February 21, 2009 [LINK / comment]

PETCO Park update

The diagram for PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, has been updated. It now has a more accurate profile, lights, and additional details such as the building annexes and pedestrian ramps outside the stadium proper. The balconies on the Western Metal Supplies building are now clearly shown as hanging over the field.

PETCO Park will host one of the two second-round series in this year's World Baseball Classic, from Mar. 15 - 21. The finals will be in Dodger Stadium, Mar. 21 - 23. PETCO Park hosted the final series of the inaugural WBC in 2006.

Griffey back to Seattle

Perhaps this is another sign of the recession. Ken Griffey, Jr. has signed a one-year contract with the Mariners. Seattle is where Griffey played before signing with Cincinnati, his "home town." His new contract is only for one year, and only pays $2 million. Better than nothing! The terms also include incentive bonuses. See FOX Sports; hat tip to Bruce Orser.

Nationals in the news

As the position players show up for Spring Training, a small scandal has hit the Washington Nationals. The player formerly known as "Esmailyn Gonzalez" is actually Carlos Alvarez Daniel Lugo, who has apologized for lying about his name and age to the Nationals. He is actually 23 years old, not 19 as he had claimed. Apparently he thought he would be more likely to land the job if he pretended he were a just a kid with lots of room for improvement. Team President Stan Kasten expressed anger over the deception, but there's more to this case than meets the eye. General Manager Bowden and his assistant Jose Rijo faced investigation over alleged corrupt practices in recruiting players from the Dominican Republic, skimming their signing bonuses. See MLB.com. Rijo has taken a leave of absence from the Nationals...

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was ready for arbitration over his salary, but at the last minute his agent negotiated a one-year, $3.3 million contract. Zimmerman still hopes to sign a multi-year contract with the Nationals later this year and settle down in Washington. MLB.com.

SPELL CHECK: The minor league pitcher from Canada who was recently signed by the Nationals, which I mentioned last Monday, is Jordan Zimmermann, with two N's.