January 17, 2008
On my way back from South Dakota last weekend, I stopped at the Cincinnati airport for the first time, catching a glimpse of Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ballpark prior to landing. So, it seemed logical for me to update the Riverfront Stadium diagrams based on an aerial photo in the latest edition of Green Cathedrals. Contrary to my previous assumption, the outfield fence was not parallel to the curvature of the surrounding grandstand, but was slightly compressed in the power alleys. I also realized from a photo at www.ebaseballparks.com that during the final two seasons while "GABP" was under construction (2001 and 2002), the bullpens were moved from foul territory to behind the right field fence. To finish up with Cincinnati, Crosley Field is "on deck!"
The plane I was on passed near Indianapolis, and I saw the future home of the Colts for the first time. It is quite a striking structure, with a brick exterior and a slanted roof (not yet finished), looking rather like a church. This was just before the Chargers' surprise victory over the Colts at the RCA Dome next door. In Texas, meanwhile, the Cowboys, who are building a new home stadium in Arlington near Ameriquest Field, lost in an upset to the Giants. What does all this say about teams that abandon stadiums that have at least ten more years of usable service?
I have replaced the "Stadium propects" table on the right side of the Baseball blog page with a new "Stadium construction" table. Four major league baseball stadiums are currently under construction, and two more may get started by the end of this year.
How's this for a meaningful coincidence? Within a day of news that the World Anti-Doping Agency [link fixed] has criricized MLB for failing to ensure adequate drug testing procedures, the guy who looked the other way for the last decade just got an extension on his contract through . When will those owners learn that baseball fans' patience is wearing thin? Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the number of exemptions given to players more than tripled last year, mostly for (ahem) "Attention Deficit Disorder."
While we ponder the meaning of only one player getting nominated to the Hall of Fame this year ("Goose" Gossage), we can think about some of the best Negro League players. A roster can be seen at Diamond Mine; hat tip to Bruce Orser.
Shocking news from the capital city of the Old Dominion: the "R-Braves" will leave Richmond after next season and move to Gwinnett County, Georgia, located just north of Atlanta. This is totally nuts. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, "The Braves' announcement came days after the city unveiled a consultant's plan to redevelop the Boulevard, including building a new ballpark." Apparently, the honchos in Atlanta got fed up with delays over making a final decision and just bailed out.