February 12, 2006
Outside there are six inches of snow on the ground, and yet spring training is about to begin in Florida and Arizona. Can it really be true? The Washington Nationals pitchers and catchers report to Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida this Saturday, Feb. 18, and the rest of the team reports on Feb. 24. Because of lingering doubts over the franchise's long-term plans, the front office and players alike remain in an uneasy "transient" status. In fact, not one player from the Nationals has even purchased a home in the Washington metropolitan area! What a shame; see Washington Post. For a complete rundown of the contract situations of various players, see MLB.com.
I was a little surprised that an editorial in today's Washington Post questioned Mayor Williams' leadership while paying respect to the way the D.C. Council handled the vote on the stadium lease last week: "the council's behavior, we believe, reflected the democratic process at work." Just like the democratic process in Palestine and Haiti, perhaps? Sorry, I'm still recovering from that near-death experience. I suppose the Post editors are just building the stature of the three new council members who voted for the stadium deal after having campaigned against it; some local activists are angry with them.
The Ameriquest Field page has been updated with a new diagram that conforms to the new standard. The previous "sideways" version remains an viewable option on that page because it includes the entire stadium structure, including the concourse that surrounds the stadium. Note that the actual power alley distance is estimated at 380 feet, rather than 390 feet, as is marked at the bend next to the bullpen in left center. I also updated the Side-by-side stadium comparison page, and may add the various foreign stadiums to it soon.
Bruce Orser brought to my attention a satellite photo from Google Earth showing the Sapporo Dome, which I mentioned when I posted the Tokyo Dome page a few days ago. It has an odd "teardrop" shape, with the center field side elongated and squared off, where the movable soccer field enters and leaves the dome.