Off to The Heartland
I'm heading west to South Dakota for a high school reunion and family get-together. If all goes as planned, I'll see a ballgame in Detroit on the way out there, and perhaps another city or two on the way back. I may try to update this blogsite from a remote location, but otherwise, I'll return by mid-month.
Diabolical plot in the Bronx.
Wouldn't you know it, one week after I finally see a game in The Bronx and it's announced that the Yankees have resurrected plans to replace "The House that Ruth Built" with a smaller luxury-oriented venue next door. The New York Daily News reports on the particulars; apparently they would play in the current stadium while a new one is built across the street. So I did some Google searching on Yankee Stadium and come across a New York City blog with a relevant thread, Gothamist, where I posted the following comment:
"Travesty" would be putting it extremely mildly. It's long been known that Steinbrenner is a short-sighted bully who is clueless about the "goodwill" value of the Yankee tradition in general and Yankee Stadium in particular. What is news is Mayor Bloomberg's acquiescence in this latest gambit. He had opposed any public funds for new baseball stadiums in the wake of 9/11, but now it looks like he'll agree to massive new spending on infrastructure, an unwarranted public subsidy to make life more pleasant for the skybox set. He's making Ralph Nader look wise...
Speaking of political controversy at Yankee Stadium, I noticed that Blue Jays slugger Carlos Delgado was getting booed by many fans when I saw them play on July 22. Only later did I read up on what that's all about. It seems Señor Delgado has taken it upon himself to protest against the Iraq war by refusing to stand when "God Bless America" is played. Well, that's his right as an American. (He's from Puerto Rico, actually, a quasi-colony where Yankee hating is still quite intense in some quarters.) See MSNBC.com for more details.
Perhaps indicative of the increasing likelihood that the Expos will finally relocate to Washington next year, the D.C. United soccer team has expressed concerns that their games may conflict with baseball games at RFK Stadium. (See Washington Post.) The stadium seating sections could be moved back and forth with no problem (other than a few rusting wheels perhaps), but the field couldn't take the wear and tear, and the dirt infield would make it very hard to play soccer. The major league soccer season roughly coincides with the baseball season, from April through October.
The Staunton Braves beat the Woodstock River Bandits Monday night, 7-3, thereby qualifying for the next round in the Valley Baseball League playoffs. Stay tuned for some photos of a small-town, American-as-apple-pie baseball game...