May 3, 2010
The Progressive Field (formerly known as Jacobs Field) page has been updated. You know the drill: Much greater accuracy in the diagram profile, minor tweaks here and there, and attention to details such as light towers, etc. The stadium is nearly 20 feet higher than I had previously estimated, which is a big difference.
On Feb. 26 I noted that Cleveland Stadium and Jacobs Field were among the few stadiums (eight) to have hosted both the All-Star Game and the World Series during the same year. I should have drawn attention to a special distinction held by Cleveland, however: it is the only city in which this rare coincidence has taken place in two different stadiums.
One of the special attributes of
Jacobs Progressive Field that puts it ahead of Cleveland Stadium is the view of the skyscrapers in downtown Cleveland. It really lets fans know where they are, something that was entirely missing in the enclosed dual-use "cookie-cutter" stadiums of the 1960s and 1970s. The background view is one of the considerations in determining the aesthetic aspect I apply in my ballpark rankings, but I have never made a separate ranking just for that. Here is a strictly preliminary ranking for current MLB ballparks:
By the way, one of the enhancements planned for this Web site this summer is letting fans vote for their favorite, second favorite, etc. ballparks. Stay tuned!
On Saturday the Phillies put an abrupt end to the New York Mets' "amazin'" eight-game winning streak, with a crushing 10-0 blowout at Citizens Bank Park, broadcast on FOX-TV. It was supposed to be a classic matchup between two aces, but the outcome was extremely uneven. The the Phillies' new star on the mound, Roy Halladay, threw a complete-game shutout, allowing only three hits, while the Mets' Mike Pelfrey gave up six earned runs, raising his ERA from under 1.00 to 2.40. The Phillies won again last night, thereby retaking the lead in the NL East.
Thanks to the Phillies, there is now only one pitcher with more innings pitched and a lower ERA than the Nationals' Livan Hernandez: Ubaldo Jimenez, of the Colorado Rockies. He's the guy who threw a no-hitter in Atlanta on April 17. He and Roy Halladay are the only two pitchers to have won five games so far this year. Just imagine, if they keep this up, they may become the first 30-game winners since Denny McClain (of the Tigers) in 1968. Wouldn't that be something?
Even though the Nationals lost the last two games against the Marlins, they are still only 1.5 games out of first place, with a 13 - 12 record. At the end of the Phillies-Mets game on Saturday, I was glad that Tim McCarver had some nice words about the Nationals. Hopefully, they'll be getting more respect from now on.
Here's a surprise: It seems that New Yankee Stadium may not be as friendly to home runs as it was last year. According to Andrew Marchand at ESPN, "In the Yankees' first six home games this season, there were just 13 homers, compared to 25 at the same point in 2009." Hat tip to Mike Zurawski.
Next door, meanwhile, not much is left of the original Yankee Stadium.
As more and more people find out about this Web site, the more traffic is generated, a mixed blessing. Some time last year, the number of hits on my Baseball blog page reached the half million mark, which is hard to fathom, quite frankly. Right now it is 584,444. I certainly appreciate the attention and the frequent compliments from fans, as well as the occasional donations. The downside is that I keep getting traffic overload warnings from my Web hosting service, and for the first time I had to pay extra to keep this Web site from being shut down in late April. Revenues from advertising and voluntary sponsorships haven't been enough to defray those extra costs, so as the price of success, I'm afraid I may have to make some drastic changes in the near future. I know times are hard, folks, but it's going to take more sponsorships and donations to keep this Web site going in its present form. Step up to the plate!