June 13, 2006
My initial impression of the plans for the Twins' future ballpark was that it resembled the overall shape and design Safeco Field in Seattle. In part, that reflects the desire to keep open the option of putting a rolling roof supported by parallel rails. Not only that, the Twins intend to make the outfield dimensions similar to those of Safeco, not like such slugger-friendly "band boxes" as Citizens Bank Park or Great American Ballpark. See twincities.com (hat tip to Mike Zuawaski)
The Memorial Coliseum page has been updated with a new diagram that conforms to the new standard. The existing "sideways" diagrams (not truncated) have been stretched by about 50 feet, based on Google satellite photos forwarded to me by Bruce Orser.
The Colorado Rockies have fallen from first to last place in the surprisingly competitive NL West, but they showed they are still a team to be recknoned with, beating the Nationals last night by a score of 4-3. Tonight rookie Mike O'Connor takes the mound for Washington. In today's Washington Post, Thomas Bowell talks about how he and Shawn Hill -- another "long-shot" rookie, though one with major league experience in 2004 --plugged a huge gap in the team, keeping them competitive, and keeping fans' hopes alive.
UPDATE: Jose Guillen hit two RBIs in his first two games after returning from the DL, possibly motivated by rumors that he may be traded. Even if he stays for the rest of the season, the fact that he asked for a $50 million contract apparently makes him less desirable from the perspective of the Nationals' front office. He says he's not worried, which means he probably is worried, which is a good sign that he (and presumably other players) really want to stay with the team. See MLB.com.
The Detroit Tigers have cooled off just a bit lately, but they still have the highest winning percentage in all of baseball, .641. What is behind their amazing rebound from 12 consecutive losing seasons? New manager Jim Leyland is probably part of the reason, but what really stands out when you look at their players' records is how solid and well balanced they are. Almost every player has a batting average of .280 or higher, and no one is batting better than .310. When you've got a cadre of young, ambitious players with unknowns like Curtis Granderson, there is a big potential for improvement. No one player is truly spectacular, but when there are no weak spots in the lineup, the pressure on opposing pitchers is relentless.
I was informed by Mike Rodak that Boston University terminated its football program in 1998, contrary to what I wrote on the Braves Field page. I'll incorporate that piece of info when that page is updated in the near future. (Its remnants are now called "Nickerson Field.")
Jodi Yarbrough asks why the dugouts are reversed at Wrigley Field, with the home team on the third base side. Does anyone know?