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March 24, 2016 [LINK / comment]

Baseball diplomacy in Cuba

During his historic visit to Cuba this week, President Obama took the time to enjoy a game of beísbol (baseball) with Cuban President Raul Castro, in which the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Cuban national team, 4-1. After the game, the players exchanged jerseys with each other as a goodwill gesture. See, and (en español) It's ironic (and tragic) that such hard feelings exist between two neighboring countries who share a love for Our National Pastime. As for the politics of the visit, and the rather silly complaints about Obama seeing a ballgame in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, see

New page: Estadio Latinoamericano

Estadio Latinoamericano

To mark the first visit of a U.S. president to Cuba since the 1920s, I present a diagram (and rather sketchy, preliminary page of text) for Estadio Latinoamericano. Obviously, it was a rush job, so there will no doubt be revisions in the months (or years?) to come. Who knows, I might even visit that ballpark myself some time.

If you think about it, this old stadium is a lot like all the '57 Chevies and other antique classic U.S.-made automobiles you see on the streets of Havana: not much appreciated during the ultra-modernizing years of the 1950s and 1960s, but now treasured as priceless relics. Of particular note are the inclined light towers, similar to the ones in Estadio Dennis Martinez in Nicaragua and Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico. Also, the huge, three-tiered bleacher section in the outfield is unique as far as I know.

The marked dimensions of Estadio Latinoamericano are:

  • LF: 325
  • LC: 345
  • CF: 400
  • RC: 345
  • RF: 325

Given that the outfield fences are perpendicular, the power alleys ought to be about 352 feet, so I assume that the markers are a bit toward the foul poles from the true power alleys. See the Outfield trigonometry page.

Nats are still red hot

The Washington Nationals trounced the New York Yankees 13-0 yesterday, a game which of course meant almost nothing. Wilson Ramos hit a home run, while Ben Revere, Anthony Rendon, and Matt den Dekker all had multi-hit games, and Steven Strasburg struck out nine batters over five innings. Not bad at all! Today the Nats beat the St. Louis Cardinals, , 8-2, raising their record in the pre-season to 15-4. The Arizona Diamondbacks still have the highest win-loss record: 19-4.

My blog practices

My general practice is to make no more than one blog post per day on any one category. For this reason, some blog posts may address more than one specific issue, as indicated by separate headings. If something important happens during the day after I make a blog post, I may add an updated paragraph or section to it, using the word "UPDATE" and sometimes a horizontal rule to distinguish the new material from the original material. For each successive day, blog posts are listed on the central blog page (which brings together all topics) from top to bottom in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the order in which the posts were originally made:

  1. Wild birds (LAST)
  2. War
  3. Science & Technology *
  4. Politics
  5. Latin America
  6. Culture & Travel *
  7. Canaries ("Home birds")
  8. Baseball (FIRST)

* part of "Macintosh & Miscellanous" until Feb. 2007

The date of each blog post refers to when the bulk of it was written, in the Eastern Time Zone. For each blog post, the time and date of the original posting (or the last update or comment thereupon) is displayed on the individual archival blog post page that appears (just before the comments section) when you click the [LINK / comments] link next to the date. Non-trivial corrections and clarifications to original blog entries are indicated by the use of [brackets] and/or strikethroughs, as appropriate so as to accurately convey both the factual truth and my original representation of it. Nobody's perfect, but I strive for continual improvement. That is also why some of the nature photos that appear on the archive pages may differ from the (inferior) ones that were originally posted.

The current "home made" blog organization system that I created, featuring real permalinks, was instituted on November 1, 2004. Prior to that date, blog posts were handled inconsistently, and for that reason the pre-2005 archives pages are something of a mess. Furthermore, my blogging prior to June 1, 2004 was often sporadic in terms of frequency.