March 8, 2006

A Foundation to Build On

As good news goes, it doesn't quite rival the collapse of global communism... or even the invention of stain-resistant khakis. (Don't you hate pants?) But on the sliding scale Nationals fans use to judge progess, this qualifies as a bona fide red-letter day. The D.C. City Council reaffirmed the stadium lease agreement signed by Major League Baseball earlier this week.

In years to come, this entire process ought to be taught in graduate schools as a case study in how not to negotiate major public works projects. Having said that, I'm extending a sincere "Thank You" to the city council. The mayor and the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission negotiated a terrible deal for the city when Les Expos were originally shopping for a new home. It may have been the only deal that would have landed the Nationals at RFK, but it put the city over a barrel on any number of issues. The council wasn't a party to those inital negotiations, and 3 members of the council that approved the relocation agreement were lame-ducks about to be replaced by anti-baseball politicians.

All of which is to say that the city council could have torpedoed the new stadium, blamed Mayor Williams and Bud Selig for negotiating a lousy deal, and strolled off into the sunset without suffering any serious political damage with D.C. voters. Instead, they hung in, tried to improve the agreement at the margins (and provide a little political cover) and, in the end made a tough vote in favor of a project that was never terribly popular with a majority of D.C. residents.

So here's to the D.C. City Council, a model of effective dysfunctionality. And here's to Nats Triple Play's season ticket investment paying off in front row seats at the new Marion Barry Memorial Stadium in the spring of 2008 (or 2009.)

UPDATE: Fairfax County Nats fans will be able to see MASN on Cox Cable this season! Pity those of us remaining under the oppressive thumb of Comcast.


El Gran Color Naranja said...

So you are predicting the death of Marion Barry by 2008/2009?

Frank Haynes said...

1) We can only hope.

2) In general, clothing is grossly overrated.

3) Let the taking of land begin! What property rights?

4) Getchyer photos of the desperate wasteland that lies under South Capitol Street while you can.

Nate said...

I don't have Hizzoner-for-Life in a Dead Pool or anything, if that's what you're asking. But my fictitious sources at the Wilson Building are pretty good.