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A tribute to ugliness

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Spend five minutes inside RFK Stadium, and any nostalgia you might have for Three Rivers Stadium will evaporate. In a city with monuments to the Father of Our Country and the Great Emancipator, perhaps it’s only fitting there be a memorial for Great Mistakes in Sports Architecture.

There are red and yellow seats in the upper deck, their colors fading after years exposed to the sun, rain and snow. There’s the giant green wall behind the outfield wall. A cramped, Oscar Madison-era press box which offers only a partial view of the field. In every office room, hallway or storage space, the dominant design feature is painted cinderblock. And, I swear I am not making this up: there is a shower in the men’s room near the press box.

I can’t even begin to wonder why. I don’t think I want to.

*****

With a few exceptions, it appears the Pirates’ won’t hesitate to dip into their talent pool in the minors when things aren’t working on the major league level.

We’ve already seen it with the bullpen, where Marty McLeary and Brian Rogers were quickly re-ticketed to Indianapolis when they struggled.

They’re being more patient with Jonah Bayliss, because he has a lot of promise. And there are about 3.5 million reasons for the Pirates to give Tony Armas plenty of time to get himself back on track.

It’s good that the front office is willing to make moves. But it’s got to be a bit disturbing, seeing one reliever after another flame out. There’s not much left to turn to down at Indy.

Humberto Cota was dead weight on the 25-man roster, especially when Ryan Doumit showed he can handle the chores behind the plate. That gave management the chance to call up Rajai Davis, putting the heat on Chris Duffy. The clock is ticking loudly for Duffy, who turned 27 seven weeks ago.
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