November 16, 2006
The diagrams on the Jack Murphy Stadium page have been revised, earlier than previously scheduled. The reason is that I was informed by Ed Early that the upper decks of Jack Murphy Stadium originally extended much further toward the northeast (right field) than had been indicated on the previous 1969 diagram version. Another visitor to this site once told me the same thing, but I didn't know of any evidence contrary to what was implied in Phil Lowry's Green Cathedrals. (I just peeked at the new edition for the first time.) "After further review" of various photographs, it turns out that the expansion of the two wings of the upper decks in 1984 was relatively minor in scale. Ed provided me with lots of details on the ongoing efforts by the Chargers to build a new football stadium, which would almost certainly not be within the San Diego city limits, because recent scandals there have poisoned the atmosphere for public funding. He also explained why they can't lower the playing field at QualComm Field so as to increase the number of seats with good sight lines for football games: The stadium rests in a former river basin, and any excavation would come dangerously close to the water table.
Artists' renderings of the Oakland Athletics' planned future ballpark in Fremont, along with a boatland of Fun Facts, and a letter from the owner, Lew Wolff, can be seen at MLB.com. They've obviously put a huge amount of effort into "selling" this project.
The D.C. Council approved the scaled-down parking garage proposal on Tuesday night. It's looking more like they may have the new stadium ready to go by April 2008 after all. [See Washington Post.]
Alfonso Soriano made a courtesy telephone call to Manny Acta last week, but the fact that they both come from the Dominican Republic doesn't mean there is any more chance Soriano will return to the Nationals next year. (See MLB.com.) On the other hand, both the team's front office and its biggest star may just be playing coy, secretly hoping that the often-rocky romance will continue... If as rumored Soriano signs with the Phillies, whose home at Citizens Bank Park is a slugger's paradise, I predict he will hit at least 60 home runs next year, and possibly 70.
What in the world can explain the enormous $51.1 million bid by the Red Sox for Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka? Bob DuPuy said he was "not concerned that the package would knock baseball's delicate economic and competitive balance out of whack." (See MLB.com.) David Pinto plays down the rumors that the Bosox are negotiating in bad faith, just to spite the Yankees. He does "agree with the speculation that Boston is using this money to buy into the Japanese market." That's what's bound to happen as our "national pastime" becomes ever-more globalized.
Bruce Orser brought to my attention a new blog, twinsballpark2010.com, which scorns the use of "fake history" in designing baseball stadiums. Agreed.