February 7, 2005 [LINK]

New D.C. stadium design

Sunday's Washington Post described the process by which the new baseball stadium design will be determined. D.C. officials are eager not to follow the crowd by building a mere clone of Camden Yards, which I think is wise. Some of the neoclassical "retro" stadiums built in recent years have tended to get carried away with cliched design elements that had nothing to do with necessity or functionality.

"We do not want to see just another baseball stadium," said Allen Y. Lew, chief executive of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission. "We want signature architecture. We're not looking to just mimic other cities."

One good sign is that the illustration showed a stadium pointed toward the northeast, so at least the Capitol dome would be visible to most fans, if not the Washington Monument. In all my preliminary stadium designs (unorthodox but amateurish), the diamonds are oriented straight north, so that the Capitol would be just to the left of the "batter's eye" dark background. Given that the site on which the stadium will be built provides plenty of room, with no angled streets, there is really no need to impose asymmetry on the field layout. That does not mean that the design can't be interesting, however. At least a half dozen architectural firms are preparing designs to be submitted, and the city intends to choose a firm this month. Preliminary designs would be subject to major revision, however.

According to a book he wrote which is to be published soon, titled Juiced, Jose Canseco claims to have injected Mark McGwire with steroids while they were teammates in Oakland. He says he become known among MLB players as "The Chemist." How sad that the Washington Nationals' inaugural season will be tainted by dope scandals.

¡México gana!

UPDATE: Led by slugger Vinny Castilla, soon to join the Washington Nationals in spring training, the Mexicans won the Caribbean Series being held in Mazatlan, beating the Dominican Republic Aguilas (Eagles) by 4 to 3, to take their fourth and decisive win. This was the first Caribbean Series championship ever held in Mexico. The other teams in the round-robin tournament were Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Super Bowl? Oh, yeah: I was kind of hoping the Eagles would win, but I'll still wish "congrats to the Pats." Now will this finally ease their pain up in Boston?? smile