March 10, 2006 [LINK]

U.S.A.! U.S.A.! Rout at WBC

Ken Griffey Jr. apparently felt obliged to make amends for not backing up the left fielder on that bizarre inside-the-park home run by Canada on Thursday. Today he hit two homers and racked up seven RBIs altogether, as the United States annihilated South Africa 17-0 in a game that was called on account of mercy after four and a half innings. Roger Clemens only allowed one hit in the four innings he pitched. (We still don't know if the Rocket will play in the majors this season; I'd say more than likely "yes.") I was pleased to see that Washington Nationals closer Chad Cordero struck out the only batter he faced to end the game. For some reason, this climactic matchup was played in Scottsdale Stadium rather than Chase Field. See Take that, Dave Matthews! Same to you, Charlize Theron! So, the U.S.A. and Mexico advance to the next round, to be played in Anaheim. If I were Canadian, I would be gnashing my teeth at the way the tiebreaker system works.

Super-sized roof in K.C.

Most sports fans are aware that the NFL and the football players reached a labor agreement that will avoid a possible strike this year. Only a few know, however, that Commissioner Paul Tagliabue conditionally awarded Super Bowl XLIX (forty nine) to Kansas City. That will be nine years from now, in 2015. There is a small catch, however: the referendum set for April 4 to authorize funding for the renovation of the Truman Sports Complex must pass. The main element of that plan is a gargantuan rolling roof that would cover either Arrowhead Stadium or Kauffman Stadium. It would be the only football stadium roof in which the arches run the long way, parallel to the sidelines. Since this roof was envisioned as an eventual option from the very beginning, I can't help but wonder why they didn't build Arrowhead Stadium oriented north-to-south rather than east-to-west. Wouldn't that have allowed for a smaller, less expensive roof? For details, see the Kansas City Star; it has a cool animation of the proposed roof in action, but you'd better be patient while it downloads. Including debt service, the entire project would cost one billion dollars. Yikes. If I were a taxpayer in Jackson County, Missouri, I would think long and hard about spending that much money just to land the Super Bowl. Hat tip to Mike Zurawski.