Once upon a time Ian Stewart looked like one of the Rockies’ long-term building blocks, going from 2003 first-round pick and top-ranked prospect to starting third baseman for the past three seasons.
Then he got off to a slow start this year, the Rockies demoted him to Triple-A for two months, and even now that they’ve called him back up Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post calls Stewart “an afterthought” in the team’s plans.
Stewart is mediocre at best defensively at third base and has hit just .237 with a .757 OPS for his career despite calling Coors Field home, so at age 26 he’s hardly bursting with potential. Still, the Rockies giving up on him so abruptly is surprising and Armstrong writes that the main thing keeping Stewart from being traded is his value plummeting to the point that other teams are offering marginal value in return.
The World Series is often played in near winter-like conditions. The 2008 Series was interrupted by a snowy, wintry mix. The 2012 World Series games in Detroit dipped into the 20s. It’s not uncommon to see players wearing balaclavas and other winter gear during the so-called “Fall Classic.”
Not this year, though. Indeed, this year we’re likely to see record high temperatures for Games 1 and 2 at Dodger Stadium.
As of this moment, WeatherUnderground.com forecasts a high in Los Angeles of 101 degrees for today’s World Series Media Day and highs of 102 and 98 for Games 1 and 2, respectively. First pitch for both games is just after 5PM Pacific time, when the sun will still be blazing. The sun will set about an hour or so in to the game which should cool things off somewhat, but the heat will definitely impact pregame workouts and the early innings. Fans showing up three or more hours before first pitch will do well to prepare themselves for the elements.
The hottest World Series game on record came in Phoenix for Game 1 in 2001 when the mercury stood at 94 degrees at game time. That year Major League Baseball unwisely demanded that the Chase Field roof be left open for the Diamondbacks-Yankees tilt. If there is a Game 6 and/or 7 things will be nicer as the long range forecast shows temperatures in the low 70s by then.
Hydrate well, Dodgers and Astros. Those of us watching from cooler temperatures and/or the comfort of our air conditioned homes will feel really bad for you.