In response to comments about Vets field


To the Editor:

On behalf of the Warwick Public Schools WISE Union Maintenance Grounds Crew, we would like to respond to the recent comments made by NEFL Coach Mike Fratus in the Sports section of last week’s Beacon.

Mr. Fratus complained about the Veterans field conditions. For the record, Mr. Fratus had requested use of the fields via paperwork for one night only, Thursday, July 25 only a few days before. No game took place that night. The teams proceeded to play on Friday night and all day Saturday without the appropriate approved paperwork.

On Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for the game Thursday night, the WPS Grounds Crew cut the field at the summer appropriate height of four inches to maintain the field integrity based on summer weather conditions. The field was fertilized and the infield was raked.

Mr. Fratus acknowledged that he and others took it upon themselves to cut the grass. They did so with their own push mower from the third base infield, behind home plate, to first base close to the outfield. The grass was cut under three inches, resulting in grass clippings all over the infield and the base paths. They went inside the press box, which was unlocked by someone with a key, unknown at this time, and used WPS equipment, such as the wheelbarrow and rake to rake up some of the grass clippings, which were dumped into our clay pile that is used for the infield where they also left the wheelbarrow. They used WPS bags of chalk to line the field and made a mess doing so. The teams used the dugouts and left garbage, bottles and cups all over the field and parking lot. On Saturday, someone unlocked the gate to the baseball field and let a New England Frozen Lemonade truck drive onto the field to sell lemonade during the games. After the game was over, the organization left the gate open and unlocked all weekend until it was found by our grounds crew on Monday morning. The field was damaged and will need repairs.

In conclusion, our fields are maintained appropriately by our grounds crew. It is the obligation of all using them to request approval in a timely manner and to follow the rules as set forth in such request approvals. It is unfortunate that Mr. Fratus chose to take away from the efforts of the teams by complaining about field conditions.

Mary Townsend,


Michael Giarrusso,

Vice President

Joe Fratus, Grounds Crew



3 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

Are the two Fratus guys related?

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

What a shame. Going after someone who has been so involved in youth sports, banning him from Warwick fields and attacking him in a letter to the editor is disgraceful. They are essentially punishing him for speaking out about the fields not being ready. Rather than addressing the problem honestly they are pointing the finger at someone who was only trying to help. He didn't attack the union or the employees directly, he simply stated the field wasn't in good condition (long grass, no chalk lines) and trashed from the night before.

The fact they are writing this letter tells me they know the fields were NOT prepared and that they don't look very good in the public eye. Rather than blame Coach Fratus they should be looking at ways to better prepare the fields. Roger, the two Fratus men are NOT related. Weird coincidence though, right?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Clearly, the field wasn't maintained appropriately or else Fratus and crew wouldn't have been out there with mowers. You failed to list chalking in your list of things you did prior to the date so therefore it was clearly necessary for them to "use WPS bags of chalk to line the field and made a mess doing so" in order to play their game. "They went inside the press box, which was unlocked by someone with a key, unknown at this time,". Do you know for a fact that someone with a key unlocked the door? Was it possibly unlocked when they arrived? So many unanswered questions.

Despite your clear intention with this letter, you just highlighted that the field wasn't ready for play. I find it funny that you say you were there on Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for the game Thursday night but when they got there 4 hours prior to the game, the field wasn't ready. Why would someone take it upon themselves to do all that work if the field was already game ready? Do you get it now? Your letter just highlighted your deficiency far more than Fratus' comment in the sports section. Next time, instead of knee-jerk reaction letter writing, call a lawyer or have someone else compose the letter.

Slow clap to you Mary Townsend, Michael Giarruso and Joe Fratus.

Thursday, August 8, 2019