March 18, 2013
In the World Baseball Classic semifinal game tonight, the Dominican Republic came back from a 1-0 deficit and defeated the Netherlands, 4-1. All their runs came in the fifth inning, as a single by Jose Reyes batted in the go-ahead run. The final games are being played in AT&T Park, home of the World Champion San Francisco* Giants. See MLB.com.
Meanwhile, Team USA failed to advance to the final round. Four years ago, the U.S. made it to the final round, but was defeated by Japan, which went on to win its second WBC championship. This will be the first time that Japan has not played in the championship game, as they were beat by Puerto Rico on Sunday, 3-1. So, the final contest will be between two islands in the Caribbean Sea (actually, the Dominican Republic is only half of an island), tomorrow night.
* Speaking of San Francisco, how many people noticed that the new Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, chose as his papal name the saint for whom the home city of the World Series winners was named? ("Saint Francis" = "San Francisco") Mere coincidence?
But wait, there was more international baseball action! The Mexican team won the 2013 Serie del Caribe, beating the Dominican Republic 4-3 in 18 innings. The Caribbean Series (English translation) was played in Nuevo Estadio Sonora, a literally new facility in Hermosillo, Mexico. See sabr.org.
I was watching the movie Woman of the Year (1942), starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy recently, and noticed that there is a scene filmed in Yankee Stadium. Actually, there are few film clips of Shibe Park and Crosley Field mixed in there, and the film editors evidently thought nobody would notice the difference. Well, I did!
I also saw Game 6 (2005), starring Michael Keaton, which deals with the personal trauma suffered by Red Sox fans during the 1986 World Series. It came out in the same year as Fever Pitch, which had similar theme but with a much higher budget and thereby garnered much more popular acclaim. See imdb.com for more info.
The Baseball Movies page has been duly updated with the latter movie. Cinematic works in which baseball is only incidental are not included on that page.
That movie prompted me to make some revisions to the Shea Stadium diagrams. Including the entry portals proved very useful in getting the stadium size just right. I realized that the main grandstand was exactly two-thirds of a complete circle, about ten feet longer on each side than I had previously estimated. I also corrected the position of the lateral walkways, and added a new second deck diagram. As with all newly-updated diagrams, I have estimated the total area of fair and foul territory. The addition of extra rows of box seats in the late 1990s reduced foul territory from about 25,400 square feet to about 21,900 square feet.
Also, while going through my old digital photos, I realized that I could put two of them together and come up with a pretty dramatic panorama of Shea Stadium and Citi Field, when the latter was in the final stage of construction:
Also, for the record, I made a few more small tweaks in the RFK Stadium diagrams, mostly with respect to the position of the entry portals.
I'll be responding to a number of e-mail inquiries later this week.