August 22, 2005 [LINK]
Sunday's "Parade" magazine featured the work of David Vincent, a member of the Society of American Baseball Research who has created a massive database of all major league home runs ever hit. I learned, among other things, that the next time Julio Franco hits a home run, he will become the oldest player ever to do so. See parade.com (archive link will become active on August 29). I'm particularly curious about tape measure home runs, and have thought about including the approximate location and date for the longest home run ever hit at each stadium on the respective pages. Another SABR member, Bruce Orser, who provides me with lots of research tips, is also doing research on home runs, concentrating on those hit by Mickey Mantle.
After Saturday's heart-breaking extra-inning loss to the Mets, the question was whether the Nationals would maintain their fighting spirit or just give up. They proved my prediction correct in the Sunday afternoon game, getting six runs in the first inning. The Mets threatened to catch up in the ninth inning, thanks to a Buckneresque error by Nick Johnson at first base, but the Nats settled down and won it, 7-4. Tomorrow the Nats return home to RFK and begin a three game series against the Reds, followed by a three-game series against the dreaded Cardinals. Retired Reds infielder Barry Larkin is now working as a consultant for the Nationals, trying to fix Cristian Guzman's recent defensive woes. Too bad Larkin isn't playing at the shortstop position himself! His presence reflects the connection with Nats' Interim GM Jim Bowden.
Royals fans were greatly relieved that their team's losing streak came to an end just before it reached 20. Now they're on a two-game winning streak!
[UPDATE: The Cubs had a chance to take a big lead in tonight's game against the Braves, loading the bases with no outs, but only scored one run in that inning. The Nationals could have used some help in catching up to the Braves in the NL East (hey, it's still possible!), but the two home runs by Chipper Jones were all Atlanta needed to win, 4-2.]
One of the frequent visitors to this site, Brian Hughes, was at the Sunday Mets-Nats game in Shea Stadium, and tells me that the noise from jets taking off from nearby LaGuardia Airport isn't as bad as I had indicated, so I've corrected that page, and raised my rating of Shea slightly. A new visitor, Ken Levin, questioned the position of the football gridiron in the diagram on the Memorial Stadium page. I know that in some years it was closer to the south side than is indicated in my diagram, whereas in the final years when the Ravens played there it was closer to the north side (ex-center field). If anyone knows for sure where the football gridiron usually was, please let me know. While I was at it, I made a few corrections to the text on that page as well.