May 31, 2006
According to fieldofschemes.com, construction work on both the Yankees' and the Mets' planned future stadiums has been delayed, and required regulatory approval has not even been made. The tax-exempt status of the bond issues for both stadiums is still being scrutinized by the Internal Revenue Service, which means groundbreaking probably won't begin until next year. In addition, the new Yankee Stadium would be built on Federal park land and would therefore require permission from the National Park Service, so it will probably take even longer to build than the Mets' future home. So, I'm adding a year to Yankee Stadium's "life expectancy," and hoping against hope that the bureaucratic holdup continues indefinitely... Hat tip to Mike Zurawski.
I guess I have mixed feelings about Roger Clemens' deal with the Astros for the second half of the season. Much as I admire him, a clean break and definitive farewell would be much better than dragging things out over and over. The Astros had mixed feelings too, having declined to offer him arbitration last December, but they need all the help they can get at this point, having fallen seven games behind the Cardinals. Two of his former teams, the Yankees and the Red Sox, made him offers, but he wanted to stay near home in Texas. See MLB.com.
The solid pitching of Livan Hernandez and the clutch hitting of Alfonso Soriano were just enough to give the Nationals a 3-2 win over the Phillies today, thereby avoiding a sweep. Soriano becomes the first player in Expos/Nationals franchise history to have hit 12 homers in the merry, merry month of May. On a sad note, workhorse relief pitcher Joey Eischen needs surgery on his left rotator cuff and will be out for the rest of the season. Now we know that his declining performance stemmed from a real physical problem. He is one of the dwindling number of former Montreal Expos players on the Washington roster, and at the age of 36, he might not be coming back. If not, he deserves a Major League farewell salute for giving the team all he had. See MLB.com. That article also mentions rumors that another ex-Expo, Jose Vidro, might be traded, even though he wants to stay with the team. That would be a shame.
The seats in the upper decks in the left field corner of New Busch Stadium have been installed, and opened for business on Monday, one month ahead of schedule. With the 4,176 new seats, the seating capacity is now 43,975, and including standing room, it is 46,861. The finishing touches on the ballpark -- player statues and the team souvenir shop -- should be completed by mid-July. See St. Louis Post Dispatch. Hat tip to Mike Zurawski.