Tim Kurkjian has apparently pulled his head out of [the sand - ed.] just in time to register that Washington's baseball franchise is still ownerless, rudderless and just generally -less. Timmy joins Frank Robinson, The Washington Post and Chris Needham among others in strongly encouraging MLB to just name a f****n' owner already. While attention from "The Worldwide Leader in Sports, Entertainment and Stupid Sports-Themed Game Shows" is nice, it reinforces the painful truth that few people outside the DC-MD-VA region have noticed or cared about our predicament.
T.K. places most of the blame squarely where it belongs, on Bud and the gang, but he can't resist a little dig at the city for not immediately kowtowing to all of MLB's idiot demands. He identifies the usual suspects, Malek, Lerner and Smulyan, as the prime contenders but notes that only Malek and Franklin Haney have promised to pay for construction cost overruns on the new stadium, making them very popular with the D.C. city council.
Mostly though, Kurkjian's column underlines the utter powerlessness of our position. Ultimately baseball will do what it wants, when it wants with the Nationals, and there's not a thing we can do about it (except sending nickels to the league offices postage paid.)
And it's a good thing too, because we really don't have any. Both Baseball America and John Sickels evaluate the Nats top minor leaguers and find much to be desired. Beyond Ryan Zimmerman, who pretty much has to stop being considered a prospect now that he's the 2006 starting 3B, the earth is cold and barren. Nats Farm Authority has an independent evaluation of BA's top 10. Possibly the biggest offensive contributor in our minor league system? Triple-A Offensive Player of the Year Richard Ryan Short.