June 26, 2008 [LINK / comment]

Save (the) Tiger Stadium!?

Thanks to John Gallagher, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, for replying to my inquiry, reassuring me that Tiger Stadium is still intact, at least for the moment. He said that the city has given the preservation activists (led by famed sportscaster Ernie Harwell) one final chance to put a deal together, with a new deadline of August 1. But even under the best-case scenario, they would still tear down most of the old structure to make room for new shops and condos. Bruce Orser came across a Web page that tracks the latest news on Tiger Stadium, at newslib.com. It reported on Tuesday, however, that the official "death watch" has begun, as workers are putting up a chain link fence around the perimeter in preparation for demolition.

So, we have mixed signals once again. But lest anyone conclude that hopes are fading fast, I also learned from Bruce that the Save Tiger Stadium Web site is now actively soliciting support for the conservancy campaign. You can either mail in a check, as I just did, or you can wait until they are ready to accept online donations, which is supposed to be soon. Time to get crackin', sports fans! And don't forget, there is a precedent for a successful ballpark preservation campaign: Save Fenway Park!

Moral of the story: It ain't over till it's over (Yogi Berra smile), or until the fat lady sings...

Tiger Stadium SE corner

Tiger Stadium, August 5, 2004 -- "Shining in the sun, after the boys of summer (had) gone." Roll your mouse over that image to recall another hopeless, romantic cause, in Iowa. "If you build preserve it, they will come." IMDB.com

Nats will miss Nick Johnson

As if losing the services of Ryan Zimmerman, Austin Kearns, Paul Lo Duca, and Odalis Perez wasn't enough, the Nationals just announced that Nick Johnson, who has been on the disabled list for the past few weeks, will miss the rest of the 2008 season after undergoing surgery on his right wrist. See MLB.com. It's a shame, because Nick has been one of the Nationals' best sluggers and best fielders, and yet he keeps getting sidelined by major injuries. Thank goodness they have Dmitri Young as a backup at first base!

Until yesterday, the Nationals had lost 7 of their last 8 games, and 17 of their last 23 games. That puts them well below .400 for the year, and only one team in the majors (the Mariners) have a worse record this year. Given all their injuries, it's no surprise that they are well below .500, but they ought to be doing better than .400 at least. Something is clearly amiss. Manager Manny Acta held a special team meeting yesterday afternoon, and it apparently did the trick in last night's game, as the Nationals edged the Angels, 5-4. They blew another lead late, but a clutch double by Jesus Flores in the bottom of the ninth got the winning run across the plate. About time! Well, things are bound to improve from this point forward.