February 13, 2016 [LINK / comment]
Testing 1-2-3: Going (semi-) mobile!
Today I took another step toward reformatting my Web pages using HTML 5, incorporating a provisional work-around so that users of mobile devices can read the blog pages. Just click on the link beneath the banner that says "Toggle desktop / mobile display mode." In case of any compatibility glitches (of which there are always a few), there is a link to the old baseball blog page near the top of the (reformatted) baseball blog page. If anyone encounters a problem, please contact me via e-mail.
For the time being, I'm not relying upon a "browser sniffer" which would make the formatting automatic, depending on device, etc. From what I understand, that approach is not always reliable. In any case, I expect to be tweaking things for the next month or two. Once I get it figured out well enough so that all the Web pages get transitioned to the new format, I'll have a more complete explanation.
Ballpark news roundup
Here are a few news items concerning ballparks, most of which are courtesy of Mike Zurawski:
At Target Field, they are building a new private club and club-level pub above the center field batter's eye; see ballparkdigest.com. The artist's renderings remind me of what they have in center field at Yankee Stadium II.
At Progressive Field, they are building a new video scoreboard, as well as a new out-of-town scoreboard embedded in the left field wall. "The main video display will measure approximately 59 feet high by 221 feet wide..." ; see ballparkdigest.com. Of course, the scoreboard is being installed by the folks at Daktronics, headquartered in beautiful Brookings, South Dakota. (!)
On the Saturday Today show, they showed some awesome images of a ski jump that has been built in Boston's Fenway Park. (With these frigid temperatures in the East, it's certainly appropriate.) No, I do not plan on doing a diagram for that! On a related note, there was a college football game there in November; see nesn.com.
In Denver, meanwhile, they are building a hockey rink for an upcoming match between the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings, as well as a college-level match or two. Those events will take place later this month.
In San Diego, PETCO Park is undergoing further enhancements. Most notably, the "beach" area beyond deep right center field is being converted into a bar of some sort, and the sand is being moved to the rear, apparently. See ballparkdigest.com
Speaking of Petco Park, there is a legal dispute over who holds the title to the property. It involves a man named Derris Devon McQuaig who somehow bluffed his way into acquiring the deed after filling out a form at the San Diego County Recorder's Office. Because McQuaig has been declared mentally ill, he is unable to stand trial and therefore there is no process for getting the deed back. Very weird. See sandiegouniontribune.com, via Facebook.
Hopefully, I'll get caught up with ballpark news in the next week or two...
Harper: "Don't sell me short."
Responding to a question about a potential $400 million contract on Friday, Bryce Harper told Washington D.C.'s 106.7 FM The Fan, "don't sell me short." Well, I guess the reigning National League MVP is entitled to be a little cocky. Unless the Nationals get him to sign a contract, he becomes a free agent after the 2018 season. Harper will almost certainly exceed the total amount of the biggest-ever baseball contract, between the Florida Marlins and Giancarlo Stanton for $325 million over 13 years. See MLB.com
Former Nats sign elsewhere
Former Nats closing pitcher Tyler Clippard signed a $12.25 million two-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was traded by the Nationals to the the Oakland Athletics for Yunel Escobar a year ago, and was then traded to the New York Mets. He had a pretty good regular season, but had a 6.75 ERA in the postseason. See ESPN.
Doug Fister signed a $7 million, one-year contract with the Houston Astros, who surged during the second half of 2015 and could be a contending team this year. The deal includes performance bonuses worth up to $5 million extra. Fister did very well with the Nationals in 2014, but was mediocre in 2015 and dropped out of the rotation. See ESPN.
Finally, Ian Desmond is still on the market as a free agent.
Strike three for Mejia
Former New York Mets pitcher Jenrry (pronounced "Henry") Mejia has been given a lifetime suspension from baseball, after failing a drug test for the third time. That makes him the only current or former player other than Pete Rose to receive the maximum punishment. See MLB.com.