January 23, 2004 [LINK]

St. Louis

Construction is proceeding on the new St. Louis baseball stadium, where the Cardinals will begin to play in 2006. The Cardinals' Web site shows that it will overlap with much of the existing structure, which presumably means they will have to tear down the right field side of Busch Stadium during the Cardinals' final year there. What's more, to my astonishment, I noticed a slight oblong shape in the Busch Stadium diagram, and confirmed from the text that it is in fact elliptical, NOT circular as I had always assumed. It's about nine percent longer than it is wide, which explains the long original distance to center field (414 feet) and tight seating configuration at the corners. Those facts just did not jibe with a circular stadium shape, but I was so convinced that the stadium was circular that I wondered whether the actual distances to the corners might be 10-15 feet longer than they are supposed to be. Anyway, that's one more stadium diagram I'll have to revise...

A fan named Joseph H. Johnston let me know that he enjoyed my review of the movie 61* and reminded me what a fine (though overlooked) defensive player Roger Maris was. By coincidence, I recently learned from The Yankees: An Authorized History of the New York Yankees that Maris made the game-saving play in the bottom of the ninth inning in the deciding seventh game of the 1962 World Series in Candlestick Park. By quickly getting the ball hit by Willie Mays back into the infield, he prevented Matty Alou from scoring what would have been the tying won. Yanks 1, Giants 0!!

The Washington Post reports that Major League Baseball turned down a $30 million offer by the Virginia Baseball Club to host all or most of the Expos games in RFK Stadium next year, on a one-year basis without ownership change or any commitment. The fact that such a reasonable (and money-making!) offer can't get serious consideration from MLB officials shows once again how badly the deck is stacked against The Nation's Capital.