December 29, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Giant trades

Barry Zito is headed across the bay to San Francisco, signing a seven-year $126 million contract with the Giants. Principal owner Peter Magowan said this deal ranks alongside the 1992 trade by which the Giants acquired Barry Bonds. Hmmm... Zito is 28, entering the prime of his career, and the Giants seem determined to become pennant contenders once again. See After Oakland did so well with him this past year, it's a bit surprising to me. I suppose that Oakland's "moneyball" approach shuns bidding for superstars and instead hunting for the best talent bargains in various niche positions.

Speaking of giants (!), the Yankees are openly offering to trade Randy Johnson, negotiating with his former team in Arizona, among others. The problem is, Mr. Steinbrenner would have to eat a large part of the remaining salary due on his contract in order to complete such a deal. Like that other 40-something superstar ace who just doesn't know when to quit, Randy is looking for a graceful way to end his superlative career. The pitching rotation in The Bronx is getting crowded, as the Yankees just signed Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa to a five-year contract that is supposedly worth about $20 million. See

The mail bag

Bruce Orser sent me a link to a page full of aerial photos of stadiums at Although dramatic, they are high-altitude or satellite images, and therefore too distorted to make reliable use of. Also, there is a page full of "future" stadiums at, including an Olympic Stadium in Baghdad, seating 80,000 fans. Supposedly, it will be finished in 2008, but I am a little skeptical. Stay the course?

The revised (Montreal) Olympic Stadium diagrams are nearing completion, and I'm in the midst of compiling lots of new information from the new edition of Green Cathedrals. I'm determined to finish those chores by the end of the year. Stay tuned!