Thursday, July 28, 2005

All the Nationals' Men

Forget Woodward and Bernstein. They're soooo 1972. The Washington Post has a new pair of investigative reporters willing to ask tough questions and uncover the truth hidden in our nation's capital.

Since the Washington Nationals began playing in April, I've become something of a fan, probably because I read the Post online every day. Plus, I think the paper has some of the best baseball coverage in the country right now. (Feel free to disagree; I don't read all the newspapers.)

But one of the most frequently discussed topics from day one has been how difficult it is to hit a home run in their home ballpark, RFK Stadium. (Ms. Feline Anarchy, always a Fried Rice Thoughts favorite, visited RFK last weekend, by the way - ooooh, I'm so envious) And that's left many baseball followers scratching their heads.

C'mon, aren't you interested? Just a lil' bit?

The fences weren't that far away, were they? The distances in the power alleys at RFK are listed at 38o feet in the power alleys (to the right and left of center field, for you non-sports fans who are surely enjoying this), which is average for a Major League ballpark. (To compare, Detroit's Comerica Park originally had a distance of 395 ft. in left-center field, which was deemed too far and eventually shortened to 370 ft.)

Not so fast, my friend. Here's where the new Woodward and Bernstein come in. The Post's Barry Svrluga and Thomas Boswell heard the complaining and knew something just wasn't right. So they decided to measure the fence distances themselves. And what did they find? In the power alleys, the fences are actually 395 feet away from home plate. Scandalous, no?

If you didn't know already, question everything, kids.