November 25, 2009
Thanks as always to Mike Zurawski for the latest batch of ballpark-related news. In Chicago, the Cubs are going to erecting big signs in the back of the left-field bleachers at Wrigley Field in order to block a casino billboard atop a building across. The new sign will probably feature Bud Light, which already has naming rights to the bleachers. See Chicago Tribune. I guess this means drinking isn't as bad as gambling.
The Florida Marlins and New York Mets are considering playing a series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico next summer, with the Marlins as "home team." Unlike the 2003-2004 period during which the Expos played a fair number of "home games" there, this time it wouldn't be as part of a relocation threat. The series should draw big crowds, since at least four Puerto Ricans are expected to be on the Mets' roster, including Carlos Beltran, Pedro Feliciano, Angel Pagan, and Omir Santos; see New York Daily News.
And back in the Flushing section of Queens, Mike tells me, "The Mets are making Citi Field more Met friendly. They are renaming the entrances after former players, naming the bridge in right center Shea bridge, adding Mets banners, adding a hall of fame, planting mets colored flowers outside the stadium and painting the railings mets colors." See loge13.com. But are they going to move the diamond forward to make home runs easier??
In St. Petersburg, the The ABC Coalition is presenting a report on new stadium options for the Rays to Hillsborough County leaders as well as Pinellas County. The Rays are contractually obliged to remain at Tropicana Field until 2027, however. Tampa Bay Online.
In Milwaukee, the Brewers are going to make some upgrades to Miller Park this winter, renovating the terrace level merchandise store, and building a "Plaza Pavilion" on the field level in the right-field corner. See the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal.
As for diagrams, you might think I've been slacking off lately, but such is not the case. True, I've been preoccupied, but it's mostly that the various diagrams I've been working on are in a semi-finished state. Anyway, I have completed a revision to the diagram of Jarry Park, former home of the former Montreal Expos, adding the usual details such as light towers and a more accurate profile. The main grandstand is about 15-20 feet deeper than I previously estimated. Also, I have added a tennis version diagram for the first time. The original home of the Expos franchise (which now resides in Washington, D.C., as the Nationals) was totally rebuilt into a tennis stadium in 1996. The sometimes-reliable Wikipedia says it was 1995, but the Stade Uniprix Web site says 1996.
One of the sources I came across while researching Jarry Park was an archival TV news report, "Major League Baseball Comes to Canada" from the CBC.