September 14, 2007
Today's Washington Post reviewed the 2005-2007 twilight years of RFK Stadium, where the Nationals have begun their final home stand of the season. Over the past three years, a total of 382 home runs have been hit at RFK, and only one major league ballpark has seen fewer home runs: AT&T Park, with 369. (The most home runs over the past three years were hit at Great American Ballpark: 703.) Some Nationals players still grumble about the deep fences that turn would-be home runs into long outs, and Chad Cordero worries that the new stadium won't be as pitcher-friendly as RFK. A week from this Sunday, on September 23, the final baseball game will be played in that big old concrete doughnut.
Once again, Chad Cordero blew a save opportunity this evening, and the Nats are tied with the Braves in the 12th inning, 5-5. Their record now stands at 65-81, meaning they can still end up with a .500 record (which they did in 2005) if they win every one of their last 16 games.
Yesterday's Washington Post had a story about the Wednesday game in Miami, where the Marlins beat the Nationals 5-4 in 12 innings. Announced attendance was 10,000 or so, but less than 400 human beings were physically present. (The rest were "phantom fans".) In fact, it was so quiet that a fan was ejected from the game for heckling the umpire! Brian Hughes pointed me to a big, full-color version of the photo of a virtually-empty Dolphin Stadium that appeared with that story; see sportsline.com.
Many thanks to Wayne Whitwam for making available two fine photos he took of PETCO Park on September 24, 2006. That was the day when Trevor Hoffman had his 479th career save, going ahead of Lee Smith to take the number one position on the all-time list. He currently has 519 lifetime saves, which 80 more than Mariano Rivera, who will have to work hard if he is to reach that pitching pinnacle.
(Try saying that fast three times: "Baseball blog glitch, ...") For some unknown reason, my Sept. 3 baseball blog post did not appear on my baseball blog page. (It did appear on my main blog page, however.) I'm especially annoyed by this because, on that blog post, I thanked Mark London for having renewed his subscription/sponsorship of five of my stadium pages. It's the first time such a glitch has occurred, and for the moment, I'm stumped.