November 17, 2007
The Municipal Stadium (Kansas City) diagrams have been revised, with new additions for the mid-1960s, when Charley Finley put a 40-foot fence and a miniature zoo in right field, and the 1920s, when it was called Muehlebach Field. That was one of those odd ballparks where they kept making minor adjustments to the outfield fence, year after year. As usual, I learned a lot in the process of trying to clear up the confusion. For one thing, I am fairly sure that when Municipal Stadium was upgraded to major league status in 1955, the diamond was moved forward by considerably less than the 25 feet that Phil Lowry indicates in his book Green Cathedrals. Speaking of which, I'm getting closer to finishing a critique of the latest edition of that masterpiece.
And speaking of the (former) home of the Athletics, this ballpark reminds us that the team has a long history of turbulent migration from city to city. The planned move from Oakland to Fremont is only the latest chapter of this long saga. Mike Zurawski informs me that the A's have submitted formal plans for their $1.8 billion "ballpark village" complex. Cisco Field itself would cost about $500 million, which would be privately financed. I'm still skeptical of such a remote location, but I guess we can give credit to Mr. Wolff for not extorting money from local governments, at least. See sfgate.com.
It looks like Alex Rodriguez is going to stay with the Bronx Bombers after all, as his agent Scott Boras and Yankees GM Brian Cashman have agreed to "the outline" of a ten-year contract worth $275 million. Details to be ironed out later. Both player and team have reason to be wary of each other, because of A-Rod's below-par postseason record with the Yankees, so this renewed relationship is a rather unexpected gesture of mutual confidence and respect. See MLB.com.
The Red Sox plan to squeeze another 800 or so seats into Fenway Park before next spring, extending the third level (pavilion down both the first and third base sides. See Gloucester Times, which has additional details; hat tip to Bruce Orser.