June 24, 2009
It has often occurred to me that I should make it easier to track revisions to my stadium diagrams, some of which have gone through multiple generations. For serious research purposes, such documentation is crucial. With that in mind, I scoured my blog archives and put together a set of archive pages that systematically keep track of when I have updated stadium diagrams over the past five years. Regrettably, my "blogging" prior to late 2004 was not consistent enough to serve as a reliable source of information on exactly when I made changes. See the 2009 stadium update page, which is (for now) equivalent to the "default" stadium update page. There are links for each of the separate annual pages, 2005 - 2009, each of which has a set of thumbnail images in the right-hand column showing the "Highlights of the year." Those are either brand-new stadium pages, or else ones which underwent major revisions. I am not certain that the listed updates are complete, but it's the best information that I have at present.
Going through all those archives was quite a "trip down memory lane," and yielded a few surprises. For example, I had forgotten how my political activities in 2007 had interfered with my baseball research work. Likewise, the number of times that I updated the diagrams for Yankee Stadium and Tiger Stadium over the years is hard to believe. But hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, and there is a lot of trial and error involved in getting things just right.
The promotional campaign to get D.C.-area baseball fans to "Put your red on" as a gesture of support for the lowly Washington Nationals is nice, but often inappropriate. Earlier this month, the Cincinnati Reds came to town, and would have swept the Nats if not for a throwing error by second baseman Brandon Phillips that allowed Cristian Guzman to score the go-ahead run. This week the Boston Red Sox are in town, and the house was almost packed with fans of the visiting team last night, with an attendance of 41,517, even more than on Opening Day. It was encouraging that John Lannan had yet another very solid outing, giving up only three runs in six-plus innings. It was a very close and exciting game against a daunting opponent. But of course, once they brought in the relievers, everything fell apart, and the Red Sox scored six runs in the eighth inning. Arghhhh! Final score: 11-3.
By happenstance, I recently learned that the Prince George's County council voted 8-0 against the proposed soccer stadium deal with D.C. United, which pretty much kills the whole project. See the Washington Business Journal. This is good news as far as I'm concerned, as Maryland already has FedEx Field, home of the "Washington" Redskins, as well as their own baseball and football stadiums. This will also obviate the awkward necessity of having to rename the team from "D.C. United" to "P.G. United." The franchise bosses are not giving up the fight, however: see the D.C. United Web site. What this means for RFK Stadium, their home since 1996, remains uncertain. It would be nice if they could somehow downsize and refit RFK to make it more suitable for soccer, possibly tearing down large portions of the upper deck, but that would seem to be very difficult from an engineering standpoint, and quite unlikely.
You thought I had given up on hockey news? No, siree! Mike Zurawski informed me that Madison Square Garden (home of the NHL New York Rangers and NBA Knicks) will undergo a renovation that is estimated to cost about $500 million. They will widen the concourses, add more bathrooms, and build new corporate boxes. See New York Daily News. "MSG" (not monosodium glutamate) sits on top of the "new" Penn Station, which replaced its grandiose predecessor that was built in 1910 and closed in 1964. For another "trip down memory lane," see forgotten-ny.com.