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Natural vs. Turf

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Here in my town, all the fields used for summer ball are turf. So I’ve became used to them and now I want to know what other guys think. Natural or turf? And why?

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This was moved to the Free For All Forum from the Ask the Umpire Forum ........

Ask the Umpire is for people to ask questions about situations, rules, etc.

As for your question:

Turf is your friend when its raining and you have to get a game in, but it gets so slippery that it changes the game (sliding).   Also, turf is just so HOT when it's warm out .... can be "shoe melting" in some areas.

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1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

Turf is your friend when its raining and you have to get a game in, but it gets so slippery that it changes the game (sliding).   Also, turf is just so HOT when it's warm out .... can be "shoe melting" in some areas.

It's also not your friend when it's raining too hard to play, but it *might* stop in the next couple of hours.  With grass, everyone goes home -- you won't (at non-pro fields) get the field ready to play when it stops raining.  With turf, you have to wait it out because you can be ready to play by the time the teams have warmed up.

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Pros:
- Can be ready to play about any time
- Lines are always well-marked and in the correct place
- "Bad hops" almost never happen
- Shoes and pants don't get dirty, so don't need to be cleaned as much (sweaty is a different story).

Cons:
- HOT
- Most places have no metal cleats and no sunflower seeds rules

On the whole, I like turf fields. Other opinions may differ.

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1 minute ago, kylehutson said:

Cons:
- HOT
- Most places have no metal cleats and no sunflower seeds rules

On the whole, I like turf fields. Other opinions may differ.

We have the “no sunflower seed” rule. And we are to treat it just like the tobacco rule in NCAA (player ejected, coach ejected) a little much imo but rules are rules. 

Turf is also rough when you do a lot of games in a day. I’ve noticed a pain in my foot and hip from basically standing on the harder surface and has no give unlike grass

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3 hours ago, kylehutson said:

Pros:
- Can be ready to play about any time
- Lines are always well-marked and in the correct place
- "Bad hops" almost never happen
- Shoes and pants don't get dirty, so don't need to be cleaned as much (sweaty is a different story).

Cons:
- HOT
- Most places have no metal cleats and no sunflower seeds rules

On the whole, I like turf fields. Other opinions may differ.

Good list. I just have one add to the cons which is a big con for me the older I get

Turf absolutely kills my back.  I can do a DH on grass and be fine. 2 games on a turf field and I'm icing the back for the next 2-3 days. 

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1 minute ago, Richvee said:

Good list. I just have one add to the cons which is a big con for me the older I get

Turf absolutely kills my back.  I can do a DH on grass and be fine. 2 games on a turf field and I'm icing the back for the next 2-3 days. 

Go ahead, just admit you're old Rich ...come on!!! :D 

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2 minutes ago, Richvee said:

Good list. I just have one add to the cons which is a big con for me the older I get

Turf absolutely kills my back.  I can do a DH on grass and be fine. 2 games on a turf field and I'm icing the back for the next 2-3 days. 

I also have a bad back (a bulging disc to be precise), and have never had any worse problems on turf than on grass.

YMMV, I guess.

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24 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

Go ahead, just admit you're old Rich ...come on!!! :D 

Oh, I know it. There's no denying it. :nod:

23 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

I also have a bad back (a bulging disc to be precise), and have never had any worse problems on turf than on grass.

YMMV, I guess.

My back issues are with the sacroiliac joint, (basically the spine/hip connector). Maybe that makes a difference. All I know is I feel a great difference after two games. One game ( a few hours) isn't an issue. But when I have to spend the better part of a day on turf, I'm gonna feel it. 

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How about the half-and-half fields?  The infield is all turf (including all dirt areas), while the outfield is grass.  

It is a little weird having dirt-colored turf around home plate...but I still bring a plate brush to wipe away all of the little black rubber pellets.

 

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17 minutes ago, lawump said:

How about the half-and-half fields?  The infield is all turf (including all dirt areas), while the outfield is grass.  

It is a little weird having dirt-colored turf around home plate...but I still bring a plate brush to wipe away all of the little black rubber pellets.

 

We have 4, 60-90 fields. And 2 of them are half and half. I’m a fan of the turf just so clothes and shoes don’t get dirty (the girlfriend likes it too! :P)

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4 hours ago, kylehutson said:

Pros:
- Can be ready to play about any time
- Lines are always well-marked and in the correct place
- "Bad hops" almost never happen
- Shoes and pants don't get dirty, so don't need to be cleaned as much (sweaty is a different story).

 

You did not include players sliding beyond the bag for outs (especially when the turf is wet) and no need for a plate brush. Snow is easily removed so early season games are more likely to be played when other fields are still in the freeze/thaw process.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Richvee said:

Oh, I know it. There's no denying it. :nod:

My back issues are with the sacroiliac joint, (basically the spine/hip connector). Maybe that makes a difference. All I know is I feel a great difference after two games. One game ( a few hours) isn't an issue. But when I have to spend the better part of a day on turf, I'm gonna feel it. 

I know you learned that sacroiliac word from you're favorite movie 'jungle book'. And you sound like Andre Dawson. Just go to the Cubs field to work your games. Do you need to carry your oxygen tank with you also??

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7 hours ago, Richvee said:

Oh, I know it. There's no denying it. :nod:

My back issues are with the sacroiliac joint, (basically the spine/hip connector). Maybe that makes a difference. All I know is I feel a great difference after two games. One game ( a few hours) isn't an issue. But when I have to spend the better part of a day on turf, I'm gonna feel it. 

And I bet you have not given even a bit of thought about how your partner's back will feel after carrying you for two games.

So selfish.....    :stir

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I've never actually umpired on a turf field, but as a player, I find it way less comfortable. First, because of the heat, second, because it won't conform to you. Now, that's not ALL bad. The other catcher can't dig to china in the catchers box which is nice, for both me and the umpire.

Also, blocking on turf sucks... 

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1 hour ago, Kevin_K said:

And I bet you have not given even a bit of thought about how your partner's back will feel after carrying you for two games.

So selfish.....    :stir

That’s low :BD:

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7 hours ago, Kevin_K said:

You did not include players sliding beyond the bag for outs (especially when the turf is wet) and no need for a plate brush. Snow is easily removed so early season games are more likely to be played when other fields are still in the freeze/thaw process.

 

 

No need for a plate brush?  What do you do when the catcher takes one square in the mask?

 

Yes, I still brush the plate off when that happens.  I love the looks as people try to figure out if you’ve lost you marbles.

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17 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

No need for a plate brush?  What do you do when the catcher takes one square in the mask?

 

Yes, I still brush the plate off when that happens.  I love the looks as people try to figure out if you’ve lost you marbles.

At one of the fields the plate is apart of the turf. So as a runner you have no clue if you touch the “plate” or not!

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Getting more into college baseball, and having to take off work in order to do some games, turf in the late winter/early spring, is great for making sure that I’m not wasting time off from work and gas to get whacked half way there...

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1 hour ago, The Man in Blue said:

No need for a plate brush?  What do you do when the catcher takes one square in the mask?

 

Walk a ball out to the pitcher? That works for me. 

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We've got a tourney complex here with 7 all-turf fields, and the township here has put turf down on at least the infield in about a dozen locations. In addition all the local NCAA colleges and a bunch of the local HS and JUCO colleges have turf infields. One big PRO is that for the seasons here which start late Feb/Early March for College, then mid-March HS, going to just before Thanksgiving, the local schools can move games on rainy/crappy days (or the first good day after bad weather like snow) to these fields and get them in, and during the busy season (summer/fall ball) if you are assigned fields at these venues, the cancellation rate goes way down, assuring you get your games/fees.

That said, in the heat of the summer on a nice day, I want to work a dirt/clay field with infield/outfield grass over turf..

I also use my plate brush.. Get those little black granules off the plate when they pile up past just using my foot, and as a timing thing with pitcher/coach conferences.. I watch the coach out until I figure out if he is changing pitchers or not, indicate the conference if its FED rules on my scorecard, then brush off the plate and walk out to break em up.. 

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13 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

No need for a plate brush?  What do you do when the catcher takes one square in the mask?

Walk it out--slowly.

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