January 22, 2007 [LINK / comment]
Mike Zurawski is doing a great job in keeping me up to date with the latest stadium news and commentary. First, Tim Marchand at the New York Sun reports that the 2008 All Star Game will probably be played in Yankee Stadium, in its final year of existence, and bids "Good Riddance to the House Ruth Didn't Build." I would be the last to deny that the 1974-1975 renovations pretty much ruined everything that was special about the original Yankee Stadium, but at least the basic structure was retained. Marchand is way off base, however, when he claims that removal of the supporting columns forced the upper decks to be recessed. Wrong! It may seem that way because additional rows were added in front of the lower deck, and in back of the upper deck, but the front edge of the second and third decks are in the same position as they originally were.
Second, the St. Louis Cardinals are spending $3 million on improvements to Busch Stadium (III) this year, mostly for additional escalators, seating at field level beyond the dugouts, and restrooms. In addition, the Baseball Writers' Association of America asked Major League Baseball not to award the 2009 All-Star Game to the Cardinals unless improvements to the press box are made. See St. Louis Business Journal. Well, excu-use me!
A's owner Lew Wolff says he wants to purchase 25 additional acres near the planned stadium site in Fremont, an apparent gesture to show he is serious about the project. Apparently he came across as too pushy in the recent city council meeting, and he is now trying to backtrack. See insidebayarea.com.
Finally, if Miami officials really are on the verge of a downtown baseball stadium deal, a lot of key people are still in the dark about it. The director of the Community Redevelopment Agency says that Mayor Manny Diaz has not discussed the matter with him. Very strange; see miamitodaynews.com.
Felipe Lopez signed a one-year contract worth $3.9 million the Nationals, thereby avoiding arbitration. He will switch from shortstop to second base this year. Chad Cordero, John Patterson, Austin Kearns, and Alex Escobar are still in arbitration. See MLB.com.
Last week I noted that MLB executive Bob DuPuy used a peculiar phrase in reference to the ongoing stadium negotiations in Miami, and I found when he first used it. According to the July 24, 2003 issue of the Washington Times:
Bob DuPuy, MLB President, said last week the Expos will be moved when "the moon, the stars, the sun and the dollars are all aligned."
I recently raised the anti-spam filter in my e-mail account, so some folks may have had their messages bounced. If so, I'm sorry. I fell behind with e-mail again during the holidays, and am gradually getting caught up. A meaningful subject line will be more likely to grab my attention.