August 20, 2017 [LINK / comment]

Stadium capacity changes for 2017

I recently compiled the current-year seating capacity figures for each of the 30 MLB stadiums and calculated changes in capacity for 2017. One of them, SunTrust Park in Atlanta, is brand new, so the net reduction of 8,086 is compared to Turner Field, of course. It's sometimes hard to compare one stadium to another because of inconsistencies among the franchises, but I'd say they are generally accurate to within 5,000 [500] seats or so. (The main exception is Dodger Stadium, which has had the same nominal capacity since it first opened in 1962, in spite of numerous changes over the past two decades.) I will be updating several of the affected stadium pages in the near future, in cases where significant changes took place.

Rank Name Seating capacity 2016-2017 change
1Dodger Stadium56,0000
2Coors Field50,3980
3Yankee Stadium II49,642+173
4Rogers Centre49,2820
5Chase Field48,633+114
6Globe Life Park in Arlington48,1140
7Safeco Field47,476-467
8Oriole Park at Camden Yards45,9710
9Busch Stadium III43,9750
10Citizens Bank Park43,6510
11Angel Stadium43,250-2,243
12Great American Ballpark42,3190
13PETCO Park42,3022,140
14Minute Maid Park42,060+486
15Citi FIeld41,9220
16AT&T Park41,9150
17Miller Park41,9000
18Comerica Park41,681+384
19SunTrust Park41,500-8,086
20Nationals Park41,408+95
21Wrigley Field41,0720
22Guaranteed Rate (U.S. Cellular) Field40,6150
23Target Field39,021+150
24PNC Park38,3620
25Kauffman Stadium37,9030
26Fenway Park37,499-174
27Oakland Coliseum37,090+2,023
28Marlins Park36,742-700
29Progressive Field35,051-174
30Tropicana Field31,0420

SOURCE: Box scores published in the Washington Post

Jeter to "buy" Miami Marlins

Rumors that former Yankee (and future Hall of Famer) Derek Jeter was planning to buy the Miami Marlins were confirmed last week. Actually, Jeter serves as the public face of a group led by Bruce Sherman, the presumptive controlling owner. The purchase price of the franchise was $1.2 billion, no doubt considerably boosted by the construction of Marlins Park five years ago. The deal is pending formal approval by MLB owners in September. See; source thanks to Mike Zurawski.

This situation is similar to when George W. Bush, son of president-to-be George H. W. Bush, served as the public face of a group that purchased the Texas Rangers in 1988. Bush's stake in the team was only a few percent, mostly from borrowed money. In due course we may find out how much of a real equity stake in the Marlins Derek Jeter will have.

A local Cuban businessman named Jorge Mas also bid for the Marlins, and may still join the ownership group. ( The new group may do away with the center-field home run sculpture, a signature feature of the glitzy sports palace. (; these sources also thanks to Mike Zurawski.)

Jeffrey Loria has been the lead owner of the Marlins since 2002, when he sold the Expos in a complicated transaction under which former Marlins owner John Henry acquired the Boston Red Sox. Loria announced his plans to sell the Marlins franchise earlier this year. This would seem to mark the exit from baseball of Loria, whose involvement with the faltering Montreal Expos franchise paved the way for the relocation to Washington in 2005.

Strasburg back home in San Diego

Nationals eked out a 2-1 win in San Diego on Thursday, thanks to a clutch late-inning home run by Ryan Zimmerman (his 28th!), and and then handily beat the Padres, 7-1. In both cases it was backup starting pitchers came through in dramatic fashion: Edwin Jackson won it on Thursday (seven innings!), and Matt Grace went four-plus innings on Friday without giving up a run. Grace was subbing for Max Scherzer, who has another pain in the neck. Then on Saturday, Stephen Strasburg had a fine outing (six innings, two earned runs) in his first game since being put on the disabled list. The one mistake was a fastball in the first inning which was knocked out of the park, giving the Marlins [Padres] a 2-0 lead. It was the first time he lost a game pitching in his home town of San Diego. This afternoon, the Nats will try to nail down another series win, as the over-achieving Gio Gonzalez takes the mound. I'll be chasing the solar eclipse down south, but it doesn't look like I'll get to see a game in Atlanta's new stadium as I had originally hoped. Maybe next month!?

Very short home run

While vacationing out west late last month, I noted in the Kansas City Star that on July 29, the Royals' Lorenzo Cain hit the shortest home run in the major leagues since at least 2015. This was in Fenway Park, where the ball landed right next to "Pesky's Pole" down the right field line -- only 302 feet!

NOTE: Two corrections to this blog post were made on August 31; the original text is now displayed as stricken out.