Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Good Grief. Thus ends another depressing season of Orioles baseball. A 10-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays brought the official season total to 68-93, a winning percentage of .422. That was good enough for 28.5 games behind and the second-worst team in the American League (thank you Seattle). That makes 11 consecutive losing seasons for the Birds, how much longer can this go?
Once again there was a disappointing end to a season that started off with a lot of promise. As a rebuilding season the O's dumped Miguel Tejada and Eric Bedard, while picking up Luke Scott (and his dynamite bat) and George Sherrill. However, the one pitched the O's hoped would be the back bone of the rotation, Adam Loewen, ended his career as a pitcher because of injury.
The Orioles had a lot of electricity and enthusiasm, but that will only carry you so much when the powers that be in the front office won't spend the dough to bolster the roster. While the team batting average was 8th in the AL (and 10th in the Majors) with a .267, their team ERA was a dismal 5.13. This was not only good enough for second worst in the AL, but also in the entire Major League. The pitching staff gave up 184 Home Runs, walked 687 batters while only striking out 922. After hanging around .500 most of the season the Birds dropped their last 28 of 34 and wound up at the bottom of the Al East for the first time since 1988.
Let's hope the off-season can bring some positive prospects, but seriously, Peter Angelos has got to do something or he's go to go!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Wow, what a crazy home stretch in the National League East. The Phillies pulled off their second NL East Division championship in as many years. The last time the Phillies went to the playoffs two years in a row Ronald Reagan was in his first year of office, and the last time they won the Divison back to back was 1976-1977 (and won a third in '78) Wow. It got dicey at the end of the game, and I thought it would go down to the last game of the season once again, but we pulled it off! Top of the 9th, 1 out, bases loaded, with Brad Lidge on the mound. Lidge, who has been perfect in save attempts this year, gave a low slider to Ryan Zimmerman who rocketed it up the infield. A diving Jimmy Rollings stopped it, flipped it to Chase Utley who launched it to Ryan Howard for the 6-4-3 Double Play...In...the...bag.
Bring on some October baseball! Watching the results of the Mets and Brewers today to see who we get to play in the NLDS.
Friday, September 26, 2008
The first of probably many Baltimore Skyline Roadtrips brings us to New Haven, CT. Just a quick 4 hour Amtrak trip up the NorthEast Corridor and here we are. Nothing like catching a 5:45am train out of Baltimore in the rain, in the dark, to travel up North, on a Friday...for work.
Ah, New Haven, Home of Yale University, and our focal point of this blog- New Haven Union Station. Union Station was built in 1918 and officially opened in 1920. It was designed by Cass Gilbert, a pioneering architect from the early 20th century, he is most well known for the Woolworth Building in New York, but hey, he designed a pretty nice train station here in New Haven. Saved from the wrecking ball in the 1970s it was revamped and reopened by Amtrak and Metro North. The most striking feature of the building has to be the Main Hall. It's coffer ceiling is reminiscent of Philadelphia's 30th Street, but is more the size of our own Baltimore Penn Station (the Tiffany glass and sky lights of Bmore beats New Haven any day)
An interesting addition from the 1970s renovation are the tunnels leading to the train platforms. Travellers pass through twin stainless steel tear drop corridors on their way out to the trains, preparing riders for their rides on the steel clad trains that will take them to their destinations...possibly 20-40 minutes late. The nice thing about it is that it doesn't take away from the old structure, kudos preservationists!
Well back in Baltimore, just a quick day trip, lots to do this weekend, Book Festival up in Mount Vernon, check it out and read some literature. Bring on the weekend Bmore.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Once the largest building in Baltimore, the Baltimore Trust Building, as it was first known, was finished in 1929 on the eve of the Great Depression. Designed by the architectural firms of Taylor & Fisher and Smith & May, it was Baltimore's first modern setback skyscraper. Standing high above the corner of Light and Baltimore Streets, it reaches 509 feet into the air. A mix of Art-Deco and Gothic elements make for a strikingly unique building. Constructed at a time when form superseded function, the exterior has bold ornamentation and sculpture. The interior lobby showcases murals depicting the Great Fire of 1904 and the Battle of Baltimore.
It remainded the talk of the town until 1973 when the more modern (and bland!) Legg Mason Tower was constructed. Even though it now plays second fiddle, the old man of the city still catches the eye quicker and strains the neck longer than it's younger neighbor.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Anyways, starting Friday there will be a parade from Little Italy to the Flag House and then to the Inner Harbor. Afterwards the parade will move through Tide Point to Locust Point and ending at Fort McHenry. There will be events all day Saturday with living historians (reenactors) and then a large concert and fireworks display at dusk.
So head down to the Fort and bring your copy of the Star Spangled Banner, and an umbrella since there is a chance of showers, and help bring back an old holiday!
Now, I’m all up for preserving historic buildings, but it may start a bad precedent. Blocking this proposal could feasible kill any future attempt to do anything at that site. The Mechanic sits on some prime real estate at Charles Center, smack in the middle of the Central BD. The Mechanic is no Hippodrome, neither in capacity or looks. Sure the Mechanic is unique as it represents late 1960s/70s brutalism (the name fits the appearance), and it isn’t the only structure of its kind in Baltimore (see Loyola/Notre Dame Library at Loyola College). However, many see the building as an eyesore, as a lump of concrete rectangles in the middle of an otherwise nice plaza.
David S. Brown’s team brings in a great compromise: recycle the Mechanic into something that is needed (sustainable retail) while not wasting a good piece of ground. Hopefully CHAP will see it this way. Seriously, it's not that bad of a building, c'mon we've seen worse...