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May 12, 2019 [LINK / comment]

Nats get roughed up on the road

Until the middle of last month, it seemed that success was close at hand for the Washington Nationals. If they could just fix their bullpen... After losing the first game of the series (once again) against the San Francisco Giants, they then beat the visitors twice. In the April 17 game, they belted four home runs and had a comfortable 9-2 lead going into the ninth inning, whereupon the bullpen collapsed right on schedule; they held on to win, 9-6. The Nats then hit the road but lost the first two of three games against the Marlins in Miami. Heading west to Denver, they lost two of three games against the Colorado Rockies, marking the last time they had an even .500 record. Since April 23, when the Nats were only 1 1/2 games out of first place, things have gone from mediocre to just plain awful for the Nationals.

Back in Washington on April 26, the Nats lost two of three games against the San Diego Padres, the latter two being extra-innings affairs. Manager Dave Martinez used closer Sean Doolittle in the 9th inning, even though the game was tied 2-2 and hence not a save situation. In the 20th [OOPS: 10th] inning, the Padres scored six (6) runs, off of Wander Suero and Justin Miller. Arghhh... Howie Kendrick homered in the bottom of the 10th, but it didn't matter as the Nats lost in a most disheartening fashion, 8-3. But thanks mainly to the "youngsters," the Nats bounced back the next night: Juan Soto, Victor Robles, and Carter Kieboom (just called up from the minors) all homered, and the score was tied 6-6 after nine innings. In the bottom of the 11th, Matt Adams led off with a towering walk-off homer and thus the Nats avoided being swept at home. Then the St. Louis Cardinals came to town and beat the Nats in three straight games. It wasn't a sweep, however, as it was a four-game series, and sure enough the Nats eked out a 2-1 win on Thursday evening (May 2) to conclude a rather bleak home stand on a positive note.

The next day the Nats headed up to Philadelphia, and once again lost the first game of the series, 4-2. Saturday's game started as a pitchers' duel between Patrick Corbin (Nats) and Jake Arrieta (Phillies), but it turned into a slug-fest in the latter innings. Brian Dozier, Kurt Suzuki, and Victor Robles all homered, taking advantage of the cozy dimentions in Citizens Bank Park. The Nats won that game, 10-8, but then they lost the finale on Sunday, 7-1. The very next day (May 6) the Nats played in Milwaukee, and once again lost the first game of the series, even though Max Scherzer threw ten strikeouts and only gave up one earned run (plus one unearned) over six innings. So much valiant effort going to waste... On the following day, Stephen Strasburg three 11 strikeouts but gave up four runs, which was four more than his own team scored. The bullpen allowed two more runs. In the finale of that series, on Wednesday afternoon, Jeremy Hellickson only lasted four innings and the Nats lost, 7-3. It was the first time this year that the Nats had been swept in a series.

The final leg of the Nats' brutal road trip took them to Los Angeles, and miracle of miracles, they actually won the first game of the series! It was only the second time in 13 series thus far this year that they have done so. Patrick Corbin threw another brilliant game for the Nats, striking out eight batters over seven innings in a 6-0 victory. A three-run homer by Howie Kendrick pretty much sealed the deal in that game. But the next day, the extraordinarily ineffective veteran starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez was relieved during the fifth inning after giving up three runs. Final score: Dodgers 5, Nats 0. On Saturday, the fiercely competitive Max Scherzer went seven full innings while only giving up two runs, but was in line for the loss after being replaced in the lineup in the top of the eighth. That's when the Nats batters woke up all of a sudden. The bases were loaded whn Juan Soto came up to bat, and he worked a long count before finally smacking an RBI single for the Nats first run. Anthony Rendon then came up to bat, and hopes were high for the Nats' #1 slugger, who recently returned from the Injured List. But "Tony Two Bags" is apparently not back to 100% just yet, because he swung at some bad pitches and struck out. That left it all up to newly-acquired Gerardo Parra, and guess what? He launched a homer several rows deep into the Dodger Stadium pavilion in right center field, the first grand slam for the Nats this year! (See the Washington Nationals page.) That gave Max Scherzer the win -- only his second win of the season. In the final game of the four-game series, the Dodgers' Hyan-Jin Ryu outdueled Stephen Strasburg, and actually had a no-hitter going into the eighth inning. Once again, Gerardo Parra was a "hero" of sorts, hitting a double for the Nats' only hit of the game [in the top of the eighth inning]. (The Nationals have never lost in a no-hitter, and the last time that happened in franchise history was in 1999, when the Yankees no-hit the Expos.) [With the tying run at the plate, Dave Martinez made another managerial goof when he let Michael A. Taylor bat rather than put in Howie Kendrick, Victor Robles, or Yan Gomes as a pinch hitter; they all have much higher batting averages. In the bottom of that] inning, Corey Seager put the icing on the cake for the home team, hitting a grand slam against Kyle Barraclough. (He has been one of the Nationals' more dependable relief pitchers this year, so that was a turn for the worse.) Final score: 6-0. [Thus the Nats ended a very rough road trip, winning just three of ten games.] frown

And so, at the one-quarter mark of the 2019 season, the Washington Nationals are now 16-24, which is 7 1/2 games behind the Phillies. Injuries are partly to blame, of course, but the Nationals did just fine in spite of injuries in years when they ended up winning the division. Something fundamental is really wrong with this team. The Nats payroll is among the highest in the majors right now (fourth, I believe), but they just aren't performing the way they are supposed to. Complaints about the lack of leadership are growing, and I don't see how Dave Martinez can finish this season if things don't get better soon. Why are the team's owners so patient with him? Don't they want to admit they were wrong to hire an untested guy as manager rather than the proven (and more costly) Bud Black? The Nationals have a long road ahead as they try to climb out of fourth place in the NL East, and perhaps somehow make a run for the postseason. There's no reason why a team with so much talent can't do so.

Some early-season surprises

After six full weeks of baseball, there have been a number of early season surprises. Did anyone really expect the Minnesota Twins or Tampa Bay Rays to be leading their respective divisions? Not that I'm aware. The New York Yankees have been plagued by injuries, but nevertheless have climbed to within a half game of the Rays, and they will probably take first place in the days to come. The Seattle Mariners were one of the hottest teams for the first few weeks, but they have seen cooled off as the Houston Astros have resumed their place atop the AL West. The Boston Red Sox recently climbed above .500 for the first time this season -- a rather humbling performance for the 2018 World Series champions.

In the National League, the East Division was a tight, four-way race for most of April, but the Philadelphia Phillies have now built a 3-game lead. Bryce Harper actually got booed by the home fans after striking out a few days ago; he currently is tied for fourth in the majors with 51 strikeouts. He is batting just .229 with 7 home runs. In the Central Division, the Milwaukee Brewers were very strong in April, but have since fallen behind the Chicago Cubs. Much like the Red Sox, the Cubs were playing terribly in the early weeks but have bounced back nicely. Out west, the L.A. Dodgers are ahead by four games, as the San Diego Padres, who led the division for much of April, have cooled off considerably. Manny Machado added spark to the lineup, but his actual performance has fallen short of expectation: .252 average and 8 home runs.

"Red Socks" in the White House

Championship sports teams customarily are greeted by the President at the White House, e.g. the Washington Capitals hockey team, but with the Trump administration, such traditions are sometimes dispensed with. Most of the Boston Red Sox recently made the pilgrimmage to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but manager Alex Cora and a several other players boycotted the event. Someone in the White House mistakenly wrote "Red Socks" in an official communique, which kind of makes you wonder... See bostonglobe.com.

Stadium capacity changes, 2019

For the first time in at least a few decades, and perhaps ever, there were (apprently) NO changes at all in the seating capacity of any major league baseball stadium this year. In contrast, last year (see October 3) there were seven cases of capacity changing by at least 1,000. I go by the official attendance figures shown in the box scores as published by the Washington Post, where capacity is shown in parentheses. MLB franchises seem less forthcoming aboutproviding capacity data on the various MLB web pages, compared to years past.

Busch Stadium II

Busch Stadium II update

Since I have been paying greater attention in recent months to the details in the roofs of various stadiums of the "cookie-cutter" era (see April 16, when I updated the Riverfront Stadium diagrams), I made an update to the Busch Stadium II diagrams. Whereas before (2014) I attempted to convey the unique arched-support roofs of that stadium in a rather crude way, the diagrams now render more faithfully the actual appearance. While I was at it, I made a few other corrections and enhancements. The front edge of the upper deck is recessed by a couple feet, while the lateral walkway and entry portals in the rear part of the lower deck have been moved forward several feet, and are thus now (partly) "exposed" in all the diagrams. Those entry portals are much bigger than the were before, and the small sets of stairs from the lateral walkways to the aisles between the sections are now shown for the first time. Finally, the profile has been refined as well.

April 16, 2019 [LINK / comment]

Nats rally one day, falter the next

The Washington Nationals are still getting their footing as the 2019 season gets underway, and while they definitely show the potential for championship-level performance, they have also shown a regrettable tendency (like last year) to choke and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. In the weekend home series against Pittsburgh, they easily could have won all three games, but such was not to be. On Wednesday, their new starting pitcher Patrick Corbin did his best to prove he was worth the $140 million the owners committed to him when he was signed last December. In one of the best outings by a Nats pitcher this year, he struck out eleven batters over seven innings, while only giving up one run. Then in the eighth inning, once again the bullpen threw away a lead. Tony Sipp and Kyle Barraclough gave up two runs, but in the bottom of the inning Anthony Rendon homered for a second time to tie the game, 3-3. The game went to the tenth inning, whereupon Matt Grace and Justin Miller combined to give up three runs (one unearned), and the Pirates won it, 6-3.

The Saturday afternoon game was a pretty good pitchers' duel between the Nats' Anibal Sanchez and the Pirates' Chris Archer, whom I remember seeing pitch for the Tampa Bay Rays in Toronto in 2015. Both pitchers went seven innings, but the visitors were ahead 2-1 going into the eighth inning. That's when Adam Eaton and Howie Kendrick all of a sudden hit back-to-back home runs to give the Nats a 3-2 lead. Sean Doolittle got through the ninth inning allowing just one hit and one walk, thus earning his first save of the year.

On Sunday, Max Scherzer gave up two runs in the first inning, but got back in control and went eight full innings with only one more run by the opponent. The game was tied going into the ninth inning, but relief pitcher Wander Suero gave up an RBI ground rule double to Jason Martin. Behind 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, the Nats loaded the bases with only one out, but Howie Kendrick was called out on strikes, and Anthony Rendon flew out to end the game. What an awful letdown.

After resting on Monday, the Nats welcomed the San Francisco Giants to town tonight. The Nats scored a run in the second inning, and starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg was doing just fine until the fifth inning, when the Pirates hit two home runs to take a 3-1 lead. They tacked on three more against the relief pitchers before Matt Adams hit a pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the seventh, after which Anthony Rendon hit an RBI single. But that didn't matter, as the Giants ended up with a 7-3 victory. It was the first time since the opening series of the season that the Nationals lost two games in a row. They now have a 7-8 record, and are 2 1/2 games behind the Phillies, who retook first place from the Mets tonight. (Ten runs in the first inning??!!)

Opening day in Korea

You gotta hand it to those Koreans, they really know how to use ultra-modern technology to heighten the excitement at a sporting event. An animated flying dragon swooping around a baseball stadium??!! See the video yourself at MLB.com; hat tip to Bruce Orser.

Riverfront Stadium

Riverfront Stadium update

(Stop me if you've heard this one before.) I recently realized that one critical detail was missing from my Riverfront Stadium diagrams, which I had revised last October: the "ribs" that divide the sections of the roof from each other. That was a fairly easy task, but then I noticed a few anomalies that had to be fixed, so I ended up making a few more revisions to the Riverfront Stadium diagrams than I had planned. The bullpens are now shown in detail; the only real correction per se was that the lateral walkway in the upper deck was moved back a couple feet. The upper-deck diagram now shows where the twelve access tunnels were, underneath the seats. The entry portals were not visible from above (assuming you could see through the roof), as normal entry portals are.

I also added two other stadiums with similarly distinctive roofs to my "Coming Attractions" list: Busch Stadium II and Candlestick Park, as well as Three Rivers Stadium.

April 10, 2019 [LINK / comment]

Robles & Soto save the Nats' day

The Nationals' two young slugging pals from the Dominican Republic, Victor Robles and Juan Soto, combined to turn another disheartening loss yesterday into a dramatic and memorable triumph. Stephen Strasburg gave up a three-run home run to Bryce Harper in the third inning, and Strasburg left the game after four innings with his team behind, 6-1. With all the bad vibes from the repeated bullpen meltdowns, the Nationals were on the verge of a very disheartening trajectory. Then the Nats started to put a few runs on the board, including home runs by Yan Gomes in the seventh inning and Howie Kendrick in the eighth inning. But the Nats were still one run behind in the top of the ninth with two outs and two strikes on Victor Robles. Things looked bleak. But just then Robles swung at a low pitch and knocked that ball into the left field seats to tie the game! In the tenth inning, Juan Soto crushed a ball into the middle deck down the right field line for a three-run homer. Robles doubled in another run after that, and the Nats won the game, 10-6! Would it be too much to suggest that Robles and Soto may have saved the Nationals' year? So I added that bit of info to the Washington Nationals page.

Tonight, the Nats got on the board three times in the first inning, and they just kept pounding the ball inning after inning. Even without a home run, the scored 15 runs and were on the verge of their biggest shutout score ever, when shaky relief pitcher Trevor Rosenthal took the mound in the bottom of the ninth. It was a perfect situation for the hurler with an ERA of infinity. Once again, Rosenthal had lousy command, and he walked the bases loaded but managed to get three outs while only giving up one run, so now his ERA is "just" 72.

And so, amazingly enough, the Nationals have now won consecutive series against the Mets and the Phillies, and are now just one game behind those two (and the Braves) in the NL East.

Nats' bullpen stabilizes

In both their wins in Philadelphia, the Nationals' bullpen managed to avoid any further catastrophes, putting multiple zeros on the board. In my recent lament about the bullpen, I left out the closing pitcher Sean Doolittle, whose ERA is zero even though three runs scored thanks to hits he allowed last week. But he helped big time last night, getting the last two outs of the ninth inning, and all three outs of the tenth.

Healing and injury

Soon after joining active roster, Howie Kendrick hit a home run, the first pinch-hit home run of his career. Michael A. Taylor is also back in the lineup, but has not yet had a hit.

Another piece of bad news for the Nationals, which I should have mentioned before: Their speedy and versatile shortstop Trea Turner suffered a broken finger while trying to bunt last week, and he will probably be on the "Injured List" (formerly called the "Disabled List") until June.

Early team performance

With an 6-5 record thus far, the Nationals have exactly matched their performance up to the same point last year. The following table (updated from the one I posted on April 21, 2016, when I also noted the passing of my father, Alan L. Clem), compares the Nationals' record during the first ten games for each season since they relocated to Washington from Montreal in 2005:

Year First ten games (W-L) Season total (%)
2005 6-4 .500
2006 2-8 .438
2007 2-8 .451
2008 3-7 .366
2009 1-9 .364
2010 5-5 .426
2011 5-5 .497
2012 7-3 .605
2013 7-3 .531
2014 7-3 .593
2015 4-6 .512
2016 9-1 .586
2017 6-4 .599
2018 5-5 .506
2019 5-5 ???

Sick's Stadium

Sick's Stadium update

Since I recently updated the Kingdome diagrams with some small corrections, I figured I ought to do likewise for the Sick's Stadium (a.k.a. "Sicks' Stadium") diagrams. That is the stadium where the ill-fated Seattle Pilots played in 1969, before going bankrupt and being relocated to Milwaukee as the "Brewers" in 1970. It was supposed to be a temporary stadium during construction of the Kingdome, but that didn't get started until several years later. (The last diagram update for Sick's Stadium was Jan. 22, 2015.) Most of the changes in the diagram per se involved the shape and size of the bleacher sections that were added in 1969. Also, the steps leading up from the concourse between the upper and lower portions of the bleachers are now rendered more accurately than before, and likewise for the steps from the concourse in the grandstand. In addition, the warning tracks in foul territory are thinner than before, and finally, the access ramps to the bleachers in right field are now more accurate, with "UP" labels for clarity.

April 8, 2019 [LINK / comment]

Nationals' bullpen: disaster area

Thus far, the Washington Nationals' bullpen has been an unmitigated disaster. Imagine a town devastated by a tsunami, a forest fire, and a hurricane all at once. For the first nine games of the 2019 season, they have an ERA above 10. In four of the Nats' five losses, the deciding runs were scored in the late innings of the game. Of course, most painful have been the unnecessary losses when the Nationals had been leading in the latter innings: March 30 (NYM 11, WSH 8) and April 6 (NYM 6, WSH 5). But even in two of their four wins, the bullpen likewise gave up multiple runs. For example, in yesterday's game against the Mets in New York, the Nats enjoyed a comfortable 12-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning, whereupon the Mets scored five runs. The home team almost pulled off a miracle in the ninth inning, scoring three more runs, but ending up losing, 12-9. Another near-disaster for the Nats: on April 3, the Phillies scored four runs in the eighth inning to tie the game, but the Nats won on a "walk-off walk" with the bases loaded, as rookie Jake Noll refrained from swinging to get his first major league RBI. As a "reward," he was sent down to the minors, making way for Howie Kendrick on the active roster.

So who's to blame? At the top of the list would be Trevor Rosenthal, the former star relief pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, has faced nine batters this year, and every single one of them has reached base. Until yesterday's game, where he walked one batter and hit the other with a pitch, every one of those batters ended up scoring. His ERA is currently infinity, and after he (presumably) gets his first out of the season, his ERA will drop to something like 186. Hard to believe. He is coming off from Tommy John surgery, so it's understandable that he needs a period of adjustment, but still...Other hapless Nats relievers include Joe Ross (81.00 ERA), Tony Sipp (15.43 ERA), Wander Suero (15.00 ERA), and Matt Grace (13.50 ERA). The other Nats relievers, Kyle Barraclough and Justin Miller, have ERAs in the "normal" range.

On the positive side, the Nationals won consecutive games for the first time this year, winning 9-8 on Wednesday and 4-0 on Thursday, bouncing back to .500. They took two out of three games in New York, but with tonight's loss their record is back down to 4-5.

These nine games don't mean all that much, but if the Nats don't end this month at least with a winning record, grumblings about the evident persistent lack of leadership will arise once again. Dave Martinez knows his job is on the line, and it's up to him to make the highly talented pitching staff perform according to expected standards.

Chase Field

Chase Field quick update

Mike Zurawski recently alerted me to some photos of the new artificial turf at Chase Field (see azcentral.com), showing that the thin dirt path between the mound and home plate is gone. But guess what? I noticed a slight discrepancy with my diagrams, as far as the position of the bend in the grandstand near first (and third) base! So I set about fixing that, and while I was at it made a couple other tiny changes to the Chase Field diagrams. One significant consequence is that foul territory has shrunk, but I haven't done a calculation of that just yet.

And just for the record, I made a couple very small corrections to the Kingdome diagrams after the update was announced on April Fool's Day. No foolin'! smile

Virginia championship?

In other sports, the University of Virginia Cavaliers are currently in the NCAA Men's Basketball championship game (at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis) against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, hailing from Lubbock, Texas. Go Cavaliers!!! smile

April 1, 2019 [LINK / comment]

Opening Weekend 2019

There were a few surprises in the first regular season baseball games to be played in North America this year. The Baltimore Orioles took two of three games from the New York Yankees, to the surprise of many. They won again tonight, but remain in second place behind the Tampa Bay Rays. But thanks to their two-game head start in Japan, the Seattle Mariners (see diagram update below) have the best MLB record right now, 5-1.

In Our Nation's Capital, the Washington Nationals stumbled out of the starting gates against the visiting New York Mets. In typical fashion, Max Scherzer threw a brilliant game with a dozen strikouts and only two hits over 7 2/3 innings, but both of those hits resulted in runs scored. In the first inning, former Yankee and Mariner Robinson Cano homered in his very first at bat as a Met. Scherzer just refuses to back down from a challenge, and he paid for it once again. But facing Cy Young Award winner Jacob DeGrom, Scherzer's team failed to give him any run support, and he took the loss in a classic pitchers' duel. Mets 2, Nats 0. It was only the second time the Nats had been shut out on Opening Day, the first being in 2011 against the Braves. The only bright spot for the Nats was Trea Turner, who got two hits and stole three bases.

On Saturday, Stephen Strasburg had a shaky start, giving up three runs in the first inning, but then he got in command of the situation. He left after throwing eight strikeouts over six innings [virtually the same numbers as the Mets' pitcher Noah Syndergaard], and the Nats bailed him out by tying the game 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth. But then the Nats bullpen imploded, and dark memories of similar episodes in 2018 came to mind. In his first appearance since returning from Tommy John surgery, relief pitcher Trevor Rosenthal gave up four runs without recording an out in the top of the eighth inning. In the ninth inning, Matt Grace and Wander Suero gave up three more runs, giving the Mets a seven-run lead. The Nats rallied with four runs in the ninth inning, as Ryan Zimmerman came within a few feet of hitting a grand slam to left field, but it was all for nought. Final score: 11-8. frown Worth noting is that Victor Robles hit the first home run of the year for the Nationals, in the third inning.

On Sunday, Patrick Corbin took the mound in his debut appearance as a National, and he pitched pretty well. (Whew!) He gave up just two runs over six innings and was in line for the win, thanks primarily to a three-run homer by Trea Turner in the third inning. But once again, the Nats' bullpen imploded in the eighth inning, as new Nats reliever Tony Sipp gave up two hits while only getting one out, and then Trevor Rosenthal immediately gave up an RBI single to Robinson Cano. Oh-oh. So then manager Dave Martinez sounds the alarm and brings in closing pitcher Sean Doolittle to put the fire out, but the move didn't work. Doolittle gave up three hits and two runs, blowing the save. He got through the top of the ninth with only one hit, and the game went into the bottom of the ninth tied 5-5. After Adam Eaton flied out, Trea Turner came up to bat and got to a full 3-2 count before swinging at a low pitch and just clearing the left field wall for a dramatic and desperately-needed walk-off home run. YES!!! smile I have already added that bit of information to the Washington Nationals page.

On a sad note, former National Daniel Murphy, who signed a contract as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies, broke his finger while making a diving catch. He'll be out of action for several weeks at least.

UVa makes it to NCAA Final Four!

In other sports news, the University of Virginia Cavaliers have advanced to the NCAA Men's Final Four championship for the first time since 1984. They beat the Purdue Boilermakers 80-75 in a very tight game that went into overtime thanks to a miraculous last-second shot by Mamadi Diakite. (I knew he was from west Africa but just learned that he was born in Conakry, Guinea.) The Cavaliers were ranked #2 in the nation for much of the season, much like last year, when they were eliminated in the first round, and three years ago, when they only made it as far as the "Elite Eight" round. The Final Four will be played in Minneapolis at U.S. Bank Stadium, which occupies the same ground where the Metrodome once stood, so in a sense it will be the third Final Four played at that location.

I thought it might be useful to gather information on all the Final Four events held in stadiums that were home to MLB teams, or in which MLB teams have played. Later on, I may add this table to the Other sports use page, which I created last June.

NCAA Men's Final Four championships held in baseball* stadiums

Venue City, state 1st year 2nd year 3rd year 4th year 5th year
Astrodome Houston, TX 1971
Louisiana Superdome * New Orleans, LA 1982 1987 1993 2003 2012
Kingdome Seattle, WA 1984 1989 1995
HHH Metrodome Minneapolis, MN 1992 2001
Alamodome * San Antonio, TX 1998 2004 2008
[ Tropicana Field St. Petersburg, FL 1999 ]

* Including stadiums used by MLB teams in exhibition games.

I may eventually do a diagram of the Alamodome, since it can be (and has been) reconfigured for baseball games. While researching that in my World Almanac and on the often-reliable Wikipedia, I discovered that the "University of Phoenix Stadium" (home of the NFL Arizona Cardinals) is now called "State Farm Stadium."


Kingdome minor tweak

To commemorate Virginia's last appearance in the Final Four, I decided to make a quick, minor diagram update to the venue where they played in 1984 -- the Kingdome, former home of the Seattle Mariners (and Seahawks, Supersonics, etc.). There is a new middle-deck diagram, since the second deck was entirely covered by the upper deck and therefore not otherwise visible. The only real change involved the position of the entry portals in the upper deck (moved back a couple feet), and showing details of the small stairs on either side of each upper-deck entry portal. In addition, there is now a dark line in back of the lateral walkway in the lower deck, since the grandstand pitch was relatively steep and there was a significant vertical discontinuity, along with a barrier. Those diagrams were last updated in January 2015. I need to find the original photo slide so I can make a better scanned image than the one which is posted on that page. (I passed by the Kingdome while I was in Seattle in 1987.)

R.I.P. Fred Malek

One of the leading contenders seeking to purchase the Washington Nationals franchise 13 years ago, Fred Malek, passed away last week. The Washington Post article about him highlighted his role in the Nixon administration's "hunt" for Jewish officials in the Federal bureaucracy, which was indeed a sorry affair. Malek seemed to be a loyal party man first and foremost, the very epitome of the much-maligned "Washington Establishment," but he was also a big fan of baseball who strove for many years to get the National Pastime back to the Nation's Capital. As far back as March 2002 I was regularly commenting in my blog on his strong efforts to purchase the Montreal Expos in order to bring baseball back to Washington. In contrast, until September 2005 I wasn't even aware of Ted Lerner and his family, who ended up winning the bidding war for the franchise the following May. Here's hoping that Malek is remembered for his involvement in getting baseball back to D.C.

Coming Attractions

(Includes major revisions, minor revisions, pages with additional diagrams, and future stadiums that are under construction. This is only a rough guide; the sequence is subject to change.)

Stadium construction

Between March 2012, when Marlins Park was completed, and September 2014, there were no major league baseball stadiums under construction. It was the first time since September 1986 that this situation existed. But in light of the recent groundbreaking on the future home of the Braves, the table that had been removed from this space is being restored.

Clem's Baseball ~ Stadium construction

Stadium construction
Chronology of the contemporary era: 1986 - present

1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s
1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
UC 1989: Skydome (Rogers Centre) (construction finished in early June)
plan. UC 1990: Florida Suncoast Dome (Tropicana Field)
planning UC 1991: Comiskey Park II (U.S. Cellular Field, Guaranteed Rate Field)
- planning UC 1992: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
- planning UC 1994: Jacobs Field (Progressive Field)
- planning UC 1994: Ballpark in Arlington (Globe Life Park, etc.)
- planning UC 1995: Coors Field
- planning UC 1996: (Olympic Stadium) 1997: Turner Field
- planning UC 1998: Chase Field (Bank One Ballpark)
- planning UC 1999: AT&T Park (Pac Bell Park)
- planning UC 1999: Safeco Field
- planning UC 2000: Comerica Park
- planning UC 2000: Minute Maid Park
- planning UC 2001: Miller Park
- planning UC 2001: PNC Park
- planning UC 2003: Great American Ballpark
- planning UC 2004: Citizens Bank Park
- planning UC 2006: Busch Stadium III (construction finished in late May)
- planning UC 2008: Nationals Park
- planning UC 2009: Yankee Stadium II
- planning UC 2009: Citi Field
- planning UC 2010: Target Field
- planning UC 2012: Marlins Park
- planning UC 2017: SunTrust Park
Texas Rangers: Globe Life Park II   UC 2020 opening?
STILL WAITING ... Oakland Athletics: (?)  
STILL WAITING ... Tampa Bay Rays: (?)  
1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024
NOTE: For most stadiums, groundbreaking years are mere estimates. For most stadiums, construction continued through March of the year in which they opened. Two exceptions are Skydome / Rogers Centre (construction finished in early June 1989) and Busch Stadium III (construction finished in late May 2006).

Stadium construction montage

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: PNC Park (Pittsburgh, Aug. 2000), Citi Field (Queens, NY, Oct. 2008), Nationals Park (Washington, DC, Aug. 2007)

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From October through December, a table of all Postseason game scores is shown here.

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