July 30, 2008 [LINK / comment]
Dodgers sweep the Nationals
Just when you think things can't get any worse... Thanks to the Giants, the Dodgers, and now the Phillies), the Washington Nationals' losing streak has extended to seven games, the longest winless stretch since the nine-game streak in April. Over the last five games, the Nationals have scored a grand total of three (3) runs. Never before in the (born-again) team's three and a half year history have they scored so few runs over five games. In four of those games, the margin of defeat was only one or two runs, showing how the team's fine pitching effort continues to be wasted. Of course, you can blame injuries, but the Nationals have a reserve of fine young talent, and they just aren't producing on a consistent basis. Somebody needs to kick some butt in the locker room! Over the next two months, there will be more talk about replacing manager Manny Acta if he can't get those guys motivated to win.
Trading deadline nears
So far, it looks like the Milwaukee Brewers pulled off the best trade of the midseason, getting pitching ace C.C. Sabathia from Cleveland. But the Yankees' acquisition of Xavier Nady (outfielder batting .330) and Damaso Marte (promising young pitcher) from Pittsburgh was a smart move as well, and boosted their recent winning streak. The Orioles thumped the Yanks pretty good on Monday night, 13-4, and barely held off a Yankee comeback last night. This afternoon, the Yanks are getting revenge, ahead of the O's 13-2 in the eighth inning. Meanwhile, the lackluster Atlanta Braves traded Mark Teixeira to the Angels, who have the best record in the AL right now. It's odd how you don't hear much about them, or perhaps that's just my east coast perspective.
Rebuild the Metrodome?
That's what the Minnesota Vikings want to do, after the Twins move into their new stadium two years from now. They are seeking public funds to help pay for the project, which would cost about $853 million. The rebuilt Metrodome (or whatever they call it) would have three decks and retractable-roof, but turning the football field 90 degrees, so as to provide a view of downtown Minneapolis. Doing so would also allow more room for widened concourses, etc. The Vikings' lease expires the end of the 2011 football season. See MinnPost.com; hat tip to Mike Zurawski. The artists' conceptions remind me of Qwest Field in Seattle. Personally, I think they should make the Vikings wait a few more years, since it's their fault that the Twins were cajoled into the Metrodome deal -- a major blunder.
Jack Murphy update
I have finished revisions on the diagrams for Jack Murphy Stadium, former home of the San Diego Padres. The concourse levels are rendered much accurately than before, and in the course of doing this I realized that the grandstand is much shorter. They managed to squeeze the mezzanine suite level in just under the upper deck, with minimal clearance. Also, the upper deck is several rows smaller than I had previously estimated. But perhaps the biggest change is that the distance behind home plate is much less than was indicated by official sources. Lowry (1992, 2006) says the backstop distance was originally 80 feet, and was reduced to 75 feet in 1982. I estimate that it was actually about 55 feet, which is a huge difference. (I can't find any photographic evidence to corroborate the change in 1982 mentioned by Lowry.)