April 26, 2005 [LINK]
After years of haggling with state and local governments, it appears that the Twins will finally get their wish with a new ballpark in downtown Minneapolis. It would be located on the west side of downtown, and would have 42,000 seats but no retractable roof, which the Twins wanted. (B-b-bring y-your overcoats!) "Under the proposal, the Twins would contribute $125 million [of the $444 total cost], including a $40 million payment up front, with the balance to be paid prior to completion of construction." See the Twins Web site. Today, however, Hennepin County Board postponed voting on the very controversial funding plan for the stadium for at least one week. See Minneapolis Star Tribune. That sounds like a familiar scenario. Indeed, D.C. Council member Marion Barry was quoted today as saying that the fight over the new baseball stadium in Washington is not over yet.
Brad Wilkerson hit the real first home run into the upper deck of RFK Stadium since 1971 tonight, landing in the right field corner. It helped the Nats to beat the Phillies 3-1, rebounding from last night's 5-4 loss. That was another "hard day's night" for Zach Day. The Nats are now 11-10 for the season, holding their own in a tough division.
Soccer officials are upset that the turf was not in very good condition for the D.C. United game at RFK on Saturday night. Even worse, the chalk lines were apparently off by several yards, so that the playing field was a parallelogram rather than a rectangle. Well, it was a very quick turnaround between the Nats' home game last Thursday and Saturday. Let's hope the grounds crew gets better with practice. Why don't they play the soccer games at FedEx Field??
I got some good tips on Yankee Stadium from Matt Visco, a new visitor to this site. He is actively engaged in organizing an effort to save Yankee Stadium, a very worthy and not hopeless cause. Hey, it worked in Boston. T.J. Zmina combined satellite images of PNC Park and Heinz Field from the Google service mentioned before, and combined them with an old one of Three Rivers Stadium to come up with a "Pittsburgh composite" image. All that's missing is Exposition Park, where the Pirates played before Forbes Field was built. According to a map in Gershman's book Diamonds, it would be about where the eastbound exit ramp from the bridge is today, that is, slightly closer to PNC Park than where Three Rivers Stadium used to be. Changes in street names and locations over the decades make it hard to be sure. Mike Zurawski informs me that the LC distance marker in PNC Park has been changed from "389" to "378," but after seeing the photos he referred me to, that is because the sign moved 20 or so feet toward the left field pole, apparently to make room for more billboards.