October 18, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Yankees take two from Angels

Alex Rodriguez continues to build on his new reputation as a postseason clutch hitter, as New York fans suffer through miserably cold, wet weather. In Game One of the ALCS in New Yankee Stadium on Friday night, he got things started off right with a sac fly RBI in the first inning. Right after that, Hideki Matsui launched an easy popup that fell right between third baseman Chone Figgins and shortstop Erick Aybar, both of whom just stood there. With light rain falling down, it's possible they might have lost the ball in the glare of the stadium lights. An ill omen for the Angels. Yankees' starter C.C. Sabathia held the Angels to just one run, as the Yankees won, 4-1.

Game Two last night was similar, with the Yankees taking an early lead, but the Angels tied it 2-2 in the fifth inning, and the game went into extra innings. In the top of the eleventh inning Chone Figgins hit an RBI single, giving the Angels the lead for the first time. Things looked bleak for the New York Nine, but when mighty A-Rod stepped up to the plate, everyone held their breath in nervous anticipation. Strike one! Strike TWO! But then, unlike Casey, A-Rod hit a home run to right field (conveniently short), drawing thunderous cheers and tying the game once again, 3-3. Yet another awesome clutch performance. After two more innings transpired, Angels second baseman Cesar Izturis made a big mistake trying to turn a double play, and his errant throw allowed Yankee pinch hitter Jerry Hairston, Jr. to score the winning run from second base. See ESPN. Hey, a win's a win, right?

The Saturday night game lasted until just after 1:00 in the morning, showing again how ridiculous it is to have baseball games start so late in the evening -- 7:57 in this case. How many little boys are going to stay up and watch those games?

Anyway, the Yankees now enjoy a big 2-0 advantage as the series heads out to Anaheim for the next three four days. (Baseball players these days need extra rest, you know.) The Angels will presumably play better in the warm, sunny conditions to which they are accustomed.

"Oxide Super Stadium"?

I am among those who is intrigued by the new ABC sci-fi drama "Flash Forward", in which every human being on Earth (or almost every one) suddenly passes out simultaneously, causing massive chaos. Somehow, I seem to miss it every Thursday night, unfortunately. No matter, you can see the episode replays at abc.go.com. Another very conventient option is that you can buy the downloadable HD version (as I did) from Apple via the iTunes application. I bring this up because I recently learned from Phillip Killewald that a crucial scene takes place in a baseball stadium that does not look like any real-world stadium that I know of. At the very end of the first episode of "Flash Forward," an FBI specialist is looking at the video tape from a security surveillance camera at a baseball game in Detroit, noticing that a mysterious man in black is walking around while nearly everyone else on Earth is lying unconscious. A sign says "Oxide Super Stadium" (referring to the Rust Belt, perhaps?), and it is definitely not Comerica Park, which only has two decks and a much different-looking scoreboard in left field. Also, the city skyline beyond is definitely not Detroit. As near as I can tell, they spliced together pieces of either Camden Yards or Coors Field, together with some football stadium scoreboard, from which they derived this artificial synthesis:

Oxide Super Stadium

Fictitious "Oxide Super Stadium," supposedly in Detroit. (spliced-together screen grabs)

Can anyone figure out where those stadium pieces came from? Feel free to comment below, or send me an e-mail message.

COMMENT by: Michael N, of Nashville, TN on Oct 19, 2009 17:36 PM
RE: Oxide Super Stadium: Based off my own two eyes and a few dead giveaways. Most of it is Petco Park. The portion of the upper deck towards the LF foul pole is digitally altered as is CF, but I do believe, most of it is Petco.

COMMENT by: Andrew Clem, of Staunton, VA on Oct 21, 2009 09:16 AM
I think you're right, Michael, and the gap in the second deck near third base is a key clue I should have noticed earlier. The upper deck has been heavily retouched to eliminate the wide concourse, and the wall near the LF corner has been changed to a uniform height, not sloping as in the original. Of course, the Western Metals building has been replaced with some skyscrapers -- Philadelphia, maybe? Also, I realized that the scoreboard and double-decked grandstand in LF perfectly matches PETCO Park, except they combined the scoreboard sections into one huge display. The bleachers in LC seem to wrap around in back of the scoreboard (dumb!), an apparent extension of the seating sections in the LF corner. Those retouched details look fake upon close inspection, but for the purposes of a quick video pan in the TV show, they did a decent job.