July 30, 2005
The Forbes Field page (sponsored by Mark London) has been revised with a "dynamic diagram," showing four distinct phases. From a close examination of numerous photographs, in print and online, I have concluded that the universally accepted original left field dimension at Forbes Field (360 feet) is wrong. In at least three photographs from the early years, one can see that the left field foul pole is at the front edge of the bleacher section, at least 20 feet from the end. I estimate that the actual left field distance in 1909 was about 325 feet. As it happens, there is a historical preservation campaign in Pittsburgh to restore the remaining portion of the brick wall that used to mark the edge of center field in Forbes Field. See post-gazette.com.
Being full of eager optimism in the inaugural season of the new team of my former home city, I said the Nationals had hit rock bottom on July 23. Hah! Since then they have lost six straight games, and are struggling just to hold on to second place. After four consecutive one-run margins of defeat, today's 3-0 loss almost came as a relief. John Patterson pitched very well for the most part today, but two of the Marlins' runs came on his wild pitches. On the bright side, in only two games this month have the Nationals' opponents have scored more than five runs. Unfortunately, it has been two weeks since the Nats themselves scored that many. Meanwhile, the formerly dominant Baltimore Orioles have fallen behind the Blue Jays and are now in fourth place. So much for the chances of a "Parkway Series"! Thomas Boswell draws meaning from the sour turn of events for the regions' two teams in the Washington Post. This was only the third Nats game I've seen on television so far; all the Braves-Nationals games on TBS have been blacked out.. Thank goodness FOX's television contract with MLB exempts them from the normal blackout restrictions.
As the trading deadline draws near, Lyflines wonders whether a certain Red Sox outfielder with ego and discipline issues is more trouble and expense than he's worth. (Hint: His last name starts with "R.") The last sentence will make you sit up and think, I guarantee. (via Baseball Crank)