December 4, 2012
The Washington Nationals weren't expected to do much roster-wise in the off-season, because their team is already one of the best in baseball. Mike Rizzo has been busy, trading a top pitching prospect to get center fielder from the Minnesota Twins. The Nats do need a fleet-footed center fielder, and Span is also a good leadoff hitter, so Jayson Werth will resume hitting duties further down in the batting order next year. All in all, it seems like a good deal to me. See MLB.com.
Also, the Tampa Bay Rays signed Evan Longoria to a ten-year contract worth $100 million. He has become the face of their franchise, or close to it, so that's not a big surprise. See MLB.com. It's a nice contrast to the situation further south in Florida, where the owners don't seem as willing to put up the big bucks to field a winning team. The Rays have remained competitive in a very tough conference, and can't be ruled out for another push toward the postseason next year.
It has been 20 years since Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened in 1992. I barely noticed during the anniversary celebrations last spring, but there were some significant changes this year, as you can see at mlb.com and bizjournals.com. Most notably, they added a rooftop table-seating area in back of the batter's eye in center field, similar to the one in Nationals Park but deeper.
And so, I have updated the Camden Yards diagrams with several big revisions and many detail enhancements. For example, the "bends" in the lower deck grandstand are shown, in part because three of them intersect with the field fence in a non-regular position.
David Beckham went out with a bang last week, as the L.A. Galaxy beat the Houston Dynamo to become champions of soccer in the U.S.A. See mlssoccer.com
Mike Zurawski informs me that the Cleveland Indians are removing ten luxury suites from Progressive Field, combining them into a single "premium club." Eventually, the plan to reduce seating capacity, even though it is already among the lower-capacity "neoclassical" ballparks. See crainscleveland.com.