February 6, 2006 [LINK]

D.C. Council showdown (Part 78)

Here we go again! According to a late-evening report on Washington's FOX-5 TV, D.C. Council Chairwoman Linda Cropp will introduce an emergency bill that sets a cap on the cost of constructing the new stadium when the Council convenes tomorrow morning. Council member Phil Mendelson says he supports baseball in D.C. (?!) but expressed grave doubts about the stadium finance bill's passage unless such controls on costs are included. (It should be noted that he has voted against every stadium measure brought to the D.C. Council thus far.) Of course, it is possible that further delaying tactics by recalcitrant council members will elicit additional concessions by MLB officials, who are obviously tired of getting jerked around, but they may finally decided enough is enough. What then? I shudder to think.

The two reputed swing votes are Kwame Brown and Vincent Gray. Hey, Nats fans! Drop them a friendly line, why don't you?

Baseball in Japan

Adam Myers tells me that the "Nippon Ham Fighters" no longer play in the Tokyo Dome. In 2004 they moved to Sapporo, on the northern island of Hokkaido, where they play in the Sapporo Dome, which features "the world's first Hovering Soccer Stage." A fully retractable grass soccer field (much like the soon-to-open football stadium in Phoenix) alternates with an artificial surface for baseball use, as you can see for yourself on a time-elapse video clip on that Web site. Totally awesome! (But is it really baseball?) Thanks much, Adam!