It's that time of year when bizarre match-ups between teams from different leagues take place, giving the sports fan a sense of intrigue and vague discomfort. As for the specific match-ups, both teams from New York are in third place in their respective divisions, in spite of expectations that at least one of them would reach the postseason. So how about an all-Chicago World Series? It's entirely possible, given the spectacular success of the Cubs this year. After beating the White Sox in the first two games at Wrigley, the Cubs are ahead in the third game, and it looks like they would be the favorites to win if the two teams meet again in October.
Or how about this: An all-Florida World Series??! Do you suppose anybody in Las Vegas has made odds on that possibility? The Marlins and the Rays are breathing down the necks of the Phillies and the Red Sox, respectively. There is actually talk about both teams seeking to acquire new pitching talent, but both are cash-strapped. New stadium negotiations in Miami and St. Petersburg seem to have bogged down once again...
As for the also-ran teams, the Nationals struggled mightily to prevail against the Texas Rangers on Friday, winning 4-3 after 14 innings. It was a welcome outcome upon their return home to D.C. All the credit for that win goes to Elijah Dukes, who got five hits in six at-bats, including a home run and the game-winning RBI. That game lasted 4:10, more than twice as long as the game on Tuesday (1:59), when the Twins beat them, 2-1. The Nats ended up getting swept in Minneapolis, and lost the second and third games to the Rangers.
As a few historically-minded observers noted, these last two series pitted the current Washington D.C. team against two teams that used to play in Our Nation's Capital. The original Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins in 1961, and the second Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers in 1972. Washington is the only city to have lost two well-established Major League franchises (in 1961 and 1972); see the MLB Franchises page.
Busch Stadium update
I have made some minor corrections to the Busch Stadium II diagram, adding a few details such as lights. I have revised downward my estimate of the size of the upper deck, but otherwise not much changed.
Of particular note in my latest series of diagram updates is greater attention to the concourse levels in each stadium, indicating more accurately how fans accessed the grandstand, with horizontal lines extending through the solid colored seating areas whenever there are entry portals. In the case of Busch Stadium (not the current one), I benefited greatly from the photographs taken during demolition, when the internal structure was fully exposed. It's like when a physician does an autopsy, you might say.