NY-Penn League Standings

Hudson Valley 21 8 .750 -
Brooklyn 20 9 .678 1
State College 20 9 .678 1
Staten Island 16 13 .536 5
Williamsport 14 14 .500 6.5
Aberdeen 12 17 .428 9
Jersey City 0 29 .000 21


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 Foul Ballpark

Jersey City Informer (reprinted with permission)


JERSEY CITY, NJ - Something stinks at Hertz Field but it's not the Jersey City Snakes.

With less than a week until Opening Day 2006, groundskeepers at the Snakes' stadium are desperately tying to locate the source of a powerful, sour odor that has been rising from center field.

Ladell Pitts was shagging fly balls on Tuesday when he first noticed the smell.

"It smelled like an old dead dog and chunky milk and clams and gasoline. My eyes started watering and I went almost blind for a half hour. I still can't see right."

A team of hydrogeologists and poison control specialists have been taking numerous core samples from the field but have not been able to isolate the problem.

Unfortunately, this has left the outfield pockmarked with about 30 ten-foot-deep holes. Promising new Snakes acquisition, Gunther Rodriguez, suffered a compound ankle fracture when he stepped in one Wednesday and is likely lost for the season.

According to geologist Jim Truman, Hertz Field was built on land that over history has been the site of a rendering plant, a fertilizer manufacturing compound, and a diesel refinery. But he added that is not unusual for the area.

This is not the first time the grounds crew has had to deal with a crisis just before the season. Last year a 20-foot sinkhole swallowed the area around home plate and caused reserve catcher Moses Carr to suffer a broken clavicle.

Snakes owner Gerard Gilmore -- asked what would happen if the source of the stench could not be eradicated or controlled by Opening Day -- was philosophical.

"Baseball's not for the weak. We'll fill the holes and play ball. We don't want to disappoint our fans."



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