April 17, 2008 [LINK / comment]

Papal mass at Nationals Park

Pope Benedict XVI said mass at Nationals Park this morning, and it was quite a sight to see the ballpark converted into a genuine "Green Cathedral." An altar draped in white was built in center field, with a couple thousand seats installed just beyond the diamond. (The infield was closed.) Of course, all the advertising signs were discreetly covered. I didn't watch the whole service, so I don't know if he blessed the stadium or the team that makes its home there, but the mere presence of His Holiness certainly cannot hurt the Nationals' success. The way this month has gone, they could really use some divine intervention. To read all about the papal visit, see washingtonpost.com.

One of the questions that pops up once in a while is whether Nationals Park could be used as a venue for football games. Bruce Orser pointed me to a discussion thread raising that question at baseball-fever.com, so I have added two alternative football gridiron layouts to that page. The answer is "yes," it fits -- just barely.

Role reversal

Tonight the Nats try to avoid being swept by the Mets at Shea Stadium. One year ago, I would have been rooting for the team with Ryan Church and Brian Schneider, and against the team with Paul Lo Duca and Lastings Milledge. Since the off-season trades, there has been a big switch in rosters. Church and Schneider both seem to be fitting in very well with the Mets, and the same seems to be true of Milledge and Lo Duca with the Nats. Next, the "D.C. Nine" head to Florida to face the Marlins.

The mail bag

To see a closeup video of the new "Coca Cola" section at Fenway Park, go to boston.com; hat tip to Mike Zurawski, who also called my attention to a photo of the same thing from a distance at webshots.com.

Also, I learned of a relatively new blog focusing mainly on baseball: Roto Journal, by Scott Campanella. Blogroll update pending...