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April 21, 2006 [LINK]
Busch Stadium III
The Busch Stadium III page is now finished, just in time for the weekend series in which the Cardinals host the arch-rival Cubs. The NL Central Division is proving to be extremely competitive so far this year, like the NL East was last year. Time will tell whether their sparkling new home ends up benefiting the Cardinals. Recent new ballparks in Cincinnati and Detroit did not help those teams much, at least not in their inaugural years. (Note that from now on I will put the thumbnail image in the blog text, rather than on the left side bar of the Baseball blog page.)
Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee broke two bones in his hand in a collision with Rafael Furcal, and will be on the disabled list for up to six weeks. Last year he led the National League in batting average (.335) and hit 46 homers, like Albert Pujols on the fast track to superstardom. That is a huge setback for the Cubs, who have been running neck and neck with the Astros since the beginning of the season.
Nationals clobber Phillies
The Nats' tenth-inning loss to the Phillies on Wednesday night was about as dismaying as you can get. After having built a three-run lead, with pitcher Livan Hernandez hitting a home run, a double, and a single, the Phillies tied it in the eighth inning. Livan stayed in the game for one inning too many, just like he did more than once last year. The Phils then won it in the tenth, 7-6. The Nationals' bounced back the next day, however, and their phenomenal performance in the rubber game on Thursday night showed that they just may be serious competitors this year after all. The Nats scored nine runs in the first two innings, and Nick Johnson hit two home runs, one of which landed several rows up in the right field second deck at Citizens Bank Park. That was about 390 feet horizontally from home plate, and about 40 feet up, so I figure it would have traveled about 440 feet. Colossal! Ryan Church failed to get a home run after doing so in three consecutive games. [Final score: 10-4.] The winning was pitcher Billy Traber, who was -- like Church -- just called up from New Orleans Zephyrs; see MLB.com. Welcome to the Big Leagues! Wouldn't it be great if the Nats lucked out with a fine new starting pitcher out of their own farm system? Tonight the Nationals host the Braves at RFK Stadium, hoping for their first victory at home this season.
UPDATE: Julio homers!
Julio Franco, the ageless wonder, set the record as the oldest major leaguer ever to hit a home run last night, helping the Mets to beat the Padres and stay 3.5 games ahead in the NL East. He'll be 48 by the end of the season and says he looks forward to hitting a home run when he's 50. Well, his contract with the Mets lasts through next year; maybe the Braves will sign him up again after that. See MLB.com. Not to take anything away from his accomplishment, but I noticed that the ball fell into that odd protrusion in the right field corner at PETCO Park, or else it probably would have been just a double.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 21 Apr 2006, 8: 00 PM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
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This (or that) year's
January 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)