous” because of “unsupervised work.”
“He clearly doesn’t know what he was talking about,” Mr. Silber said. “He has no idea what has happened at our ballpark and really shouldn’t be commenting on it.
Enter Corey Stewart, who was not to be outdone or silenced:
“Rizzo ought to focus on doing his job, which could probably use some improvement,” Mr. Stewart said, voice shaking. “He’s talking out of his rear end. … He doesn’t know what’s happening because he didn’t bother to check.
“Frankly, he’s not a good manager. He’s received a lot of criticism for his performance for the job he should be doing. He should stick to the job he’s supposed to do instead of getting involved in something he doesn’t know about.”
Apprised of Mr. Stewart’s reaction, Mr. Rizzo responded in a statement to The Washington Times: “I don’t really understand Mr. Stewart’s comments. My concerns with playing conditions at Prince William County’s Pfitzner Stadium have related specifically to protecting our players and those of our opponents. I can’t imagine he doesn’t place the same value on player safety that I do, Major League Baseball does, the Carolina League does, and the Washington Nationals do.”
Never a dull moment when Corey Stewart is around. Maybe Corey could have chosen his words better. Perhaps less grinding of the guy’s persona and a little more debate on the issue at hand would have represented Prince William County better. Not our Corey. He went straight for the jugular and debased the manager on his over-all job performance. Is that what we call an ad hominem attack? Corey always provides high drama, even when it comes to baseball.
I only have one question: Does this $300,000 come out of the general funds or is it a bond project? Do we make money on the deal to pay off the $300,000? How does this work? Until Corey went wild, I never gave it much thought.baseball2