Daily Craig: The Hill is gone
HOUSTON – BB King sang the song. Many of us heard "Thrill" but the Astros heard "Hill". Tal's Hill to be exact.
Barring an unreal set of mathematics the team will have no more home games this season. The Hill will be leveled, the flag poles moved, the fence shortened to allow more home runs and fewer pulled hamstrings by center fielders of both leagues. Tal Smith should be rewarded in some fashion. It is named after him. Perhaps next season it will be an area known as " the former Tal's Hill or maybe Tal's Beer Garden or Tal's Suds and Duds.
History will record it as being unique. It will join such other famous hills as Bunker, Hamburger, San Juan, and Pork Chop. Students of the game will point out 14 balls hit deep in a 5 year span would have been homers instead of easy outs. Easy for some, clumsy for others. Lance Berkman had the best reaction in the highlight reels. He stumbled and fell and still caught a ball. He smiled broadly as if to tell us..."I could have done without that". It may have taken at least 2 weeks off his long and successful career.
I doubt the ballpark needs another "classy bar area with big screens". But the chance to make dead center not so dead is a good idea. Maybe a compromise is possible. When stepping to the bar perhaps a slight angle would be appropriate.