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(A special compilation of relevant blog entries about Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who tormented Washington-area baseball fans for years by blocking any new or relocated baseball franchise to Our Nation's Capital, to squeeze out a few more dollars for his own franchise. Monopoly crony capitalism at its absolute worst. This is the only topic about which I customarily "ranted," but ever since baseball did arrive in Washington in April 2005, I have not felt the need to vent my anger. In fact, I finally ended my boycott of Orioles baseball and saw games in Camden Yards in August 2006 and August 2009.)

April 5, 2002 [LINK]

[2002 baseball season begins]

The first week of the 2002 baseball season has seen some pleasant surprises such as Barry Bonds knocking some early homers, as well as some nasty shocks: What in the world happened to Roger Clemens on his first outing? Or what about poor John Smoltz giving up eight runs to the Mets in the ninth inning last night??? Ouch! So far it looks like the Yankees and Braves have wasted their money on erstwhile sluggers Jason Giambi and Vinny Castilla. But let's be patient, sports fans...

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder announced he is joining with Robert Johnson, one of the nation's most successful black businessmen, to create an ownership group that would bring a major league team to Washington next year. There are already two potential ownership groups, led by Fred Malek (in D.C.) and William Collins (in Northern Virginia). Let's hope all those fatcats manage to cooperate with each other in this important endeavor.

[Angelos settles with Maryland]

WARNING: POLITICAL CONTROVERSY As the result of a tentative settlement reached with Maryland state officials, Baltimore Orioles owner (and legal eagle extraordinnaire) Peter Angelos will "only" be collecting $150 million from the tobacco class action lawsuit, rather than the $1 billion in legal fees he was demanding from the state of Maryland, which expects to receive $4.4 billion from tobacco manufacturers. Hey, it's the standard lawyer's fee of 25%, what do you expect? (By the way, if you really think the other $850 million is actually going to help a significant number of victims of cigarette smoking, you are quite deluded. This tobacco law suit has been one of the greatest political scams in U.S. history, a massive windfall for pork barrel rogues in state legislatures.) The upshot is that Mr. Angelos just suffered a net loss of $850 million, so is it any wonder that he needs special protection for his Orioles' ball club, blocking any franchise from moving to Washington? Or perhaps this is just another indication of his limitless greed and shameless abuse of inside political connections. (He's a big pal of Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, and is a major contributor to the Democratic Party.) Perhaps it would help the chances of bringing baseball back to Washington if someone were to organize a charity drive to help out poor Peter Angelos. I'll bet Sting and Oprah and Whoopie Goldberg would be willing to lend their talents to this worthy cause...

[Expos' attendance drops]

Nearly 35,000 fans attended the Montreal Expos' opening day game this week, but on the next day less than 5,000 showed up. Their total attendance last year was only 642,748, nowhere close enough to break even. This year there are NO television or radio broadcasts of Expos games, except when TBS or WGN cover Braves and Cubs games in Montreal, that is. Given that no one believes the Expos will play there next year, this summer will be one long funeral dirge up in Olympic Stadium, which is a depressing enough place as it is. If that team manages to keep their collective chin up and even come close to a 500 win-loss record this season, they will deserve enormous credit.

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.

May 13, 2002 [LINK]

[ Baseball in D.C. is "inevitable" ]

After nearly a month and a half of play, there are some interesting surprises: The two teams slated for "contraction" -- the Minnesota Twins and the Montreal Expos -- are both in a neck and neck race for first place in their respective divisions. Impending doom can sometimes work miracles in human motivation!

During a press conference three weeks ago, the number two official in Major League Baseball stated that it was "inevitable" that a baseball team would move to Washington in the next year or two. One potential negative sign is the fact that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig appointed Orioles owner Peter Angelos to the committee negotiating the new labor agreement with the Baseball Players' Association. If favors are being traded behind the scenes, this might be construed as either a gesture to placate Angelos or an indication that his monopoly on the Baltimore-Washington area market will be protected.

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.

September 20, 2002 [LINK]

[MLB casts doubt on D.C. baseball]

Following a brief moment of elation about suddenly improved prospects for baseball in D.C. next year after the baseball owners and players reached a settlement last month, hopes have dimmed once again. MLB officials are now casting doubt on the whole idea, offering the same old lame excuses such as lack of financial support for a new stadium from state and local governments or the supposed inadequacy of RFK Stadium as a temporary venue. According to the Washington Post, Orioles owner Peter Angelos has apparently resumed exerting behind-the-scenes pressure to protect "his" turf in D.C. If this means that the Expos have to play a SECOND year in uncertain limbo in Montreal (where attendance rarely exceeds 6,000) next year, it would constitute a crushing, unfair blow to those players' career hopes. In interviews most of them have expressed eagerness to move to Washington, where they could expect much greater fan support -- and higher salaries! It's time for fans to put pressure on Commissioner Bud Selig to live up to his statement early in the year that Washington is a "prime candidate" for franchise relocation. WE WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN!!!

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.

October 18, 2002 [LINK]

[Expos to remain in Montreal]

Just as the World Series is about to begin, MLB officials quashed any hopes for baseball in D.C. next year, saying that the Expos (currently owned by the rest of the franchises) will remain in Montreal until firm stadium financing conditions are met in some other city. The Expos may even play some of their games in Portland, Oregon or San Juan, Puerto Rico next year, since those are two of the cities in contention for the Expos franchise. But, oh, no, not Washington! What a hideous, nightmarish way to mark the end of the 2002 season... Thanks a lot, Peter Angelos!

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.

November 13, 2002 [LINK]

"Dr. Evil" (Peter Angelos) strikes again

According to the Washington Post, Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos has persuaded the 28 other MLB franchise owners to bow to his adamant objection to the anticipated sale of the Montreal Expos franchise to one of the prospective ownership groups located in the Washington, D.C. area. This, despite the fact that there is plenty of private capital in Washington ready to be invested in a first-class roster and new stadium, and despite the fact that the demographics in the Washington-Northern Virginia area easily outmatch any other possible alternative city -- Portland and San Juan being the two most often mentioned. MLB Commissioner Allan "Bud" Selig had said before the 2002 season that Washington was the "prime candidate" for franchise relocation, and for several months there were excited preparations in the Washington area. Unfortunately, he has apparently caved in to the wishes of Mr. Angelos, who told an interviewer, "Washington has the Capitol. It has the White House, Congress, the Smithsonian. It has the government office, museums and the Mall. What else does it want?" He refused to consider the possible offer of $100 million compensation for a possible decline in Orioles attendance if Washington were to get a baseball team. However, that may just be a bargaining tactic to squeeze (extort?) more cash out of Washingtonians. As Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell opined yesterday, Angelos has demonstrated that he is incompetent at running a sports business, which is why the Orioles have fared so poorly in recent years. As I have written on several occasions on this Web site, Mr. Angelos is a fabulously wealthy trial lawyer who tried to parlay his political connection$ to outgoing Maryland Governor Parris Glendening in order to grab an outlandish chunk of the proceeds from the class action lawsuit against tobacco companies. In simple terms, he's nothing but a greedy, crooked old bastard. I'm not prone to using inflammatory language, but you can quote me on that. It's time for the public to put pressure on Commissioner Selig and give the Nation's Capital what it has long been due!! Stay tuned for further developments on this Web site...

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.

November 19, 2002 [LINK]

Update on baseball in Washington

Apparently prompted by the awful news that MLB officials have all but ruled out any transfer of the Expos to Washington next spring, the Washington Post has run several articles and commentaries about prospects for baseball in Washington during the past week. On Thursday there was an interview with Fred Malek, who says his group of nine investors has done all it can to buy the Expos franchise, which is currently in the hands of the 29 other Major League Baseball franchises. On Friday there was an article about the five alternative stadium sites being discussed, featuring detailed maps. Cost estimates have risen to $342-$542 million, depending on which site is chosen; real estate costs for the five sites vary widely. (The South Capitol Street site, which I favor, is only a block from a townhouse where I once lived.) D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams has pledged up to $200 toward the cost of a new stadium, but that would depend on passing a new tax on businesses located near the new stadium. MLB officials will meet on Wednesday to decide where the Expos will play next year, and it is a travesty that their players will have to play for another full year "in limbo." Sadly, until Washington comes up with rock-solid financing for a new stadium, hopes for baseball in Washington will be held hostage to Peter Angelos. This situation validates the argument of the Field of Schemes Web site, which opposes any public financing for professional sports facilities. The Post may finally be coming around to the realization that they are part of the problem, since their Sports section has long been treating the Baltimore Orioles as if they were Washington's "home team," playing into Peter Angelos's hands.

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.

March 31, 2003 [LINK]


How many long, agonizing, dreary, months have I been waiting for Opening Day?? The "boys of summer" have finally begun to play, and yet there is still snow on the ground outside my window. Arghhh! Cincinnati's beautiful new Great American Ballpark had a "sneak preview" opening on Saturday with an exhibition game against the Indians. You can get great 360-degree "virtual reality" views of this brand new "gem" at (NOTE: To view it you will need QuickTime software, which available free from Apple.)

Virginia officials unveiled a scale model and an artist's conception of the proposed baseball stadium in the Rosslyn district of Arlington. It is indeed a spectacular setting, very close to the Iwo Jima Memorial, and just across the Potomac River from the Kennedy Center and the Lincoln Memorial. On the north side of the stadium would be a shopping center, and beyond the center field fence (on the east side) there would be a large grassy park-like area for casual spectators and kids. Unfortunately, "NIMBY" opponents in Arlington have started to organize to prevent a new stadium from being built in "their backyard." William Collins, who leads the group of investors that is seeking a major league franchise for Northern Virginia, was dismissed (on cordial terms) by the Metrocall paging company earlier this year. This will enable him to spend full time on this project as the dramatic tension over the possible relocation of the Expos franchise to the D.C. area continues to build.

UPDATE: It snowed during the opening Orioles- game today, forcing play to be suspended for about 15 minutes. Which reminds me to mention that Thomas Boswell wrote in the Washington Post that Orioles owner Peter Angelos seems to be setting his team up to lose as a deliberately cynical ploy to maintain a monopoly over the Baltimore-Washington market:

The Orioles appear to be fielding the worst team possible, again this year, to kill their attendance in hopes that their fake plight will keep a team from relocating to Washington. That's despicable.

And it deserves our punishment.

He comes very very close to calling for an outright boycott by Washington-area fans. He concludes:

[F]or now, an Orioles game is not a proper place for any fair-minded Washington area baseball fan to be seen.

My sentiments exactly! Now when is the Washington Post going to stop covering the Orioles as if they were the "home team"?

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.

March 22, 2003 [LINK]

The big pitch

D.C. and Virginia officials made their big sales pitches to the MLB franchise relocation committee in Phoenix this week. Hopes for getting the Expos franchise next year are still fairly high in the D.C. area, according to a online poll. Out of 2444 responses so far, 58.7% think the Expos WILL move to the D.C. region for the 2004 season.

Unfortunately, according to another online poll, the most popular stadium site is the one that would be most likely to draw fans from Maryland. Out of 2444 responses so far, 58.9% picked the New York Avenue site several blocks north of the U.S. Capitol. Selecting this site would play into the hands of "Dr. Evil" (Orioles owner Peter Angelos), who is leading the resistance to ANY baseball team in the Washington area.

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.

March 31, 2003 [LINK]


How many long, agonizing, dreary, months have I been waiting for Opening Day?? The "boys of summer" have finally begun to play, and yet there is still snow on the ground outside my window. Arghhh! Cincinnati's beautiful new Great American Ballpark had a "sneak preview" opening on Saturday with an exhibition game against the Indians. You can get great 360-degree "virtual reality" views of this brand new "gem" at (NOTE: To view it you will need QuickTime software, which available free from Apple.)

Virginia officials unveiled a scale model and an artist's conception of the proposed baseball stadium in the Rosslyn district of Arlington. It is indeed a spectacular setting, very close to the Iwo Jima Memorial, and just across the Potomac River from the Kennedy Center and the Lincoln Memorial. On the north side of the stadium would be a shopping center, and beyond the center field fence (on the east side) there would be a large grassy park-like area for casual spectators and kids. Unfortunately, "NIMBY" opponents in Arlington have started to organize to prevent a new stadium from being built in "their backyard." William Collins, who leads the group of investors that is seeking a major league franchise for Northern Virginia, was dismissed (on cordial terms) by the Metrocall paging company earlier this year. This will enable him to spend full time on this project as the dramatic tension over the possible relocation of the Expos franchise to the D.C. area continues to build.

UPDATE: It snowed during the opening Orioles- game today, forcing play to be suspended for about 15 minutes. Which reminds me to mention that Thomas Boswell wrote in the Washington Post that Orioles owner Peter Angelos seems to be setting his team up to lose as a deliberately cynical ploy to maintain a monopoly over the Baltimore-Washington market:

The Orioles appear to be fielding the worst team possible, again this year, to kill their attendance in hopes that their fake plight will keep a team from relocating to Washington. That's despicable.

And it deserves our punishment.

He comes very very close to calling for an outright boycott by Washington-area fans. He concludes:

[F]or now, an Orioles game is not a proper place for any fair-minded Washington area baseball fan to be seen.

My sentiments exactly! Now when is the Washington Post going to stop covering the Orioles as if they were the "home team"?

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.

January 16, 2004 [LINK]

Same old song & dance

During the MLB owners' meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, Commissioner Bud Selig commented on the long-delayed relocation of the Expos franchise, saying he hopes "to finalize a 2005 deal as soon as possible." Gosh, I sure hope so, too! The Washington Post story also stated that Mark Ganis, a Chicago sports consultant, said that MLB was using additional prospective baseball cities (such as Monterrey, Mexico) to get more stadium money from the three principal relocation candidates, Washington, Virginia, and Portland. No kidding!? Ominous portent: Orioles' owner Peter Angelos, arch-opponent of baseball anywhere close to Washington, was elected to the MLB Executive Committee.

February 21, 2004 [LINK]

Orioles (+), Braves (-)

Peter Angelos is feeling pretty upbeat about his team, apparently convinced that the "threat" of the Expos moving to Washington has greatly diminished. He says that is what has given him the confidence to beef up his payroll... The Washington Post had one of their online chat forums last Wednesday, and I got the following response to my query:

Staunton, Va.: What is going on with the Atlanta Braves letting their best players go elsewhere? After all the post season disappointments of recent years, is their ownership just giving up?

David Sheinin: The Braves definitely are slicing payroll. Looks like they've lopped off about $15 million this winter, by letting Maddux, Sheffield and Javy Lopez go. When I talked to their GM, John Schuerholz, a few weeks ago, he said ownership simply came to the conclusion it could not keep operating in the manner they had been accustomed to.

April 14, 2004 [LINK]


According to the Washington Post (registration required), Mayor Anthony Williams has proposed full funding for a new stadium in D.C., which would cost from $340 to $385 million. Perhaps there is no further point to resisting the extortionary pressure of MLB. On the bright side, a new stadium site has been proposed at the west end of the waterfront in Washington, just south of the Jefferson Memorial. Though a tight squeeze, it would certainly be the most convenient spot in D.C. for us Virginians, and perhaps therefore least objectionable to "Dr. Evil," a.k.a. Orioles owner Peter Angelos.

The San Diego Padres are above the .500 mark, getting an apparent boost from their new home at Petco Park, which has seen a surprising number of home runs, in spite of the deep outfield distances. An article on the Web site addresses that puzzle. No such luck for the Phillies, who are 1 - 6 despite the grand opening of Citizens Bank Park.

Has someone in Miami seen this Web site? The distance marker in right center field at Pro Player Stadium has been corrected: It used to say "385" (at least ten feet too long according to my estimates), but now says "363." However, the difference is partly due to the fact that said marker has shifted toward the right field pole. In other stadium news, the outfield fence at Kauffman Stadium has been moved back ten feet, where it had been originally.

May 7, 2004 [LINK]

MLB in D.C. (Episode 37)

MLB executive vice president John McHale met with D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams yesterday, and according to the Washington Post said, "If we weren't serious about Washington, D.C., we wouldn't be here." Relocation Committee chairman Jerry Reinsdorf apparently declared that the opinions of Orioles owner Peter Angelos about this matter are NOT "an automatic disqualification." (Does that mean it would be a manual disqualification?) Since Williams has offered MLB just about everything they demanded in terms of stadium financing, they have no further excuse to block the transfer of the Expos to Washington next year. We'll see... I'm still intrigued by the proposed stadium site on 14th Street near the Jefferson Memorial. That would draw the biggest number of Virginians to the games, especially if they build a new metro station on the Yellow Line.

The latest round of flirtation with D.C. coincides with a mini-uproar over the planned use of commercial advertisements on bases. Such scrounging for bucks would of course be extremely tacky, but please, folks, let's not forget all the big billboards on outfield walls during the Golden Era of baseball, the 1920s-1950s. Baseball is a business, after all.

Mike Zurawski let me know about a few needed corrections to the stadium diagrams, some of which I already knew about. Most importantly, I was not aware that they had added new rows of box seats behind home plate at Wrigley Field, and indeed on TV last night I noticed the new brick wall back there for the first time. Revisions pending...

May 20, 2004 [LINK]

Bud stalls again

According to today's Washington Post, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has reverted to his old worries about a Washington-area team cutting into the revenues of the Baltimore Orioles, owned by Bud's pal Peter Angelos. Come on, Bud, we've been through all that! Quit stalling and just make a deal! Recent news on this matter had been pretty upbeat, but when you look at all the folks on the Relocation Committee who are connected in various ways to past "stadium swindles," the odds would seem heavily stacked against Washington.

May 21, 2004 [LINK]

The saga continues...

Commissioner Selig elaborated on the reasons for his doubts about the Washington area's desirability as a new home city for the Expos franchise yesterday. According to the Washington Post, he "does not want to repeat baseball's past mistakes" by allowing a franchise relocation that adversely affects an existing franchise. As indicated elsewhere on this Web site, however, franchise relocations to metropolitan areas with existing franchises have only occurred four times: in 1902, 1903, 1954, and 1968. In the first two cases (St. Louis and New York), multiple teams coexisted for several decades. In the third case, the Baltimore Orioles may have diverted a small portion of the Washington-area fan base from the Senators, but that was hardly the main reason for the subsequent decisions of Clark Griffith (1961) and Bob Short (1972) to abandon D.C. The only such precedent that Selig can cite with some justification is when the Athletics moved to Oakland in 1968, taking some fans from the Giants across the Bay. One case is not enough to make an argument! The very real long-term problem of lagging attendance and television viewership in the baseball world has multiple causes, but it is certainly not a function of franchises crowding each others' turf. Interestingly, only one city has ever benefited from an MLB franchise relocation more than once: Milwaukee, which just happens to be Bud's home town! Hmmm... Obviously, he knows what he's talking about.

In spite of his qualms, Mr. Selig expressed confidence that the Expos will have a permanent home by the start of next season, saying "It's time to get this done." MLB officials supposedly expect a final decision on relocation by July. Of course, we've heard that song and dance before, over and over and over again, but this time Selig just may be serious. What's more, Northern Virginia is apparently on the verge of winning the franchise for next year, notwithstanding all the talk about Washington, or the barely plausible alternatives of Portland, Las Vegas, Norfolk, or Monterrey. As Jon Saraceno writes in USA Today,

When it comes to those cities, don't believe a word about their chances of landing the Montreal Expos. Baseball's smoke-and-mirrors strategy is designed for competitive bidding purposes.

Of course, we've heard that explanation before too: it's all just a ploy to leverage more public funding for a new stadium out of area taxpayers. What has changed the dynamics in recent weeks is the fact that the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority has worked out a plan to build a ballpark near Dulles Airport, most likely in Loudoun County. That is indeed a booming suburban area, and the fact that it is 20+ miles from downtown Washington would certainly make it more palatable to Peter Angelos. As Saraceno says, "Virginia has given MLB what it wants. Baseball has no better option." I'm not so sure, though: With gas prices soaring and no near-term prospect of mass transit to Dulles, attendance at such a far-out ballpark would be a very uncertain thing. I can remember going on bike rides in that area in the 1980s, back when it was full of bucolic pasturelands. The times are indeed a-changin'; are they changing that much?

So, this is a good opportunity to repeat my modest little proposal: Build a small-sized stadium (35,000 seats) in Northern Virginia while refurbishing RFK Stadium (with 45,000+ seats), and have the team alternate between home fields from one home stand to the next, for as many years as is mutually agreeable to the franchise owners and the respective local governments. That would attract the maximum number of fans from the Washington area and satsify all concerned parties -- if only the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia could find a way to collaborate in their own mutual best interests!

June 26, 2004 [LINK]

How far?

In Wednesday's Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher pointed out the hypocrisy that Orioles owner Peter Angelos is seeking to purchase the Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George's County, even though Major League Baseball forbids ANY relationship with gambling! (Remember Pete Rose?) ball An article in the Post that same day compared the long distance from the Dulles Airport stadium site to downtown D.C. (21 miles) to stadiums built in the last ten years. At present, the stadium built farthest away from downtown is Ameriquest Field in Arlington (Texas), which is 16 miles from the center of Dallas, but it's somewhat closer to Fort Worth. Intrigued by this question, I took it upon myself to estimate such distances for all current and past baseball stadiums. The results are shown on the Stadiums by class page. Some of my estimates, which were based mainly on the DeLorme Street Atlas USA program, differ slightly from The Post's. Here is a summary of the four major stadium classes:

Stadium class Number Average distance
from downtown
Early 20th century 14 2.5 miles
Modern 20th century 12 3.3 miles
"Doughnut clones" 16 3.4 miles
Neoclassical 15 1.6 miles

June 29, 2004 [LINK]

"The Last Cartel"

The Washington Post just published a splendid three-part series of articles written by Steve Fainaru, entitled "Baseball: The Last Cartel." It exposes in gory detail many of the dirty dealings in which MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has been associated, raising the distinct possibility that an honest resolution of the issue of relocating a baseball team to the Washington area may not be possible. PART ONE details how Selig contrived to get Wisconsin taxpayers to pay for most of Miller Park, which ended up causing great political damage to former Governor Tommy Thompson (a Republican). PART TWO chronicles the disgraceful saga of the Expos franchise, which could easily have been relocated to the Washington area five or more years ago, but which has been kept in money-losing limbo for the sake of one of the 29 major league franchise owners: Baltimore's Peter Angelos (a Democrat). PART THREE probes into the nature of the alliance between Angelos and Selig, detailing the composition and operations of MLB's Relocation Committee, which seems heavily stacked against Washington-area interests. The upshot is that the custodians of our national pastime are flagrantly abusing the antitrust exemption they have enjoyed since 1922 on behalf of purely parochial interests. It's a reminder that if Selig once again goes back on his word to finally resolve the issue this year, the only recourse may be in the halls of Congress.

It was quite a coincidence that these articles ran just as I returned to take some photos at RFK Stadium for the first time since the exhibition game I saw there in 1999; there are two new photos on that page, which will soon be updated with a dynamic diagram, revised text, and another photo or two.

July 5, 2004 [LINK]

Angelos lashes out

George Solomon wrote an exasperated column in the Washington Post: "Hey Bud, Time for Decision-Making Is Over." In it, he notes that Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley said last week that he wouldn't mind a baseball team in the Washington area, seeing it as promoting a friendly rivalry. Good for him!! In response, Peter Angelos issued a bitter, insulting rebuke to the mayor, once again making plain his grim, dead-set opposition to any new team nearby, and revealing his megalomaniacal paranoid mindset, bordering on dementia.

If the resort complex site near Dulles is ultimately chosen as the least objectionable site to Mr. Angelos, it would constitute a tragic abandonment of the vital social function of community building for which baseball is uniquely suited. (Catering to an upscale clientele would also be a very questionable use of taxpayer-subsidized bonds.) Unfortunately, my suggested option of West End Alexandria does not appear to be in the cards, either. I hope all those "NIMBY" elitists up in Arlington are satisfied. ball On a parallel note, new visitor to this site T.J. Zmina offers another good reason to question the wisdom of the proposed baseball stadium site in Loudoun County: JET NOISE!

So they want to put a new stadium in D.C. near Dulles Airport. Two words: Shea, LaGuardia. Not a good idea if you ask me.

I managed to let the All-Star voting slip by this year, but the lineups on both sides are pretty much what I would have chosen anyway. The entire AL infield played for the Yankees either this year or last year. ball The Red Sox' fifth-inning collapse in Atlanta yesterday does not augur well for keeping up with the Yankees during the second half of the season. With a new manager and a relatively inexperienced owner, trying to keep a lid on personality squabbles may be very difficult.

September 19, 2004 [LINK]

Mission Accomplished!?

New" The PETCO Park page is finally done, the last of the 65 major league stadiums I set out to cover when I began this Web project two-plus years ago. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!? Not yet, there are plenty of corrections and enhancements to do in existing stadium pages, and I also plan to do pages for stadiums where major league games were held even though they were not the home field of any major league team. A visitor to this site asked about compass orientation of stadiums, which reminded me that I had been thinking about adding a symbol to indicate "North" in each diagram. So I added one to the PETCO Park and Turner Field diagrams, the latter of which is slightly revised.


MLB is negotiating how much money to give to Peter Angelos to overcome his objections to putting a team in the Washington area. According to the Washington Post, an "indemnity payment in the tens of millions of dollars" is expected. (I wonder what he did with all those millions he got from the tobacco settlement?) Then there are the former Expos minority owners who are suing former chief owner Jeffrey Loria and Major League Baseball. Just when the deal is on the verge of being closed, D.C. Councilman Jack Evans unleashed another volley of spiteful bile, as reported by the Washington Times:

Major League Baseball is so screwed up, they probably won't give us the team anyway. ... I have nothing but disrespect for the owners of Major League Baseball, to be honest with you. And if they drag this thing out any longer, they can take the team and put it in Northern Virginia, and I hope it fails. Good for them.

Sheesh. Is he trying to alienate prospective fans from this side of the Potomac? With sick attitudes like that, this whole thing might just fall apart. Or maybe it's just meant as another motivational kick in Mr. Selig's rear.

The Yankees proved they've still got spunk, trouncing the Red Sox by double-digit margins both Saturday and Sunday. It's amazing they can hold the other team to so few runs, given their weak pitching staff. The Red Sox can draw a bit of satisfaction from eking out one win in The Bronx, but they'll need to do better than that in these last two weeks. ball #701! Barry Bonds did it again, and is single-handed propelling the Giants in the Wild Card race with the Cubs, who have the advantage of facing weak opponents for the rest of the season.

September 23, 2004 [LINK]

Angelos: "Hell no!"

The Major League Baseball Executive Committee met in Milwaukee today, but did not make any decision on what to do with the Expos. As expected, Orioles' owner Peter Angelos remains 100% intransigent. [UPDATE: USA Today headline says: "Expos remain in limbo," though their columnist Hal Bodley opines that they have to move to D.C. "I believe Selig has come to the conclusion there's no other place to locate the Expos."] Thursday's Washington Post quotes MLB sources as saying negotiations with Peter Angelos about compensation for the expected relocation of the Expos to Washington "are going nowhere." His no-compromise position may alienate the other 28 franchise owners, who are starting to look like the biggest chumps on the planet for coddling him. As the Post notes, the tentative stadium deal worked out with the District of Columbia should raise the market value of the Expos franchise by nearly $300 million, which means an extra $10 million in the pocket of each of the 29 franchise owners, who currently share ownership of the Expos. Does Angelos really have enough clout to persuade 28 other men to forego $10 million each??? As a successful trial lawyer, Angelos may well be contemplating filing a motion for an injunction against a franchise move to D.C. However, the Major League Constitution defines the Orioles' "operating territory" as consisting exclusively of areas in Maryland, so "a team could be chartered in the District with no infringement upon that geographic territory." The front pages of Sections A (National), B (Metro), and D (Sports) of today's Post were filled with prominent headline stories on various aspects of the seemingly-imminent relocation, an indication that most insiders conclude it is virtually -- virtually, mind you -- a done deal.

NOTE: I have moved the Stadium chronology table from the bottom of this page to a separate page, to save time in loading and make navigation more efficient. You got a problem with that? Just let me know. smile The link to that new page is in the Comparisons section.

September 28, 2004 [LINK]


Yes, sports fans, it's true. According to both WTTG FOX-5 TV and WUSA TV-9 in Washington, it's a done deal! MLB negotiators have narrowed the differences with Peter Angelos, and the D.C. Mayor's Office tacitly confirmed that an announcement will be made tomorrow afternoon that the Expos will move to Washington next spring. Ironically, a press release from earlier today cast a bit of doubt, as Bob DuPuy stated, "No schedule has been set for any announcement" about relocating the Expos. So what was the precipitating factor that brought forth this sublime revelation today, as opposed to later in the week? Were the honchos motivated by sympathy for Expos fans? Those few but passionate long-suffering true blue devotees now will know with certainty that their team's final home game of this season tomorrow will in fact be the last one ever played in "The Big O." Merci beaucoup, Mr. Selig. Was it the alignment of "the sun and the moon" that Bob DuPuy cited last year? (The moon is just about at full phase, it so happens.) Was it the passage of yet another hurricane through the D.C. area today? Or perhaps the rumblings at Mount Saint Helens or the earthquake in California today? Details about the sale of the franchise are still up in the air, and it's entirely possible that the Zients-Malek investor group (Washington Baseball Club, may get outbid by an out-of-towner. Some visitors to this site have expressed understandable skepticism about this long-delayed transaction actually being consummated, and there will probably be a few last-minute $nag$, but there's really no turning back now. O ye of little faith! ball It was just about 33 years ago -- a third of a century -- that the final Senators game was played at RFK Stadium, and it was exactly two years ago that I opined that the Southeast D.C. prospective stadium site was my favorite.

September 29, 2004 [LINK]

Let us play

FURTHER UPDATE (6:20 PM): Mayor Anthony Williams announced at 5:00 this afternoon that Major League Baseball will be coming to Washington, D.C. next year. Two hours before, he had received a telephone call from the Commissioner's office confirming that the transfer will be approved. (A 3/4 vote of the 29 franchise owners is required, but that is a 100% certainty. If the broadcasting package is as generous as is rumored, Peter Angelos himself may vote "yes.") The 15-minute ceremony featured seven city council members who have [either] agreed to vote for the necessary funding [or are leaning that way]. Mayor Williams made it clear that D.C. residents would not bear any tax burden for the new stadium, that a large number of free or low-cost tickets would be set aside for underprivileged youth, and that one dollar for each ticket sold after 2.5 million attendance is reached each year would be allocated to community recreation projects. In short, the Mayor gets it. Baseball is about building communities and restoring hope. For details, see WTOP Web site. Much more to come.

Mayor Williams was particularly gracious in paying respects to Virginia Governor Mark Warner and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, whose welcoming attitude so angered Mr. Angelos back in July. So what's next? I'll be buying myself a Senators (or Nationals or Grays) cap as soon as the franchise is sold and the team's new name is announced. Come next spring, George W. Bush or John W. Kerry will revive the long-forgotten spring ritual by which the President used to throw out the first pitch at the season opening game in The Nation's Capital. PLAY BALL!!! I really look forward to finally seeing a game at Camden Yards, now that my boycott is over.

As in previous years, I've added a table at the bottom of the Baseball page showing the scores of postseason games. A few the championship series slots are still unfilled, so I may have to alter the teams listed. Cincinnati just beat the Cubs 4-3 in 12 innings, meaning the Cubs are in grave danger of losing the wild card race.

FURTHER UPDATE (noon): Steven Poppe referred me to a Canadian blogger Colby Cosh, who insists that the lawsuit by former minority partners in the Expos franchise will stop this deal dead in its tracks. It is, of course, remotely possible that lawyers could still sabotage this deal, even though no serious person on Earth believes that there is sufficient support for the Expos in Montreal to keep the franchise alive. True, MLB may just going through the motions with this relocation process, but the economic reasons for moving the team to the D.C. area are simply overwhelming. The lawsuit, and the threat of an injunction, is nothing more than a ploy to cash in -- one of the "$nag$" I referred to yesterday.

UPDATE: Here's the Post story from the Wednesday edition, and here's the latest press release from No official confirmation just yet. My take on this is that Mayor Williams is jumping the gun just a bit to make sure that the necessary funding legislation gets introduced at the City Council this week. Friday is the deadline.

October 6, 2004 [LINK]

Playoffs begin!

What home field advantage? Three of the first four playoff games were won by the lower-seeded visiting teams, yet more proof that anything can happen in the wide-open baseball postseason. Har-rumph! See the Postseason scores table below. ball UPDATE: The Twins scored a run in the top of the 12th inning, but A-Rod's clutch double and Matsui's sac fly saved the day for the Bronx Bombers, who won 7-6. Whew!

Activists in Our Nation's Capital are already organizing to try to block any public funding of a new ballpark, under the false assumption that there is a fixed "pie" of goodies to be divided upon among various factions. ("Education, Homelessness Are More Pressing Priorities, D.C. Group Says" -- Washington Post.) In a capitalist system such as ours, the pursuit of investment opportunities creates a positive-sum gain for society as a whole, though sometimes at a cost to certain groups. True, the economic development spinoffs from sports stadium construction are often exaggerated, but anyone with any familiarity with the South Capitol Street neighborhood should know how desperately new capital investment is needed there. Such blighted areas are a main reason for despair, which is what leads to so many other social ills. The real question is whether to spend D.C. government money from the existing tight budget, or to spend money drawn from new revenue sources in a way that attracts a steady and increasing flow of private money. The amount of money that would be spent in that area by suburban fans would probably cover the entire cost of the stadium well before the expected 30-year bond term expires. Such an injection of outside wealth will have a huge multiplier effect, stimulating new business and residential construction. (See last Sunday's Washington Post.) For anyone who genuinely wants to expand economic opportunities in the inner cities, this should be a no-brainer. The protesters seem more interested in thwarting the private sector elites and blocking investment than in looking out for poor people's best interests. The only question is whether the dislocated residents of the area will be adequately compensated and treated with respect.

Speaking of compensation, negotiations with Peter Angelos are dragging on and on and on. No surprise there. I think some kind of cushion is entirely appropriate, much like the adjustment subsidies given to workers in industries impacted by foreign imports. The point of such programs, however, is to ease the transition, not create a permanent entitlement. Angelos wants not only a 60 percent share of the Baltimore-Washington broadcasting profits, but a guaranteed $360 million resale value for his franchise and an automatic payment to make up for any revenue decline after the team begins playing in D.C. Any one or two of those would be reasonable, but all three? The word chutzpah does not begin to describe Mr. Angelos ball CORRECTION: The Expos lost to the Mets in their last game, not the Marlins. Thanks for that to "TopGear" who also writes, "By the way, it's interesting to note that the Expos' first game ever was at Shea Stadium as well as their last (as the Expos, at least)."

October 20, 2004 [LINK]


EVENING UPDATE: Jim Edmonds just forced Game 7 in the NLCS with a home run in the bottom of the 12th inning. Just in time for this evening's Main Event to begin!!! Julian Tavares got so mad at himself for blowing Game 5 in Houston that he pulled a Kevin Brown masochism stunt, and I was amazed he was able to pitch with two broken fingers tonight. Interestingly, the Astros-Cardinals series is the first postseason series in at least a couple years in which all games have been won by the home team -- so far. ball The Red Sox jumped out to an early 6-run lead thanks to yet another homer by Ortiz, and a grand slam by Johnny Damon, who has been ice cold lately. In Game 7 of the ALCS last year, the Yanks came back from five runs down to win; can they somehow recover from a six-run deficit this year???

When I first saw Bronson Arroyo's failed tag on Alex Rodriguez in the 8th inning I had chilling memories of the similar game-ruining gaffe by Bill Buckner in 1986. But then the replays showed clearly that A-Rod had swatted the ball away from Arroyo's glove with his left hand, and the conferring umpires quickly made things right, after which the outraged fans started throwing balls onto the field. Things soon calmed down after riot police took up positions, averting a possible forfeit but spoiling the atmosphere nonetheless. Thanks for leaving a sour taste in our mouths, A-Rod! Let's not forget the incredibly brave pitching performance by Curt Schilling, who somehow lasted SEVEN full innings, in spite of his fragile ankle. The deciding game this evening will be extremely tense, which raises the ugly possibility of another brawl.


The Montreal Expos franchise is officially on the auction block. Do I hear $300 million? The ultimate price will be greatly inflated by virtue of the publicly-subsidized future stadium in D.C., the "extortionary" price of admission made necessary by the obstructionism of Peter Angelos. Interested parties should contact ball In Washington, opponents of city funding for a new stadium seem resigned to defeat, as no one has any better ideas on how to revitalize the South Capitol Street neighborhood. See the Washington Post.

I've just read a book that provides a lot of insight into the recent (and yet-unfinished) struggle over the relocation of the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C. It's Playing Hardball: The High Stakes Battle for Baseball's New Franchises (1993), by Donald Whitford. It focuses mainly on the long campaign by Denver (and Colorado) to land a big league franchise, either via relocation or expansion. Their long sojourn in the "wilderness" is similar to what Washington has been through, except that Denver never had big league ball, and the nearest alternative big league team for them was several hundred miles away. The other case was the Florida Marlins, whose original owner Wayne Huizenga emerged from the pack of franchise contenders quite suddenly, in contrast to Denver. This illustrates how modern baseball has increasingly come under control of flamboyant risk-taking tycoons whose ties to their local communities are often weak. Two other themes in the book are fascinating to me: the persistent role of politicians who get carried away trumpeting economic development spinoffs (such as then-Denver mayor Federico Peña, who later served as U.S. Secretary of Transportation), and the unique personal styles of the successive MLB commissioners who struggle to balance heavy pressure from owners while justifying baseball's special monopoly status as a matter of public interest. How would baseball have evolved in the 1990s if Bart Giamatti had lived a full life?

The 2002 Archives and 2003 Archives pages have been cleaned up, and there are now links enabling you to jump from one postseason "scoreboard" to another. (Pretty handy, huh?) Games won by the visiting team are now shaded olive, which reveals some interesting patterns. Another bit of odd trivia I've discovered: there were NO extra-inning games in the 2002 postseason.

Andrew Clem archives

December 3, 2004 [LINK]

Bonds feigns innocence

The steroid scandal turned into a full-blown storm today, as the San Francisco Chroncicle ( reported that Bonds "told a federal grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream supplied by the Burlingame laboratory now enmeshed in a sports doping scandal, but he said he never thought they were steroids." This revelation came one day short of a year after his testimony, and the circumstances by which the information was released remains cloudy. His lawyer Michael Rains complained about this, and tried to portray Bonds as a guileless victim, stretching credulity to the maximum. See Hardly anyone expects baseball players to be paragons of virtue, but fans have every reason to expect that they will at least accept responsibilities for their actions in an adult way. Whether baseball's reputation is deeply damaged for years to come, or only lightly scratched for a while, now depends on how the probable dope users respond. Bonds' statements remind me of a certain former president who half-admitted to past drug use by saying, "I didn't inhale." Really.

December 3, 2004 [LINK]

MLB approves Expos relocation

All but one of the 29 Major League franchise owners voted to approve the relocation of the Montreal Expos to Washington next year, but this is "subject to all conditions set forth in the Baseball Stadium Agreement" which was signed on September 29. In other words, the D.C. City Council can forget about having Mayor Tony Williams renegotiate the deal. No dice. Who was the lone dissenter in today's vote? Why, none other than Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos. All those lengthy, patient negotiations in which Bob DuPuy tried to placate his fears of a financial loss came to nothing. What is disturbing is that Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich (a Republican) recently hinted that legal action on behalf of the Orioles may be necessary. (Since when did the Democrat Angelos start making friends across party lines, I wonder?) See Personally, I thought it was a waste of time for MLB officials to bend over backward so far just to get Angelos to go along with the relocation for the sake of unanimity. He proved long ago beyond any shadow of a doubt how unreasonable he is. In the vicious world of corporate lawyering, however, such a nasty reputation can be used to very good effect, bringing in millions of extra dollars from adversaries who would rather not endure an ugly, drawn-out fight. It looks like that's what the Nationals have in store as they prepare to settle in to Our Nation's Capital. The dead-end rejectionist attitude of Angelos reminds one of George Wallace, Lester Maddux, and other leaders of "massive resistance" to racial desegregation in the South during the 1960s. Contrast that with the friendly welcome mat laid out for the Orioles when they moved from St. Louis to Baltimore in 1954:

Senators owner Clark ... Griffith relented and in some ways even supported Baltimore's bid. When the team finally arrived in Baltimore, Griffith attended a citywide parade, welcoming a new baseball team to the area. All he received was a small monetary payment that came through television sponsorship. [SOURCE: Washington Post, Sept. 30, 2004]

Meanwhile, there is a flurry of negotiations with free agent pitchers such as Carl Pavano and Pedro Martinez, who used to pitch for the Expos. Thanks to the delays caused by Linda Cropp, however, the Nationals franchise is not likely to be sold until next year, which means the team's "interim" general manager, Jim Bowden, is still on a shoestring budget and therefore won't be able to acquire as much pitching talent as he would like. Booo!

December 3, 2004 [LINK]

D.C. stadium vote aftermath

In Thursday's, columnist Marc Fisher really ripped into some of the D.C. City Council members, especially Chairperson Linda Cropp, for cowardly abstaining in the big vote on Tuesday. He also showed a sense of balance, however, in discussing the stadium bill's leading opponents:

Adrian Fenty (Ward 4) and David Catania (At Large), deserve credit for their principled agitation on behalf of the view that the stadium deal is fiscally irresponsible. ...

Then he patiently explained the obvious economic benefits from drawing in all the suburbanite cash into the District, as well as the more nebulous psychological benefits:

So even if you don't believe that the Capitol Street corridor will blossom as a result of the stadium development, this deal is sweet. That a majority of the D.C. Council lacked the courage to say so is shameful. That three members were so derelict as to take no position is unforgivable.

Exactly! Fisher has been a consistently avid booster of D.C. baseball on the Post staff, and I agree wholeheartedly with his honest and forthright conclusions. ball Meanwhile, hot-headed anti-stadium activist Adam Eidinger has apparently taken a vacation in France, one week after disrupting the announcement of the Nationals name and logo. ball Finally, the Anomalous stadiums and RFK stadium pages have been updated to reflect the virtual certainty that the Washington Nationals will play in RFK Stadium next year. Revisions to other pages are still pending...

December 3, 2004 [LINK]

Jason Giambi confesses

So Jason Giambi has admitted to using steroids in testimony to a grand jury. Was there ever any doubt, really? Those enormous biceps (until this year, that is, when "going clean" apparently came back into fashion) looked like something from a comic book superhero. Dittos for ... well, you know. The records books in the future may have a lot of asterisks for sluggers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I try to avoid being too judgmental, but I've certainly never believed in the ethical relativism of "so what, everybody does it." I just hope Giambi hasn't caused permanent damage to his body, and I pray that this doping scandal doesn't end up ruining all the public goodwill that baseball has managed to recover since the 1994 strike. In, Tom Verducci says the Yankees will "definitely look into the possibility of voiding the contract," which has four years to go. Poor Mr. Steinbrenner.

Andrew Clem Archives

January 16, 2005 [LINK]

RFK grandstand repositioned

There is a photo of the ongoing renovation work at RFK Stadium in Sunday's Washington Post, showing that the movable portion of the grandstand has been returned to its baseball position for the first time since 1999. (It probably took several gallons of 3-in-1 oil to get those rollers unstuck!) Last week there was just a huge gap on the third base side. The photo also shows the much bigger new dugouts which are under construction. The work is proceeding so quickly that many of the details are being decided with little or no advance planning. For example, "when the chief groundskeeper asked how close the bullpens should be to the outfield wall, [architect Lane Welter replied,] 'Whatever you think is best. I trust your judgment.'" To make room for a modern electronic scoreboard/advertising message board, unfortunately, the "Hall of Stars" -- the signs with names of past Washington sports heroes that ring RFK Stadium at the mezzanine level -- will probably be moved to a less-visible location in the upper deck. Yet unclear is what kind of main scoreboard there will be. Commissioner Bud Selig has already committed to attending the premier game at RFK on April 14, and I wouldn't be surprised if President Bush shows up as well.

January 16, 2005 [LINK]

Nats on the tube?

Saturday's Washington Post reported that the Nationals still do not have a television broadcasting deal for the coming year, because negotiations with Orioles owner Peter Angelos over territorial issues and compensation for anticipate revenue declines continue to drag on, with no end in sight. As things presently stand, FOX will broadcast Saturday games from RFK Stadium in August and September.

In spite of the unresolved Angelos issue, and the remote but non-negligible possibility that the new D.C. Council may rethink the stadium funding bill that was passed last month, I've raised the likelihood of the Nationals playing in Washington from 98 percent to 99 percent. In practical terms, they are now past the point of no return, and the costs of an emergency change of location from D.C. back to Montreal, or to San Juan or Las Vegas, would far outweigh whatever extortion Angelos may demand. It would also throw the entire Major League Baseball schedule into utter turmoil. As for the D.C. Council, new member (and ex-mayor) Marion Barry recently checked into a hospital under an assumed name because of some severe flu-like illness. As a consequence, he probably won't have enough energy to contest the stadium bill until the baseball season is about to begin.

Good news: First baseman Nick Johnson and pitcher Tony Armas (Jr.) have signed short-term contracts with the Washington Nationals, keeping the team formerly known as the Expos virtually intact as they prepare for spring training in Viera, on the "Space Coast" of Florida.

January 16, 2005 [LINK]

Stadium page update marathon

Many thanks to Bruce Orser, a new visitor to this site, for sharing with me ancient blueprints of Yankee Stadium (revisions pending on that page) plus boatloads of great archival photos of several stadiums. The blueprints indicate that in the first year of Yankee Stadium, 1923, the distance down the foul lines was 257.5 feet, only 2.5 feet less than I had previously estimated by eyeballing old photos! I have never seen that figure published before in any book, so that's a major research finding, in my book. ball Thanks also to all the other regular visitors who keep me on my toes with their sharp eyes and helpful feedback, even if I don't always have time to respond right away.

The (K.C.) Municipal Stadium page has been updated for second time in one day, after I found an inconsistency in the field dimension data in Lowry's Green Cathedrals book. That's one of those stadiums where they kept moving the fence year after year (and even home plate, sometimes), and it becomes hard to maintain accuracy. I believe that makes nine stadium pages I've revised already this month, quite possibly a "personal best."

Which reminds me, those of you who pay regular visits to this site might want to consider making a small contribution to the cause by clicking on the PayPal button above. I have found their service to be very efficient and very fair, but if anyone ever has problems with it, please let me know. I'm not in this for the money, obviously, but nothing says "I appreciate what you're doing!" quite like a crisp five dollar bill, or the electronic equivalent thereof. If your charity/good cause budget has been depleted by donating to the tsunami relief operations, that's perfectly understandable. But if you would like to see further improvements in this site in coming months and years, give some thought to making a small donation. Whatever you think it's worth, I'd be much obliged...

Andrew Clem Archives

January 27, 2005 [LINK]

Nats act while O's sulk

In today's Washington Post, Thomas Boswell talks about how, thanks largely to Interim General Manager Jim Bowden, the embryonic Nationals franchise is outperforming the Orioles in terms of talent acquisition. This, in turn, is spurring deposits on the Nationals' season ticket packages, totalling 17,830 so far. As far as letting Carlos Delgado slip through his fingers, Peter Angelos said he refuses to pay more than a player is worth to his team, which these days would seem to be an uncommonly sensible attitude. Boswell noted, however, that another Orioles official has a far less upbeat take on his team, then draws some lessons about Angelos's apparent sulking behavior:

His most infuriating and baseless demand is that the Orioles should get more than half the revenues -- perhaps 60 percent -- of any future regional cable TV network.

This offseason's radically opposite results have put such greedy demands in an ugly light.

The Orioles have everything on their side -- profits, tradition, a classic ballpark and a team on the verge of becoming a winner again. Yet they either can't or won't improve their product on the field. Why should they be rewarded by baseball for ineptitude?

Boswell may be a little harsh this time, possibly caught up in all the excitement over the impending Opening Day at RFK, but he has a point. Despite the lack of any agreement between Angelos and MLB over the compensation issue thus far, I'm raising the likelihood of the Nationals playing at RFK Stadium from 99 percent to 99.5 percent.

"Joisey" in big leagues?

For the first time in months, there is a brand new stadium page: Roosevelt Stadium, located in Jersey City. It may or may not still exist, depending on which source you consult.

UPDATE: I just learned from Adam Myers that the confusion over whether Roosevelt Stadium still exists or not stems from the odd fact that there were two stadiums with that name built at about the same time, only a few miles apart. Upshot: the one where the Dodgers once played is long gone. ball At the suggestion of Brandon Henderson, I've added a fake turf version diagram of Candlestick Park. How's that for quick response?

Andrew Clem Archives

February 9, 2005 [LINK]

Nats lack radio

With only a week to go before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the Nationals still have not reached a deal with any radio broadcasters, nor any television stations either. Since Peter Angelos is still haggling over compensation issues, no one knows what the Nationals will be able to pay, so why should anyone make a deal with them? This situaton is truly disgusting. "Mini"-season tickets will go on sale next week, and I'm starting to worry that there won't be enough individual game tickets for good seats left for Opening Day on April 14. See Washington Post.

Fenway finalized ! ? ($$)

The Fenway Park page has been updated with a revised football diagram, based on a photo graciously sent to me by Howard Corday, as well as a 1912 version which is still somewhat conjectural due to unclear photos. It may not be perfect, but it's probably more accurate than you're likely to find than from just about any other online or print source. So, why not do your part to promote the diffusion of historical knowledge of baseball by clicking on that PayPal button? It's safe, easy, and secure.

Andrew Clem Archives

March 7, 2005 [LINK]

Nationals play (practice) ball!

History will record that the Washington Nationals won their first-ever competitive event, edging the Mets at their spring training home field at Space Coast Stadium by a score of 5-3. (History will omit the fact that I was in the vicinity of this practice game while it was being played, about six miles above in a United Airlines jet, returning home from Costa Rica.) Seeing the Nationals on the field in uniform is still almost too fantastic to believe... Even though their inaugural win means virtually nothing, it was still a nice way to start. Even nicer was when they beat the Orioles, who will become the "natural" interleague rival club. MLB just announced that the Nats and O's will play at least three games against each other during the 2006 season.

To the surprise of no one, Peter Angelos is still refusing to budge in negotiations with MLB over compensation and broadcast rights issues. This is causing further delays in the process of selling the Nationals to private investors, which in turn will make it hard for the team to expand its salary budget until very late in the season. There goes our chances for the postseason! smile Thomas Boswell wrote about all this in the Washington Post:

Perhaps out of malice because D.C. finally dared to get a team, or simply to wangle the best deal for his Orioles, Angelos has filibustered all spring in marathon reparation negotiations. Before Opening Day, all this will be settled. Top officials are furious at Angelos for refusing what they consider generous, if not excessive, offers. The call-his-bluff stage is coming soon.

All of which made the Nats' televised victory even tastier.

Scorched-earth tactics by Mr. Angelos notwithstanding, any remaining legal contingencies that might have thwarted the start of baseball in Washington have now effectively vanished, so I've officially raised the likelihood of the Nationals playing in D.C. as scheduled to 100 percent.

March 7, 2005 [LINK]

Stadium updates: D.C., L.A., etc.

The D.C. government has chosen three architectural firms as finalists in the bid to design the new stadium near the Anacostia River: the renowned Hellmuth, Obata, & Kassabaum (HOK) of Kansas City; Harwood K. Smith of Dallas; and Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill. A final decision is expected by the end of the week. The architectural proposes submitted at this stage do not include specific design plans, just broad parameters. It is reassuring that D.C. officials don't want just another ultra-nostalgic retro stadium, a once-laudable trend that was, unfortunately, taken to extremes in recent years. They want something unique. For more, see

All systems are go at RFK Stadium, including the new self-propelled seating rotation mechanism that will make it possible for baseball and soccer to co-exist in perfect harmony -- or so they say. It's never been done before. Single-game Nationals tickets go on sale this Saturday, but tickets for Opening Day won't be sold until March 26...

In spite of the apocalyptic floods that have plagued the Los Angeles area for the last several weeks -- Repent, Hollywood! The End is near!? -- renovations at Dodger Stadium are somehow on schedule. New dugouts are being built about 15 feet closer to the diamond, and several rows of "Baseline Field Box seats" (very l-o-w) are being installed along the foul lines. Will the 1,600 new seats add to Dodger Stadium's "permanent" capacity of 56,000? The extra rows will create a very long "notch" in each corner, much like at Yankee Stadium but even longer. To restore authenticity, real dirt will replace that fake rubber surface on the warning tracks. For more, see

The Cubs have announced that the bleachers at Wrigley Field will be expanded prior to the 2006 season, adding 1,970 to the capacity. ball No word from Detroit on how the process of moving the bullpens from right field to left field is going... ball The Cardinals' new ballpark, Busch Stadium III, is assuming recognizable form with much of the steel superstructure and brick exterior on the south end already completed. Yet uncertain is whether partial demolition on Busch Stadium II can be avoided until the end of the 2006 season in order to give enough time for completing the new stadium, which overlaps the "footprint" of the current one.

March 7, 2005 [LINK]

Back from vacation

Fear not, sports fans, I've returned safe and sound from the jungles of Central America, and I'm raring to go as the new season gets underway. I do plan to make continual revisions and enhancements to the baseball pages, which I've spelled out more explicitly in the left column. Can I guarantee that I will proceed in that precise order. No, but that is my general plan. I've been in touch with Bruce Orser about what the original Wrigley Field was like, and we are both stumped for the moment. I may end up doing a "best guess" version for the 1914-1922 period.

Andrew Clem Archives

March 21, 2005 [LINK]

Open Letter from Orioles

One of the items I meant to talk about last week was the unusual full-page ad in the sports section of the Washington Post from two Sundays ago: "An Open Letter to All Fans of Baseball from the Orioles." It took sharp issue with news reports and editorials in the Post, claiming that for the last 30 years their franchise has had exlusive rights to territory "as far south as Charlotte, North Carolina." (Huh? Do those folks know that?) It also claimed that the above assumption was figured into the sales price when Mr. Angelos bought the team for $173 million in 1993. That was a gamble that Mr. Angelos took, and under normal business practices he should bear the risk. (Of course, as we all know, baseball is not a "normal business," it is a curious cartel whose dubious dealings are kept from the public eye by all the goodwill and nostalgia that the sport built up over the decades. Like Mr. Potter in A Wonderful Life, Peter Angelos is simply trumpeting to the world the universal arrogance exhibited by all monopolists.) It is as though Washington was never even considered for an expansion franchise or a relocation deal (Astros?) in the 1990s. Most outrageous, perhaps, is the demand that the Nationals games be broadcast exclusively by the television network controlled by the Orioles. That network was created in 2001, however, by which time it was becoming very clear that the Expos might relocate to Washington at any time. Recouping the millions of dollars in sunk costs for that enterprise is his responsibility, and cannot be forced upon Washington. I've always felt that some reasonable compensation to the Orioles would be appropriate, but Angelos has infuriated other franchise owners by his no-compromise position, forfeiting millions of dollars in lost revenues. He has created his own mess, and his old pal Commissioner Selig has too many other things to worry about right now to try to placate or woo Angelos. As usual, Thomas Boswell aptly dissects the perverse logic behind Angelos's arguments. Suffice it to say that he is not winning the hearts and minds of many potential fans in Washington. I was really looking forward to finally seeing a game at Camden Yards this spring, but it looks like I'll have to prolong my boycott a little longer...

The Dodger Stadium page has a new dynamic diagram that reflects the nearly-complete renovations, which will radically change its character.

March 29, 2005 [LINK]

New name for RFK???

I was appalled when I read that D.C. officials are trying to raise some cash by leasing the naming rights of RFK Stadium. They are hoping for $2 million per year, for the next three years. This seems like a travesty, but "RFK Stadium" will remain part of the name, much as "Mile High Stadium" remains part of the name of Denver's new football venue, but with a corporate appendage (Invesco). In addition, Bobby Kennedy's widow Ethel apparently agreed to the change, because the funds are supposedly being earmarked for children's programs in the District. We'll see... Response from corporate bidders has been slower than anticipated, and rumors are that a local telecommunicatons company has an inside track. (Is it Verizon? Since their spokesperson James Earl Jones co-starred in Field of Dreams, I suppose that is appropriate.) See

"Dr. Evil" digs in heels

Peter Angelos is still haggling over terms for compensation and broadcast rights, with less than a week to go before Opening Day. (The first Nationals home game is still more than two weeks away, however.) Today's Washington Post editorialized on this situation:

In fact, such a deal is a rip-off that would deflate the Nationals' value and imperil the task of finding a buyer for the franchise -- an orphan that is now the collective property of baseball's 29 team owners. What prospective Nationals' owner would cede control of broadcasting rights to a rival -- to say nothing of a rival as truculent as Mr. Angelos? Might as well trade away the team's best sluggers and star pitchers.

Orioles' ticket sales have apparently declined by at least ten percent compared to a year ago. That is in line with what most people expected, but much less than Angelos had claimed. (He used to say that one fourth of Orioles' fans came from the Washington area.) Meanwhile, some tickets for Opening Day at RFK Stadium (which quickly sold out) are going for over $1000!

For what it's worth,

I've come up with a design for a Proposed new D.C. stadium. (Yes, folks, that is one of the main things that has occupying my time in the last few days.) What do you think? Too wacky? Too symmetrical? Tell me what features you think the new stadium should have.


Thanks to Bruce Orser for the following links to images of two under-construction stadiums:, about the future Busch Stadium, scheduled to open in [2006], and, about Safeco Field in Seattle, which opened in 1999. And thanks to Mike Zurawski for alerting me to a small mistake in the diagram for the newly renovated version of Dodger Stadium, which has now been fixed. Finally, I have recalibrated the "countdown clock" for Opening Day in D.C., which is presently 16 days away (not 14).

March 31, 2005 [LINK]

Broadcast deal: NO ! ?

Details are still lacking, but it appears that Peter Angelos got most of what he wanted in the deal over broadcast rights that was reached with MLB officials today. Once again, I'm appalled but not surprised. The Orioles will control an unspecified majority of the new network:

Under the agreement, sources had said yesterday, newly created Mid-Atlantic Sports would pay the Nationals a rights fee and distribute 76 of the club's games to WTTG-5 and WDCA-20, two Fox-owned broadcast stations in Washington. SOURCE: Washington Post

On the bright side, broadcasting that many games on the open air waves will help to promote greater public interest in the Nationals, about which many people in Virginia and the Capital Region are still only vaguely aware. Unfortunately, Commissioner Selig raised new doubts about his capacity to enforce discipline and fair play on the MLB owners with this comment:

I also want to commend my friend, Peter Angelos. He was relentless in his desire to preserve and protect the Baltimore Orioles franchise now, and for future generations. His concerns, which he expressed often and well, were not about himself or his ownership interest, but rather to establish a means by which to ensure the future viability of the Orioles franchise. I don't know many other people who would have fought so vigorously for such purposes. SOURCE:

Ugh. What a lame excuse for blatant monopolistic behavior. This broadcast agreement, which does not fully go into effect until next year, is supposedly modeled after existing arrangements in mega-cities with overlapping team areas. In the case of New York, however, there seems to be no interaction between the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network ("YES") and the Mets, whose games are broadcast locally by Fox Sports New York, WPIX-TV, and "Madison Square Garden Network." Speaking of YES, here's a suggested alternative name for the new Baltimore-Washington baseball network: just use the initials of the two teams, Nationals and Orioles, to create the acronym "NO."

April 3, 2005 [LINK]

At last: Opening Day!

Today I hit the road to see the Washington Nationals play at Philadelphia's Citizen's Bank Park, at 3:00 Monday, joining Phil Faranda, one of the earliest and most regular visitors to this Web site. Along the way I'll pass by RFK Stadium, where the Nats are at this very moment playing their first game in their "new" home. It's just an exhibition game, serving as a charity fund raiser and practice for the ground crew, concessionaires, etc.

The big remaining mystery for the history books is, Who will be the first-ever batter for the Nationals? Endy Chavez was sent back to the minors, so it will probably be either Nick Johnson (first baseman and former Yankee who resembles Babe Ruth) or Brad Wilkerson (versatile fielder and slugger, whom I just saw on a brand new television ad for Chevy Chase Bank). See The Nats' lineup is still up in the air, while their batting performance in spring training has lagged behind their pitching, to everyone's surprise. So how will they do this year? I have no idea, but at the very least I expect the team to show a lot of spunk, trying hard to please their new fans on the Potomac. Like most baseball analysts, David Pinto figures that the Nats will finish their inaugural season in last place in the NL East, but he doesn't rule out a third place finish. Me neither!

Complete ripoff

"After further review," it now appears that Peter Angelos got himself one heck of a sweetheart deal. The Nats will get a mere ten percent of the new "Mid-Atlantic" broadcast joint venture's profits in the first year, gradually climbing to a peak of 33 percent after twenty years! Thomas Boswell tried to put an upbeat spin on this outcome. He is right to say that teams that get used to plush comforts and safety cushions tend to get lazy and lose, and that Washington's wealth, population, and vitality will more than make up for the handicap, but to me it's like the Nationals are being forced to play with one arm tied behind their back for the indefinite future. I guess this lousy bargain goes to show how ineffective large groups (in this case, the other 28 MLB owners) are in a negotiation with an individual counterpart who is as determined and crafty as Mr. Angelos is. I can't wait till the O's and Nats play each other next year!

April 14, 2005 [LINK]

Home opener: Nats on a roll!
(Blackout in some areas.)

The Washington Nationals will make their long-awaited grand debut in RFK Stadium later today not as hapless underdogs, but as a proud and very competitive team. They have now prevailed in two of their first three series of the season against some of the toughest divisional rivals in all of baseball. Just like they did against the Phillies last week, the Nats rebounded from a crushing defeat on Monday (11 to 2) to edge the Braves on Tuesday night, 4 to 3. Their 11 to 4 triumph in Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon showcased the team's slugging potential, especially that of José Guillen, who currently leads the majors with 5 home runs! Well done, Nats!

I was all excited about watching the Braves host the Nationals on TBS this week, and guess what I saw? A black screen! Eegads: a blackout! I complained to Adelphia, our cable providers, and after two days finally got human response. It turns out that MLB Extra Innings imposes blackout restrictions on broadcasters within the territories specified for each team. I'm sure most folks who live in or near big cities are already quite familiar with this situation, but it's new to me. None of the MLB Extra Innings options is even available where we live in Virginia, however, rendering the blackout utterly pointless and self-defeating. Well, isn't that special?

Motivated by righteous anger, I went through the MLB Web site to find out who controls what territory. Not surprisingly, the infant Washington Nationals do not yet have any such blackout territories, but the Baltimore Orioles of course do. In fact, they control 3,515 zip codes, ranging from 17001 (Camp Hill, PA) to 28594 (Emerald Isle, NC). See for yourself at I scoffed at Peter Angelos's territorial claim on March 21, but it turns out he is exerting control over his fiefdom quite well. Now I see the extent of his power in a very direct and ugly way -- as if I didn't have enough reasons to resent him already. Just another reminder of what a crooked, elitist monopoly that the business side of baseball has become. Below are the results of my quick and dirty research, which will eventually be incorporated into the Baseball cities page. A few franchises have an even bigger territory than the Orioles, mostly those in the central part of the country. Of course, there is a wide range of population from one zip code to the next, so these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt.

MLB franchise broadcast domains
Urban market Number of blackout zip codes
New York Mets
& Yankees
Los Angeles Angels
& Dodgers
Chicago Cubs
& White Sox
Houston Astros
& Texas Rangers
Baltimore Orioles
& Washington Nationals (?)
San Francisco Giants
& Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Devil Rays (overlaps) 1224
Florida Marlins (overlaps) 1233
Toronto Blue Jays all of Canada
Atlanta Braves 4064
Milwaukee Brewers 2462
St. Louis Cardinals 5170
Arizona Diamondbacks 1367
Cleveland Indians 2432
Seattle Mariners 1928
San Diego Padres 523
Philadelphia Phillies 1427
Pittsburgh Pirates 3385
Boston Red Sox 2243
Cincinnati Reds 5017
Colorado Rockies 1829
Kansas City Royals 4970
Detroit Tigers 1693
Minnesota Twins 3079

September 27, 2005 [LINK]

Strange bedfellows in Maryland

Orioles owner Peter Angelos, otherwise known as "Dr. Evil," took out a full-page newspaper ad to thank Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich for his support of his failed attempt to prevent baseball from returning to Washington. What is strange is that Angelos used to be very tight with the state Democrat party, and was a major contributor to the campaigns of former Governor Parris ("Not Hilton") Glendening and others. The party affiliation made sense, since he is, after all, a fabulously wealthy trial lawyer. Since the ad did not explicitly urge people to vote for Ehrlich when he runs for reelection next year, it probably won't count as a campaign expenditure. See Washington Post. After a brief honeymoon, Ehrlich's term as governor has been marked by one frustration after another, as the Democrat majority has successfully blocked his initiatives. He and Angelos both needed each other, so you might say it was a match made in ... no, let's not go there. smile

July 10, 2008 [LINK / comment]

Nationals are losing TV viewers

Tuesday's Washington Post reported that the Nationals' TV audience has dropped 43 percent compared to last year, and with an average of 9,000 viewers per game, they are by far the least popular major league team. That TV audience is less than one-third as much as that of the next-lowest team, the Kansas City Royals. That's a bit odd, because the attendance at the home games at Natinals Park has been more or less satisfactory, averaging nearly 30,000 per game. (That's paid attendance, however, and may exceed the actual turnstile count by 15 percent or more.)

As noted by WaPo columnist Thomas Boswell , no other MLB team has more fans at the stadium than watching at home on the tube. If this means that most of those who go to Nats games just want to see the shiny new stadium but don't really care about the team itself, that is bad news indeed. Boswell observed that Orioles owner Peter Angelos is paying about $25 million annually for the TV rights, much more than is commercially justifiable, given the low viewership. Poetic justice, perhaps? One should remember that the Nationals currently have only a minority owership stake in the company that broadcasts their games, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. In future years, they will gain a bigger equity share. For details on the last-minute (shady?) TV rights deal between MLB and Mr. Angelos, see my Mar. 31 2005 blog post. Most people expected TV viewership of Nats games to rise sharply after MASN and Comcast signed a deal in March (Yay!), but MASN seems to have more and fancier promotional ads for the Orioles than they do for the Nationals. I can't help but wonder if this sorry situation has something to do with the often-miserly Mr. Angelos... Is he spiteful enough to neglect promoting what could be a very promising sports marketing franchise, forgoing a substantial profit?

Compared to their former selves as the Montreal Expos, nevertheless, the Nationals are doing much better on television. That's because the Expos didn't even have a television contract.

Nats win a game!

Well, at least the Nats won a game last night, breaking their six-game losing streak. John Lannan pitched yet another solid game, giving up no runs and only two hits over six innings, and this time he actually got run support. His 5-9 win-loss record does not begin to reflect his actual performance, however; his ERA is 3.40, which puts him 23rd in the major leagues. The slugging hero this time was Jesus Flores, who pinch-hit a three-run homer into the visitors' bullpen in the sixth inning. Flores has been in a slump lately -- just like several of his team mates. The 5-0 win over the Diamondbacks was the Nats' sixth shutout victory of the season; they have been shut out 11 times this year.

Demolition in Detroit

Partial demolition work has begun on Tiger Stadium, as wrecking crews ripped a gash in the outer wall that exposes the overgrown field inside. [See a photo at Washington Post.] Whether that work will continue until nothing is left of that lovable old hulk of a historic ballpark depends on fan support. Come on, folks:
Save Tiger Stadium!!!

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NOTE: Older blog entries (pre-November 2004) were finally added to this page in October 2011.