Monday, March 22, 2004

First, and most important note of the day, Happy Birthday to my daughter R., who turns 5 years old today. How can it possibly be five years already?

Spring is finally here, although you could hardly tell it by the temperature. It was well below freezing when I left my house this morning, and it’s not supposed to get out of the mid-30’s today. Spring in New England is an odd thing. You never know what you’re going to get. Snow at this time of year is far from unusual. In fact, I can remember at least two snowstorms in my lifetime that occurred in May. Last year’s spring was very wet - it seemed like it rained every weekend. Hopefully we’ll have a nice spring this year. J. starts T-ball this year and I can hardly wait for that.

Tomorrow I start on a challenge. As some of you may know, I wear a pedometer on my belt that encourages me to exercise. It’s called a Sportbrain, and I upload the data it stores periodically to the Internet. From there I go to the Sportbrain web site ( and see my steps, an estimate of how many calories I’ve burned, access a bunch of other statistics and participate in a very supportive online community. Seeing my “score” at the end of the day really helps to keep me walking. My goal is 12,000 steps a day, and I typically average about 13,000.

One thing you get with the Sportbrain service is a series of reward challenges. If you meet a certain steps goal for a specified period of time, you either win a small prize or you are entered into a drawing for a larger prize. They have goals for all levels of ability, from around 8,000 steps per day to almost 18,000. I’m going for a Sportbrain fleece jacket. I have to average 15,000 steps a day for the next 45 days, or 675,000 steps in total to get entered into the drawing. This is about 15% over my usual average, so I think it’ll be challenging without being undoable. The next level up was 17,777 steps per day to win an iPod mini. I don’t really think I could maintain that level for a month and a half.

It’s now less than two weeks until the Red Sox opener in Baltimore, and the injury bug that the team mostly avoided last season has started to rear it’s ugly head. Trot Nixon is out for six weeks with a herniated disk in his back, Byung Hyung Kim is out with some soreness in his shoulder and Nomar has a sore Achilles tendon. It appears that Nomar should be ready for Opening Day, but the other two will miss the start of the season. It seems like the Sox should be able to survive the short-term loss of any of these guys - after all $130 million should buy you a bit of depth!

Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia was imploded yesterday. I made two trips to the Vet, and I’d rate it as the third worst among the 17 Major League ballparks I’ve seen, behind only Shea Stadium in New York and Olympic Stadium in Montreal. It was a hideous, astro-turfed bowl, which was ill suited for baseball. The good seats were separated from the field by acres of foul territory; the bad seats were practically in orbit they were so high up. It emphasized everything that was bad about ballpark architecture in the ‘70’s. It’s a good thing that it’s gone.

Interestingly, of the 26 teams that were in existence on Opening Day 1984, only 10 are playing in the same stadiums today:

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park
New York Yankees - Yankee Stadium
Minnesota Twins - Metrodome
Anaheim Angels - Edison International Field (formerly Anaheim Stadium)
Kansas City Royals - Kaufman Stadium
Oakland A’s - Oakland Coliseum
New York Mets - Shea Stadium
Chicago Cubs - Wrigley Field
St. Louis Cardinals - Busch Stadium
Los Angeles Dodgers - Dodger Stadium

It’s an amazing amount of ballpark turnover. Only 1/3 of today’s ballparks existed in 20 years ago. There probably hasn’t been this amount of change in the homes of Major League Baseball teams since the first building boom of steel and concrete stadiums in the early 1900’s.


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker