September 22, 2004
According to the Washington Post, officials in D.C. and MLB have tentatively agreed on a new stadium site on South Capitol Street near the Anacostia River. (See map below.) The L'Enfant Plaza site would have been better, but Virginians could get to this location fairly easily, so it's OK by me. Thomas Boswell echoes my gleefully expectant yet slightly wary sentiments:
Nevertheless, the Expos are so close to coming to the District right now that, if you were Charlie Brown, you'd be absolutely, positively certain that, this time, you were going to kick that miserable football before Lucy could pull it away.
Well put. Let's just hope MLB pays due respect to the feelings of Montreal fans, and makes a decision by this weekend. Only eight more games are scheduled in Olympic Stadium, and the Expos deserve to bow out and begin the transformation of their identity with class.
This map shows the location of the proposed stadium site, but I have turned the field around 180 degrees to bring the "Washington skyline" into view. To see a larger image, just click on it. The existing stadium design is basically just a clone of Ameriquest Field in Arlington (Texas), and I have made preliminary modififications in it to provide for open views toward the U.S. Capitol (down the right field line) and the Washington Monument (in center field). How inspiring would that be? The rectangular notch in center field draws on a similar feature of Griffith Stadium, which would be a nice tribute to Washington's ancient baseball heritage. I may work on a more detailed suggested design in coming weeks... [UPDATE: In the mean time, I just updated the RFK Stadium page, moving five of the eight photos to a separate page so it will load more quickly.]
The Red Sox became the third team in the majors to reach the 90-win mark, edging Baltimore last night. Many people have offered suggestions for a revised postseason format, and my basic feeling is they should avoid tinkering with divisional alignments or divisional series, but should give a bigger advantage to teams with a higher overall winning percentage. In this case, for example, [even though Boston is "only" the (probable) Wild Card team,] they really ought to get a home field advantage over the AL Central champion Twins and whoever wins the AL West.
As the moment of truth approaches for the titans of Major League Baseball finally making their fateful megabucks decision on relocating the Expos to Washington, it's a good idea to take a grass-roots small-town perspective to help remember what our national pastime is all about: fitness, community, tradition, intergenerational bonding, and never-ending faith and hope in "better luck next year." With that shamelessly corny thought, here's a snapshot of a Valley League game in Staunton on August 2. Final score: Staunton Braves 7, Woodstock River Bandits 3. Attendance: about 300.