May 6, 2009
Being pretty busy lately, I haven't had much time to do diagram updates, so I chose the path of least resistance and made some minor touchups to Shea Stadium. The changes are primarily with regard to the profiles, and the exit ramps surrounding the stadium are now explicitly shown. There are also a couple minor corrections and enhanced attention to detail. As with Busch Stadium II and others yet to be done, the diagrams feature multiple profile positions, to better convey the baseball-to-football transformation.
I also added to that page a closeup photo of the game day ticket sales booth, which I'm sure will evoke memories for Mets fans. On top it shows the starting lineup: Jose Reyes, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Ryan Church, Brian Schneider, a blank space, and somebody I couldn't identify. For some odd reason, however, it didn't match the lineup for the final game as recorded at MLB.com.
Coincidentally, the Mets were hosting the Phillies at Citi Field tonight (ESPN's featured Wednesday game), and it was a classic pitchers' duel between Johan Santana and Chan Ho Park. The only run of the game was in the seventh inning when Carlos Delgado trotted home after an errant throw past first base by third baseman Pedro Feliz, and an odd moment of hesitation by the right fielder who retrieved the ball, Jayson Werth. Hey, a win's a win.
Ryan Zimmerman got off to a quick start in tonight's game in Los Angeles, and has now hit safely in 24 straight games. Unlike previous years, when he started off cold, this year he has really hit his stride, and is batting .333 going into tonight's game. Somebody give that guy a contract! Oh, that's right, they just did. Maybe the five-year, $45 million deal was just the reward that Zimmerman needed to finally live up to his high expectations.
I occasionally come up with a suggested modification for various ballparks that are currently in use, and somebody at baseball-fever.com had an excellent suggestion about Turner Field. He says that they should tear out that multi-story enclosed club section in left center field, to provide an open view toward downtown Atlanta. I heartily concur, but as another guy pointed out, they would have to rebuild the team offices elsewhere on the property. Hat tip to Mike Zurawski.
Even so, Turner Field would still be too big, with about 6,000 more seats than they could reasonably expect to fill. The same is true of most other early-phase "retro / neoclassical" ballparks: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Coors Field, Chase Field, and Safeco Field. Only "Progressive Field" (Jacobs Field) is the right size. After 2000, most new stadiums had about 42,000 seats, rather than about 48,000.
Finally, I just noticed that there has been a flurry of stadium impression submissions in the past couple weeks. A couple were a bit rougher in tone than I would prefer, but that's sports for you.