September 16, 2008
Every September for the last several years has been a ritualized drama, as the arch-rival New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox vie for the AL East title. Baseball fans relish the "clash of titans" in Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park when those two teams go head to head. More often than not, one of them ends up winning the AL pennant.
This year, however, is very different. The Yankee Dynasty has faltered as the team's vaunted stadium is about to be replaced, while the feisty upstarts from central Florida have led the division for most of the summer. For the first time, this year's climactic "clash of titans" is taking place in "sunny" St. Petersburg, as the Red Sox seek to get revenge against the Tampa Bay Rays for the surprising losses they suffered at home last week. (You won't see the sun during the game at Tropicana Field, unfortunately.) In the opening game last night, David Ortiz and Mike Lowell both hit home runs in the first inning off Scott Kazmir, and Boston went on to crush Tampa Bay, 13-5. Thus, the Red Sox have pulled even with the Rays in the AL East divisional race. The next two games may end up deciding the season.
With the Red Sox making their final big push toward the postseason, it's an appropriate time to update the Fenway Park page. The text and diagrams have been updated with several minor corrections and enhanced details, as well as a new 1988 version. I'm not sure whether the newly expanded upper deck extends all the way to the second light tower, so I may need to tweak the current version diagram a bit more.
Mark London concurs with Terry Wallace about Metropolitan Stadium having extra rows of seats in left field for football games. He adds that for two seasons (1975 and 1976), those seats were left in place for baseball, reducing the left field line to 330, while the power alley mark of 360 was moved closer to center field. So that explains the odd shift in dimensions for those years cited in Lowry's Green Cathedrals! Possible update pending...
Also, Karl Bennett informed me that on the Forbes Field page, the link for Three Rivers Stadium didn't show the diagram of Three Rivers the way it was supposed to. Instead, it showed the diagram of Riverfront Stadium. "You confused one bland cookie cutter on the Ohio for another bland cookie cutter on the Ohio." Oops! Thanks to the tip from Karl, I have corrected that.