November 26, 2005

Dispatches From a Turkey Coma

The Washington Post columnists have used the long holiday weekend to revisit the Nats ownership situation. Stagnant no longer accurately describes the state of negotiations, the two sides have been immobile long enough to qualify as petrified. Boz, who as Capitol Punishment points out is at his best writing as a fan, still sees signs that MLB will name a local ownership group (the Lerners) but now frets that delays and cost overruns will result in a second-class facility, endangering the "stadium as economic development engine" model.

Mike Wise crawls out of whatever slimy fissure he inhabits to cast a vote for the Dread Pirate Smulyan. If the Nats blogosphere took a vote for least favorite local columnist, T(h)om Loverro of the Times would win in a justified landslide, but Wise would still get my vote. Mike Wise's ability to willfully misrepresent whatever subject he happens to be covering is unparalleled. In today's column he lauds Smulyan for having *gasp* African-American minority partners, while denigrating Colin Powell's participation in the Malek bid, and tacitly accusing Fred Malek of anti-Semitism. If I needed another reason to dislike both Wise and Smulyan, here it is.

Elsewhere in the Post, the final numbers are in, and the Nats made
$10 million in after-tax profit for MLB. The article notes that the team's competitiveness was key to the higher than anticipated revenues. Hmmm... competitive teams are profitable teams. And the ownership delay is damaging what? The Nationals ability to compete. Therefore...? In any case, profits are expected to decline next season as the cost of holding RFK together with paperclips and chewing gum increases.

Speaking of stadiums, the D.C. City Council wants a
vote on the finalized lease agreement, assuming we ever get one. A majority of the council is on record saying they will nix the lease if MLB won't agree to pay for cost overruns. Bud & Jerry aren't about to agree to that, but some people already have, namely Fred Malek and Franklin Haney. Is this a negotiating ploy to push MLB toward one of the city's favored ownership groups?

Finally, from the Irony is Dead department, lauds the charitable and community work of the franchise and players. Prominently mentioned, Jamey Carroll, Brad Wilkerson and Gary Bennett, all potentially leaving the Nats this offseason. I guess it's true that no good deed goes unpunished.

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