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Groundskeeper Sets Baseball Field On Fire

I am not a groundskeeper, and do not play one on TV. But I have to say, that the technique adopted by Gerry Peterson and his crew in the Edmonton suburb of St. Albert's seems... a little suspect, shall we say. According to CBC News [emphasis added]:

"What usually takes a day, day and a half for Mother Nature to take care of, we did in half an hour," Gerry Peterson said after his crew spread diesel fuel on the field and ignited it last week.

Okaaaaaay... I must admit, that really doesn't sound like a good idea to me, but local baseball coach Kurtis Millar wasn't fazed by the approach: "I've definitely played in every province in Canada and seen the trick used," he said. However, local authorities were not quite as impressed...

After word of Peterson's technique reach city council officials, they sent a crew to take a sample from the field and test it. The results came back, showing the pitcher's mound was still contaminated with fuel, and the field was shut down as a health hazard, and probably won't be opened again this season. City spokesman Chris Jardine said, "I wouldn't say it was an over-reaction. I would say it was an appropriate reaction to ensure for public safety."

If only Peterson had used the Googlemachine, he might have thought twice. Back in May 2006, two men were charged with "dumping a toxic substance on district property," after they used much the same technique on a ball-field in Chicago. Both groups woulkd probably have been much better off using a helicopter as a blow-drier, as George Steinbrenner once did.