meet the man paid to watch the blue jays’ grass grow
This is the annual franchise of Blue jays earlier this month, and one of the actual news may not have been noticed by casual fans.
Team chairman Paul Beeston announced that after a year of negotiations, Jays has signed a contract with the University of Guelph to study how to install natural grass at the Rogers Center.
Guelph then issued the terms of the agreement, the university will pay $600,000
Or $100,000 more than Marcus Stroman\'s income this season. for a year-
Not only did a long-term \"intensive\" study of grass species that best suited the unique conditions of the Rogers Center and how to maintain it, but it also affected an aging stadium, it was not built to accommodate plant life.
\"The question is not, \'Can we grow turf effectively within the building?
Said Eric Lyons, a grass scientist at Guelph and lead researcher at the project. “We can.
We have been doing it all the time.
The question is, \"can we do this on a large scale without destroying a building that has been in existence for 25 years?
This is the message I\'m going to give the Bluebirds so they can decide, \'Shall we do this or will we ruin our building? \'?
Or can we change the building to handle it?
\"There is no doubt that the Japanese want to do so.
More than a year ago, they promoted their intention to prepare natural Meadows for the 2018 season, the first year after the Toronto argonauts lease expired in 2017.
That\'s why the timing of this month\'s trading is important, because industry experts have previously told stars that if a formal research agreement has not been reached this summer, the 2018 schedule will be in danger.
In order to get the grass ready in three years, seeds must be sown this fall.
Jays must also determine what renovations are needed at the Rogers Center.
For now, there is no way to drain the building, and the air ventilation system may have to be overhauled to take into account the humidity that the grass will produce.
So when jays fans impatiently wait for the end of the artificial lawn, Lyon and his team will take the time to look at all the details that the organization will invest heavily, turn the Rogers Center from a multi-purpose stadium to a baseball --only ballpark.
When the Rogers Center opened as the dome in 1989, 10 of the 26 major league baseball teams played on artificial turf, when it was considered an invention of excellence and
But since then, the industry has steadily shifted to the surface of natural gaming, whether for beauty or for the health of players.
Starting at 2010, only Jays and Tampa Bay Rays played home games on imitation grounds.
Even compared to Tampa, Toronto\'s lawn is considered inferior because Tampa has at least a dirty venue and is permanently fixed, while Toronto\'s racing carpet is often rolled and stacked
Every time the surface is degraded and hardened-
Not only can it accommodate football matches, but it can also accommodate concerts, monster truck rallies and ice caps.
Putting aside the poor look of the artificial field, the turf also limits jays\'s ability to attract free players, who usually start working in the second half of their career, and be alert to the reputation of turf hitting the back, knees and hips.
This season, the j team installed a new artificial lawn, which the team hopes will be the last person to build.
Joining the research team in Lyon will be agricultural engineer Dave Lubitz, agricultural meteorologist Jon Waran, plant biologist katelina Jordan and specialized research controlled-
Environmental plant growth.
\"He is mainly interested in growing plants in space, such as on Mars or the moon,\" Leon said . \".
The Rogers Center may not be on another planet, but when the roof is closed, plant life faces some of the same challenges in the lack of water, sunlight and airflow.
But Lyon is not concerned about finding a grass that will grow in a closed stadium, but about how the stadium handles the grass.
Like people, plants sweat to cool themselves, because water from the root zone is transported through the leaves before the leaves evaporate.
Where is the moisture going.
\"I\'m not worried at all when the roof is open,\" Lyon said . \".
\"There may be enough air flow there, enough turbulence to pull it out.
But since the roof won\'t open in April and won\'t open often, we\'ll have an 8-
The roof is not open for a week.
The humidity to be treated is very high.
Lyon and his team will use a specially designed growth room
It looks like a walk. in freezers —
Replicate the specific environment of the Rogers Center to test which grass is most effective while measuring the humidity they emit.
Lyon looks more like a defender than a lab researcher, who has a high profile on thisBrief project.
Unlike most people, he likes to watch the grass grow.
\"I like it,\" he said . \"
\"Plants can\'t move, so they\'re very complicated physically.
Lyon is also a fan of a big sport.
The walls of his messy University office are decorated with golf balls.
Flags from all over North America
This proves his dual interest in the game and its neatly trimmed surface of the game.
He plays football.
On the artificial grass
At the University of North Iowa, he began to be interested in studying plants.
\"One semester, the only course I can take that doesn\'t conflict with football practice is plant physiology.
Then I got addicted.
He says he loves science and the complexity of what plants have to do to survive.
He is also excited about the prospect of studying something unprecedented.
There are other big-
Alliance Stadium with retractable or partially covered roofs is currently home to natural meadows: minutes Maid Park in Houston, Chase Field in Phoenix and Miller Park in Milwaukee.
But the Japanese cannot simply accept the practice of others.
First, the growth conditions are different.
But the more important difference, Lyon said, is that the buildings were designed and designed to have natural grass from the beginning, while the Rogers Center did not.
\"We haven\'t done that before,\" Leon said . \".
\"Everyone says, \'they do it all the time. No, we don\'t.
As far as I know, no one has done so in this case.
Nevertheless, science has made great progress in recent years.
Lyon said he was not sure if the project was possible ten years ago.
\"I don\'t know if I would want my name to be attached to this because there is too much chance of failure.
Over the past 10 to 15 years, with their success in these places and the lessons they have learned from their mistakes, I have more confidence in taking the next step.
But it is still unknown.