September 26, 2004 [LINK]

Pennant fever!

The Red Sox kept the heat on the Yankees at Fenway, trouncing them decisively in both weekend games after losing a close one on Friday. It was a virtual mirror image of what happened in the Bronx the week before. Obviously, Kevin Brown wasn't ready to return as a starting pitcher; I hope he's not too mad at himself... Yankee Andy Phillips became (according to my records) the 14th player ever to hit a home run on his very first pitch in the major leagues; Marcus Thames (also of the Yankees) was the last to do so, on June 10, 2002.

Following up on the issue of ballpark compass orientation which was brought up in the Washington Post article on the planned new stadium in D.C. yesterday, I have determined such orientations for all stadiums covered on this Web site. (!) The data are now included in a new column on the Stadium statistics page. To my surprise, in only three of the 65 stadiums is center field situated northwest from home plate. (Oddly enough, all three of those stadiums are/were in Canada!) So, it would appear that my proposal of building the new stadium in such a way as to have both the Washington Monument and the Capitol as an outfield backdrop is not very likely. I've come up with a suggested name for the new stadium, by the way: "Senators Park at Navy Yards." (It's just west of the Washington Navy Yards, on the Anacostia River.)

The new CBS drama The Clubhouse may be just the "shot in the arm"* CBS needs to recover from the 60 Minutes - Rathergate scandal. It seems like a well-conceived and directed series, and the fact that Mel Gibson and Aaron Spelling are behind the project says a lot. Dean Cain, formerly of "Lois and Clark" and "Ripley's Believe It Or Not!",** is well cast as the handsome, good-natured veteran star, à la Derek Jeter or Cal Ripken Jr. Tonight's premier episode explored the moral dilemma of team loyalty versus upholding the law, the kind of charcter-building issue you don't often see on television these days. I was puzzled by the source of the imaginary New York team name "Emperors" until I put "Yankee" and "imperialist" together. I was also impressed by the special effects by which Dodger Stadium (which plays the role of "Empires Stadium") and Camden Yards were transformed into an alternate reality by replacing their bleachers with the bleachers from some other stadiums.

* Cheap, gratuitous pun on the steroid issue.
** Gratuitous bragging.