Citizens Bank Park: more outfield
In response to complaints from pitchers, the Phillies management announced they will take out a few rows of seats in Citizens Bank Park's left field next year, to create more reasonable outfield dimensions. There were 201 home runs there in 2005, the fifth most in the majors. See MLB.com. The article states that the actual power alley distances are 350 feet, but I think they are actually right about 355 feet [following the angular midsections of 337.5 and 22.5 degrees]. After they move the wall back, the distance to true left center field will be about what the current marked distance is, 369 feet, but that is at a point 20 or so feet toward center field. (via Mike Zurawski) As an added bonus from moving the wall back, there will be a new angled section at the left foul pole, and the angled seating section just left of center field will now have a more pronounced protrusion than before.
Forbes Field, RFK
Many thanks to Patrick Schroeder for bringing to my attention some excellent photos of a Pittsburgh Steelers game at Forbes Field in 1949. See them HERE. Accordingly, there is a new football version diagram on the Forbes Field page. By amazing coincidence, the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing on Monday Night Football at this very moment!
Jeff Gordon sent me a photo he took, showing that the big scoreboard in right field at RFK Stadium was already there in April 1962. As Gomer Pyle used to say, "Surprise, surprise, surprise!" Speaking of RFK Stadium, D.C. United was eliminated from the Major League Soccer playoffs yesterday, losing to the Chicago Fire, 4-0. The team that formerly resided in RFK suffered an even worse defeat at the hands of the New York Giants.
White Sox, Red Sox
Al Lopez, who managed the Chicago White Sox the last time they went to the World Series in 1959, died of a heart attack this weekend. His career as a catcher spanned 18 seasons, beginning in 1930. He was the oldest living Hall of Famer, at 97 years. See MLB.com. At least he died a happy man.
Daniel Drezner, a blogger who teaches at the University of Chicago, refers to a fake weeklystandard.com story about how conservative political philosopher Leo Strauss supposedly influenced the White Sox in the 1950s. Hmmmm.... I wonder what teams the other top Chicago academicians of that era -- Hans Morgenthau and Milton Friedman -- rooted for?
According to MLB.com, the Red Sox apparently will retain the services of General Manager Theo Epstein, who has been credited with building a winning lineup since he took over in 2002. Daniel Drezner was anxious about what Epstein's departure would have meant for the Bosox.