There's a Turf war for the two remaining artificial-field ballparks

Like cable vs. satellite and Apple vs. Microsoft, there's a two-way battle to be the surface at indoor ballparks and stadiums. It's FieldTurf vs. AstroTurf.

Thankfully, neither are like the Brady Bunch's backyard, or that concrete-backed, hyper-spongy stuff that the St. Louis Cardinals used to their advantage in the 1980s (the stuff that ruined the knees of guys like Andre Dawson). These days, both FieldTurf and AstroTurf make the kind of turf that looks just like grass from a distance, providing for hops and bounces that are similar to the real thing.

There are only two stadiums left with the fake stuff, and they're both domes: the Rogers Centre in Toronto and Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Ironically, the Houston Astros have been playing on real grass for a decade now.

But it's actually AstroTurf - named after the first place that had artificial turf, the Houston Astrodome (1965) - that's making a comeback in baseball. The company signed a marketing deal with Major League Baseball to be the "Official Synthetic Turf" of MLB. And the sweetheart deal essentially gave the Rays a new surface at Tropicana Field this spring. The Rogers Centre received a new AstroTurf field last year. Both fields cost roughly $1 million, and reportedly didn't cost the teams a thing.

And when an MLB press release said that the Rays selected AstroTurf, the FieldTurf folks took exception, noting that the Rays won two AL East titles and a pennant on FieldTurf.

"We were not willing to have them subsidize free fields or large royalty fees. When Tampa Bay and Toronto paid for turf, they chose FieldTurf," FieldTurf president Eric Daliere said to the St. Petersburg Times. "We would encourage any clients looking to obtain a baseball field from AstroTurf to ask for the same deal that Toronto and Tampa Bay got."

But for now, FieldTurf - which has more football clients - is out of MLB. (Until the contract is up, at least.)

MLB ballparks info/gallery: Learn more about each one.