April 8, 2006 [LINK]

Slow start for Nationals

With Washington down 4-3 in the ninth inning at Shea Stadium on Wednesday night, Ryan Zimmerman's first career home run tied the game, giving the Nats a chance to go ahead and win the game in the tenth inning. It was about as heartwarming a turn of events as you can imagine. See MLB.com. Otherwise, there is not much good news to report. Frank Robinson pulled Alfonso Soriano out of that same game after he seemed to be dragging his feet in left field. Lack of good pitching has cost the Nationals dearly, especially last night in Houston, where they lost 6-1. Meanwhile, the public relations war between Comcast and MASN goes on, though congressional intervention begun by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) may force a reasonable compromise.

Wrigley Field renovations

The Wrigley Field page has been updated with a new diagram showing the newly expanded bleachers. Read all about the improvements at MLB.com; it won't be 100 percent finished until it gets warm enough to paint that section dark green to match the rest of the stadium. The construction was just barely completed on time for the Cubs' home opener yesterday. They made it a special occasion by beating the vaunted Cardinals, who had just swept the Phillies in Philadelphia. [More photos of the "Bud Light Bleachers" (ugh) can be seen at Bleed Cubbie Blue.]

Zurawski's ballpark updates

Mike Zurawski continues to bring to our attention ballpark news from around the nation. As for Kansas City, the referendum on paying for renovations at the Truman Sports Complex in Jackson County, Missouri yielded a split decision. A three-eighth cent sales tax for basic renovations was approved, but a proposed $202 million use tax on businesses to finance the rolling roof (which would have covered either Arrowhead Stadium or Kauffman Stadium) was rejected. It remains to be seen whether the NFL will still hold the Super Bowl in Kansas City in 2015, as outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue had offered as an inducement to get funding for the roof. See the Kansas City Star. I guess that is all for the best; that roof looked scary to me. What if a tornado came through?

The Mets provided further details on their future home, pledging to invest about a half billion dollars of their own money to build the stadium. The overall shape is based on Ebbets Field, which is fine except that the triple-decked grandstand in left field will obstruct the view of Long Island Sound. Harking back to the Polo Grounds, there will be a small section that will hang eight feet over right field. Projected dimensions: LF - 335'; LC - 379'; CF - 408'; RC - 391'; RF - 300'.

Under new ownership, Devil Rays are investing some money into sprucing up Tropicana Field. By [July] or so, they expect to have a large tank full of live rays. It sounds cool, but what if one of them gets hit with a fly ball?

UPDATE: Frisco & Barry

That was quite a remarkable comeback by the Braves against Giants at AT&T Park last night. Of course, I fell asleep just before the Braves' eight-run onslaught after midnight (EDT). The Braves failed to repeat the feat in today's game, but the real story in this series was about Bonds -- Barry Bonds. Scorned almost everywhere else, the tarnished hero received loud cheers from the home town crowd. And why not? Maybe such an expression of undying loyalty will bring a change of heart upon the proud slugger, reconciling himself to the truth before his career is over and thereby salvaging honor for posterity. I sure hope so, anyway.