November 7, 2011 [LINK / comment]

Citi Field to be downsized

As befitting the sorry state of the American economy in general, and the financial sector in particular, the nearly-new home of the New York Mets will be "downsized" next year. Workers have begun erecting a new fence in front of the left field wall at Citi Field, which will make it easier for sluggers to hit home runs next year. [It will only be eight feet tall, half as high as the wall on that side of the field.] Whether change this was necessitated by ongoing contract negotiations with free agent Mets (such as Jose Reyes) is not certain. See ESPN. It's probably a good idea, but I don't like the way the new fence is apprently slightly askew of the existing left field wall, rather than parallel to it. I have a feeling the "358" distance marker visible in some of the artists' depictions (misplaced, according to my calculations) is intended to evoke memories of Shea Stadium. That was the distance to the fence in front of the bullpens, near the respective foul poles.

And so, I have updated the Citi Field Citi Field diagram, with a note explaining that the changes are planned and therefore the diagram may need to be tweaked a little bit between now and Opening Day. While I was at it, I made some other major changes, such as moving the dugouts away from home plate and making the grandstand between the infield and the foul poles angle inward slightly more than before. Also, I made some corrections to the profile in the diagram, basically raising each level by 1.6 feet (one pixel), adding up to about ten extra feet in total height. As if that wasn't enough, I also added a first deck version of Citi Field for the first time, showing exactly where the overhang in right field is (or was). Finally, thanks to a tip from a fan named George, I learned that a soccer match was played there last June 7, so I included a soccer version diagram as well.

[Belated hat tips to Mike Zurawski and Terry Wallace, who cited a New York Times article, with the same diagram.]

McCourt agrees to sell Dodgers

Frank McCourt has agreed to a to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers, as part of a highly complicated judicial process involving bankruptcy and divorce. Details and a timeline are yet to emerge... Well, the Texas Rangers handled bankruptcy just fine in 2010, when they won their first-ever American League pennant, so maybe this will help the Dodgers in 2012.