July 21, 2005 [LINK]

Heat wave, cold streak

Here in the Mid-Atlantic region the weather has been stiflingly hot and humid all month long, and I have pretty much given up bicycle riding for swimming. Up in Montreal, meanwhile, it's about 15 degrees cooler and much drier. Might this contrast explain the awful downturn of the Washington Nationals this month? Perhaps the former Expos have been having a hard time acclimating themselves to the brutal Washington summers. Once again, they lost a game by one run tonight, suffering the frustration they had been inflicting on everyone else until early this month. At one point in the latter innings tonight, the Nats had grounded into double plays nearly as many times (3) as they had put a man on base (5), a clear sign that they're in big trouble offensively. Get well soon, Nick and Vinny -- PLEASE! Oddly, there were no bases on balls in the entire game. After six and a half weeks of holding sole possession of first place in the NL East, the Nationals now share that spot with the Braves. And since "A" comes before "W," Atlanta is now listed on top. Groan...

Here's an interesting stat: All but one of the teams in the NL Central Division have won seven of their last ten games. The other, Cincinnati, has only won two.

Ebbets family

Author Ted Steele has just published a book about the family responsible for building Ebbets Field. "Although it is not a baseball book, there is a lot of baseball in it. It also corrects much mis-information about Charlie Ebbets and his ancestry -- info that the Dodgers and the Sporting News didn't know and that Ken Burns got all wrong in his TV series Baseball." See Ebbets: The History and Genealogy of a New York Family.