April 9, 2005 [LINK]

Battles in Florida

Last night's 9-0 blowout inflicted upon the Nats by the Marlins was a jolting reality check, but they managed to eke out their second extra-inning victory this evening, winning 3-2. Jose Guillen hit the winning homer, and aging veteran Vinny Castilla got his first homer of the season as well. Occasional lopsided defeats are to be expected when teams are undergoing a big transition such as this, and I'm very encouraged that the Nationals are figuring out ways to win in close-scoring games.

Meanwhile, the Marlins' franchise owners are again lobbying hard to get the Florida legislature to chip in on a new stadium. It would be built next to the Orange Bowl, and the owner Jeffrey Loria has pledged $192 million, nearly half of the estimated cost. By today's standards, that's a lot, but Governor Jeb Bush remains reluctant. Otherwise, the Marlins will be "homeless" and may end up moving to Las Vegas, Portland, or even Monterrey. (It's probably too early to start thinking about Montreal, but who know?) See Washington Post.

Soccer at RFK

RFK Stadium is now back into the soccer configuration, to the apparent satisfactory to the D.C. United soccer players. There are a few uneven spots in the temporary turf where the dirt infield is for baseball games, and that may even provide them with a bit of home field advantage. They are no longer using the seating sections that used be be moved into the third base / end zone gap when the grandstand was moved into left field for football games. A photo in today's Washington Post shows a big vacant gap in back of the home dugout, and the seating chart on the D.C. United Web site confirms this. Those end zone seats aren't really needed, anyway, since attendance at soccer games rarely exceeds 20,000, and the upper decks are hardly used at all. ball It's looking more and more likely that the Nationals' home will be called "National Guard Field at RFK Stadium."

Restoring League Park

The city government in Cleveland is finally starting to move ahead on plans to restore the site of historic League Park, setting aside [an initial] $100,000 up for the project, [whose estimated total cost is $18 million]. It is now being used as a neighborhood park, but was rather dilapidated when I visited it in 1998. See Cleveland Plain Dealer. (This happened while we were on vacation, and I just now found out.)