Saturday, September 11, 2004

About Last Week

Yeah, I pretty much skipped last week. On the off chance that this is the only place you get your Expos relocation news, let me assure that you didn't miss anything. Oh sure, there was plenty of speculation and complaint, but nothing substantive. Here's some of it anyway:

Jayson Stark lamented on Thursday how long this whole thing has already taken.
And we hate to break it to our favorite, agonizing commissioner. But he has already waited too long. It's already too late to do this right -- even if he makes an announcement in the next 30 seconds. Bob DuPuy, Selig's right-hand man/COO, told Rumblings this week "it would be nice to get this done before the playoffs." But the truth is, it wouldn't just be "nice." It's the only hope to avoid a total relocation fiasco.
You hear this a lot, and I don't care. It would have taken a remarkable confluence of good luck and smart leadership to prevent the 2005 Senators/Grays/whatever being a mess. Once the Expos get here, they're going to be here for a good long time. Years from now we'll be able to laugh at that wacky, hectic first year.

Thom Loverro made some waves with this story from the Times.
Some Major League Baseball club owners are pushing the sport's senior executives to scrap the current relocation process for the Montreal Expos because they want the team to be sold to the highest bidder, industry sources have told The Washington Times.
I don't buy it. No doubt some owners are annoyed at the way this has turned out, but Selig has that free stadium fixation.
"I think the committee has done an excellent job," said Gabe Paul Jr., Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority executive director. "They have been very thorough and I think the process is so far along, I don't see anything except this reaching its final conclusion through the commissioner."
Mark Tuohey, chairman of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, also doubted the current process could be halted at this stage.
"It's getting down to the wire on a recommendation," he said. "I think the process is coming to a conclusion."
Like maybe around Labor Day, you damn idiots?

Loverro again, from Friday.
The two local groups that have worked to secure a baseball team for the Washington area would not necessarily own the club should Major League Baseball award the Montreal Expos to the District or Northern Virginia.
The article goes on to talk about a couple prospective ownership groups. I don't enough about any of these people to care one way or t'other. None of them has said anything about not going to DC, so that's good.

Tracy "The Chapeau" Ringolsby had perhaps the most interesting article of the week.
Commissioner Bud Selig isn't going to make a decision until he is confident he has a solid consensus, which means he still is trying to ensure he has enough support to place the team in Washington in what can be announced as a two- year trial.
Such a scenario would give baseball a chance to see what type of legitimate ownership interest surfaces.
This is not a new idea (check out StevenJB's comment to this post). At that time, I was all for it, but that was when I was still worried about the Loudoun Cabal. Since then, of course, the Cabal has passed on the land of wind and ghosts, taking with them my concerns. I'm not any more worried about Dulles than I am about Portland or Monterrey. Therefore, I now think this is a lousy idea. I want some owners, dammit. I want some free agents and a restocked farm system. Two more years of MLB ownership, even if they loosen the pursestrings a bit, would be a very bad thing.

Fortunately, there are holes in this plan. For one thing, why do they need two years? Don't they already have "legitimate ownership interest"? Field of Schemes has further objections: it would trigger a RICO injunction, and it's all about the free stadium, of course. Neil of the Field still thinks they're staying in Montreal, which I think has almost no chance of happening.

So, in conclusion, we don't know any more today than we did a week ago. Are they coming? When will they tell us? After the DC primaries? After the playoffs? February? Why hasn't Jack Evans resumed insulting people for my amusement? Has anyone else noticed that Casey Blake looks just like John Kerry? I hope next week proves to be more informative.

1 comment:

Olivier said...

Look, I'm in Montreal right now. I understand you want the team next year. Make no mistake: Montreal is a viable market, and you get the franchise on sole ownership shenanigans's sake. Good for you and enjoy.

But, that being said, the team was supposed to move 3 years ago. And it still is here. It doesn't mean it won't move. It means it won't move befor the time is right or 2006 cometh and contraction giveth Bud some slacketh.

As much as we are, yer pawns kid. Baseball is a huge bucket o' money, and the question is "Who is entitled to pounce?". DC, Montreal, Competitiveness are fairly remote questions right now: money's flowing like Ivan's shitting Lincoln Green up on the whole fricking continent. As far as this stays so (and the median salary slides down), they will wait for the right thing or else.

Due to the inherently screwed-up short term prospects of the franchise (wherever it is) and the possible return of an elongated extortion session, Montreal looks like home for the Expos next year.

Sure would be nice for you to get the grays for next year, but for now, I'd go with Ned: the Expos are in the Big Owe for one more year. (What's the count: 4th last year? 6th?)

I mean, once and for all: YOU GET THE TEAM. Eventually. Next year? Nope. But it's Ok. Just plan some vacations in Montreal next summer. Trust me, you won't regret it, wether Terrmel Sledge's in a hot streak or not.

Oh, and forget Livan already. Robinson seems to be in a fight to death with the poor guy's arm. Selig's last tergiversation'll porbably buy him enought time to mangle it away from the poor suffering guy...