Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Acclimating to a Coors game
By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer
Published October 27, 2007
The rules are different here. And so is the game.
Playing without a DH and thus playing David Ortiz at first base isn't the only difference the Red Sox will find - and casual baseball fans tuning in for their first game at Coors Field will discover - as the World Series comes to Colorado for the first time.
There are some legitimate physical differences caused by the altitude, such as the way fly balls carry and curveballs don't curve, and some by attitudes that could have just as much to do with the Rockies' dazzling 54-31 home record.
"They're professionals, so I don't know if they will fall into that whole altitude trap," Rockies reliever LaTroy Hawkins said. "We definitely play better at home."
Among the challenges for the Sox:
Thin air ... short breath
Players feel they have to work harder and get tired quicker in the mile-high altitude. They can get winded running the bases - especially Boston pitchers, who might be doing that for the first time in months, if not years. Players might need longer to recover from a game. They can get dehydrated. Their gloves can seem rock-hard. They can feel dizzy or light-headed.
"I don't feel the same," Ortiz joked Friday. "I feel a little hung over; not from drinking, guys, from the traveling."
Oh, and they can feel really cold.
Making your pitch is a real accomplishment
Pitchers had many reasons to dread Coors Field. They hated the way balls carried after being hit; worse was how they wouldn't behave when thrown.
Because of the thin, dry air, pitchers couldn't get grip on the ball (often saying it felt like a cue ball), or a feel for their pitches. "When you threw a breaking ball, if you didn't finish it, you were finished," the Rockies' Matt Herges said.
That problem was addressed in 2002 with the introduction of a humidor, which kept the balls in a more normal state. But pitches still don't act the same as they do at sea level, especially curveballs and touch pitches, which could make it interesting tonight for Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has a wide repertoire and acknowledged after playing catch Friday: "I might have to work a little harder on my command."
Wide open spaces
For many years, the buzz was about the balls that flew out of Coors Field, and that can still happen despite the somewhat hefty dimensions - 347 feet down the leftfield line, 390 to the alley, 415 to center, 375 to the right-center alley and 350 to the pole.
But the more relevant issue is the number of balls that drop in, according to Boston hitting coach Dave Magadan, whose seven seasons with San Diego make him something of a Coors expert among the Sox. The wide-open outfield creates more opportunities for the offense and puts more pressure on the defense.
"The biggest difference is taking the extra base on hits," Magadan said. "A guy on second base, there's a hit, most of the time he's going to score without even a play. Double in gap, a guy scores from first. There's so much room out there, you need guys that run a little bit to run balls down."
Statistically, it bears out. The batting average at Coors was .286, higher than at any other stadium, and runs per game (10.66) and extra-base hits per game (7.02) ranked in the top four. But in terms of homers per game, Coors barely made the top 10 at 2.26, two spots behind Tropicana Field (2.32).