Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hemstitching: The DAP, Sonnanstine, and Rosters

Durham Athletic Park, 1940s

  • The Herald-Sun is reporting (thanks, Fritz) that the Bulls are going to take over management of the old Durham Athletic Park. What will that mean to Bulls fans? Other than tweaking our nostalgia bones, not much. What could it mean to Durham? Possibly quite a bit. As a non-Durham guy, I think that the DAP really adds a lot to that part of town. I know that there’s not too much going on in the neighborhood, but with the DAP in good shape that part of town just looks great. As I’ve mentioned before, the renovated DAP is a not all that great a place to watch a game, but sure looks to be a great place to play a game. So if the current arrangement with NCCU can be sustained (and Duke?) seems like a good idea for all. Note: it looks like the idea of a museum for minor league baseball is not going to happen. Tricky business model for that project, I’d guess.
  • Andy Sonnanstine, who’s spent a good bit of time with the Bulls over the years (56 innings in 2011) has signed with the Cubs. Seemed to me that for all of last year the Rays couldn’t decide just what it was that they wanted Sonnanstine to be able to do. Was he a starter? A long reliever? Did the Rays need a sixth starter? Or even a long reliever? He had decent stats as a Bull, but he also added to the starting pitcher roster confusion that plagued the Bulls all year. Not his fault, though. Here’s hoping he gets a chance to bloom up there in Chicago. The Cubs AAA franchise (Iowa) is in the Pacific Coast League so we’re not likely to see Andy here again.
  • Over at Rays Prospects they are starting to build their guesses at 2012 rosters with a look at starting pitching and catching. No arguments from me so far.
DAP Restored


  1. Wow, you really are a non-Durham guy if you think that "there’s not too much going on in the neighborhood" of the DAP.

  2. Always happy to learn more. Is the DAP critical to the vitality of the neighborhood? Is the neighborhood coming alive (I've heard that, but haven't witnessed it)? And yes, I really am a non-Durham guy. Just worked out that way when I came to the area 20 years ago. I have this path to the DBAP that I drive 60+ times a year; I go the the DPAC more often than downtown Raleigh; but when I get out of my path I spend an inordinate amount of time circling and circling and circling (Oh! There's the Duke Chapel! We've gotta be close!)

  3. Donald beat me to it. That area is quickly becoming the hippest part of town. With the arrival of Fullsteam, Motorco, The Bar, Surf Club, Geer Street Garden and others on the way, it is one of the more active areas around at night.

  4. So, how important is the DAP to the neighborhood? Visually, I'd guess that it's critical. It is simply nice to look at as you drive by (or from an office window). Are the Bulls (and Goodmon) doing Durham a favor?

  5. That is a good question. On one hand, you are right that a nice stadium would look good and events there would certainly bring a crowd to the places to eat/drink both before and after. On the other hand, though, that particular neighborhood seems to be building itself around the idea of growth out of a dead area. Even now, if you drive around when everything is closed you wouldn't likely know just how active the area is. Fullsteam plays up the industrial feel of it's wearhouse-like set-up. Motorco is in a former autobody shop and even named itself in a way to connect with that. Geer Street Garden is one of the best new places in town for high quality food, yet when they renovated the old gas station they are in into their place, they left the peeling, chipped paint on their brick walls. There is a definite (and often vocal) part of the Durham community that embraces the "gritty" nature of that part of town.