UPDATE: In a more perfect world, the winningest team in each league would have a bigger advantage in the playoffs*, and frankly I would love to see a rematch of the 1964 Yanks vs. Cards contest. As we've seen in recent years, however, it's anybody's guess as to who will advance to the World Series. The Astros seemed to come from out of nowhere in in the final week, while the Cubs choked, to my distress. The Dodgers and the Angels both made it: isn't it funny how rival franchises in big markets are often so competitive! Will the team in Washington next year give the Orioles the motivation they've been lacking? Nearly all the teams in the playoffs are stronger in batting than in pitching -- except for the Astros, and possibly the Red Sox. (Wild card teams: hmmm...) Also, thanks to James Mauro for reminding me which division the K.C. Royals now play in. (D'oh!) The list of stadiums by league and division on the left side of the Baseball page has been duly corrected.
* I.e., the first round would be in a 3 home game -- 2 away game format (rather than 2 -- 2 -- 1), and there would only be a wild card slot if a team had a winning percentage higher than one of the divisional champions; otherwise, "bye" for the number one team!
I've been "on the road" quite a bit for the past several days. While in our historic state capital last week, I stopped at the home of Richmond Braves and took some photos of The Diamond. (That's the first minor league stadium page I've done, though there is yet no diagram.) Over the weekend I paid a visit to Washington, D.C., where I stopped at the former site of Griffith Stadium and RFK Stadium (which by weird coincidence had to be evacuated later that day due to a bomb threat). Two new photos are found on the respective stadium pages. Finally, I ventured into my (brief) old neighborhood on South Capitol Street, where the future ballpark will be built. (See photo.)
While Washingtonians danced in the streets and uncorked champaign bottles, 31,395 melancholy Montreal fans showed up at Olympic Stadium to say goodbye to their beloved Expos last Wednesday night. They've known this was coming for several years, which is no doubt why the fans were much better behaved than the ones who stormed the field at the last game in RFK Stadium 33 years ago, causing a forfeit. Or maybe Canadians are just nicer folks. Anyway, the Expos lost to the [[Marlins]] in their last [home]* game, 9 to 1. I know from experience what a beautiful city Montreal is, and it would behoove joyful Washington-area fans not to forget the sadness felt by those true-blue fans up north.
Next April 15, the Ex-Expos, or whatever they will be called, will play their first home game in 43-year old RFK Stadium, where no official baseball games have been played for the last 33 years. The longest such vacant lapse among the four previous "hand-me-down" stadiums was four years. When the A's moved into Kansas City's Municipal Stadium in 1955, that structure (or its first deck, rather) was already 32 years old. The Washington Post has a full report on the momentous occasion, and MLB.com has already launched a new D.C. Baseball Web site, for ticket and merchandise information.
* CORRECTION: I had it right the first time, but someone misinformed me, thinking I was referring to the Expos' final game of the season, which was against the Mets.