June 4, 2016
Everybody needs a day off every now and then, and the Washington Nationals just took two of them. On Thursday, after winning four games straight, they enjoyed a well-deserved day off, their first since May 16. Then last night in Cincinnati, they had an "off day" of a different sort -- as in it just wasn't their day. Gio Gonzalez had another mediocre outing on the mound, giving up four runs in the second inning. The Nats didn't score until the eighth inning, when Jayson Werth hit a solo homer. One bright spot was Trey Turner, just called up from the minors to replace Ryan Zimmerman, who is taking paternity leave for a few days. Turner went three for three at the plate, including a double, and he also drew a walk. Unfortunately he was tagged out at third base after the Reds challenged the "safe" call, and the video evidently showed that his foot momentarily came off the bag. That killed what could have been a big rally in the fourth inning. Final score: Reds 7, Nats 2.
The diagrams for Wrigley Field (L.A.), the original home of the Los Angeles Angels, have been revised primarily due to the addition of a new upper-deck variant showing the entry portals, etc. Among other things, that led to a change in the position of the support beams in the lower-deck variant, and in the light towers. Also, the bullpens are more detailed, and there is virtually no warning track in foul territory.
The hypothetical variant (showing the double-decked grandstand wrapping around the corners almost all the way to center field) would have raised the capacity to nearly 40,000. That was based on the idea that it would serve as the temporary home of the L.A. Dodgers (as indeed it should have been), but their owner Walter O'Malley preferred the higher ticket sales potential of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a couple miles away. Also, they would have had to have closed a street and demolish a number of nearby houses, which only would have made sense if such an expansion had been made for a long-term occupancy.
I added a "new" photo to the Sportsman's Park page, one which I took when I visited the site in August 2011. It shows a youth ball field located across the street (west) from where Sportsmans Park used to be (contrary to what it says on the scoreboard), but evidently it has not been used for quite a while. That state of virtual abandonment puts an additional layer of sadness onto the expression (immortalized in the Frank Sinatra song) "There used to be a ballpark here."
Finally, I've had some e-mail inquiries and monetary donations in the past few weeks that I just haven't had the time to acknowledge, but I'll do so in the next couple days. Thanks for your understanding.