CINCINNATI - Members of the Reds grounds crew were putting the finishing touches on the field Wednesday morning as the Reds head into the postseason.
"It's like an opening day for us," said head groundskeeper Doug Gallant.
The difference, however, is that this is October and not April and for the Reds some of this year's hopes and dreams have been realized.
"We're really just primping and dotting our I's and crossing our T's this week," continued Gallant.
Gallant and his crew not only cut the eighth-of-an-inch grass growth from two days ago but sprayed fertilizer and shaped the pitcher's mound to perfection. The mound must slope at just the right grade and will be inspected by Major League Baseball before the Reds' home game next week.
"It's one inch for every foot that it goes towards the plate. That's the slope that's established," explained Gallant.
Out behind center field Tony Hert scrubbed the bases clean and brought them back to their pearly white state.
"With any luck they'll win the World Series," said Hert.
As October baseball returns to Cincinnati this year so too did Robbie Dworkin. The supervisor of grounds interned with the Reds in 2008.
"It's a dream job. I mean how many other people get to come to the ballpark everyday and work on a field that is gorgeous," said Dworkin.
Dworkin explains that occasionally the players will pat the crew on the back and tell them 'good job.'
"They definitely make us feel part of the team," said Dworkin.
Some work is still left to be done. Before next week Gallant and his crew will paint the MLB play-off logo onto the field.
Then, win or lose after the Red's season is over the carefully manicured field will be torn up and replaced.
"Major League fields usually last four to five years and we've pushed it a little because this field is 6 years old. We plan to have the new field sodded before Thanksgiving," said Gallant.
The crew hopes that work won't begin for several more weeks.
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