March 5, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Manny Ramirez + Dodgers = (heart)heart

"Reunited, and it feels so good..." The prolonged soap-opera flirtation between Manny Ramirez and the L.A. Dodgers finally had a happy ending yesterday morning, as he signed a two-year contract worth $45 million. It's not much of a raise compared to what he had been earning, and this is yet another example of the hardships suffered by Americans as a result of the economic recession. (?) The final negotiations took place at the home of team owner Frank McCourt, in Malibu, attended by super-agent Scott Boras and manager Joe Torre. See L.A. Times (hat tip to Bruce Orser) and Manny will appear in a news conference at 12:30 ET this afternoon.

Ye Olde Mailbag

Once again, I've been remiss in my e-mail correspondence. Michael Fronda made a comparison between the new and old Yankee Stadiums based on some aerial photos taken in January when they were snow-covered. I'm still trying to nail down the details on the new version before it officially opens for business next month (!!!), and a lot of fans are really excited about it.

Brian Sullivan asks: "How far is new Yankee stadium below street level as opposed to old yankee stadium? How far is CitiField below street level as opposed to Shea Stadium?" Good questions. I estimate the field at Yankee Stadium was about eight feet below ground level until 1973, and about 15 feet below from 1976 on, but otherwise, I'm not sure. He also wondered "How is it that New Yankee Stadium does not have to follow the official rules of baseball regarding its construction?" Simple answer: historical precedent in The Bronx.

Mike Winner asks: "I have a seat from Comiskey and I would really like to know where my seat was located at the old Comiskey Stadium. It has the number 327 on the back and it is a fold up green seat. If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated. I have an old diagram, but it doesn't get very detailed."

Does anybody out there have a clue about any of these queries? Please let me know, or post a blog comment.