Across baseball, groundskeepers mow patterns into the outfield grass. Most are in the shapes team logos, stars or a local landmark. But what started as a game of one-upsmanship among groundskeepers has become something completely different at Petco Field, the home of the San Diego Padres.
Earlier this season, fans were greeted by a large asterisk in centerfield for a homestand against the Reds. Some were puzzled by what it meant, while others sought deeper meaning in the symbol and then in their own lives. Since then, the outfield grass has features images as flaming skulls, melting baseballs, and statements that cast light on the seeming randomness of life.
A recent homestand featured a different pattern each evening. The changing images followed a character named “Chaos Boy” as he fought the slavish consumerism of the modern world.
“Chaos Boy fought a good fight,” said centerfielder Alexi Amarista. “But what chance did he really have against the forces of evil, not to mention their leader General Moneybag? Are we not all his slaves?”
Taking the form of a multi-tentacled lizard man, The General laid waste to Chaos Boy in the outfield’s touching yet shockingly violent third act.
Fans seem to appreciate the work of the grounds crew.
“My four-year-old can’t quite understand baseball yet,” said Marge Sato, a fan at Sunday’s game. “But at least he can at least appreciate the dystopian hellscape of fire and suffering depicted on the outfield grass. I think we all can.”
Wearing the plastic head of a large trout and speaking into a megaphone, head groundskeeper Matt “PeaceFishBomb” Greenfield had this to say about his plans for the next homestand.
“ICARUS RIDE!! TAKE BACK YOUR BIRTHRITE!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA!”
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