Nats in another down cycle
After racking up 12 wins and only five losses between May 11 and May 27, the Nationals are now back to losing more often than not. Oh well... One bit of bright news recently was Friday night's game against the San Diego Padres, in which they faced down the awesome ace pitcher Jake Peavy, winning 4-3 in ten innings. Another feat to remember was the upper-deck home run on Sunday afternoon by Ryan Zimmerman. In spite of rainy conditions, it reached the high-altitude yellow seats in left field of RFK Stadium; see MLB.com. Based on the typical trajectories in Robert Adair's book The Physics of Baseball, and assuming the ball was about 60 feet up and 370 feet from the plate when it hit the stands, I estimate that it would have traveled about 420 feet if there had been no obstructions.
The Nationals will move into their new stadium next April, so this will be the last season for sluggers to try to match some of Frank Howard's tape-measure blasts into the upper deck of RFK Stadium. The seats where the longest of those balls landed have been marked for posterity with white paint. Who knows what the future holds for that grimy but lovable old hulk of a stadium?
On South Capitol Street, meanwhile, construction on the Nats' future home is progressing steadily, with nearly all of the grandstand structure completed. This will be a big "feather in the cap" for the Clark Construction company. For information on how to get in line for season tickets at the new venue, see the Washington Nationals Web site. Hurry, hurry! Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! The Web cam image below is reproduced with permission, courtesy of Ox Blue:
The mail bag
Bruce Orser pointed me to an interesting thread about construction of the new Yankee Stadium at baseball-fever.com; the new stadium in Washington was also mentioned by someone who criticized the lack of cantilever overhang in the upper decks.