Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Uh Oh

Here I was marshaling my arguments about such frivolities as a team name and trade possibilities when some real news rudely interrupted me. You've probably heard about this already, but DC City Council Chairman Linda Cropp introduced on Friday an alternative stadium plan, one that would keep the team in the vicinity of RFK, thus saving the city a pile of money (Washington Baseball Blog has a summation that's more complete than anything you'll be getting from me). Okay, fine, it's a different Metro stop. Whatever. The problem is that MLB was sort of looking forward to the Anacostia site.
Major League Baseball has made plain its firm intent to move the Montreal Expos out of Washington if the plan by D.C. Council chairwoman Linda Cropp to build a ballpark on the grounds of RFK Stadium stands, said Mark Tuohey, chairman of the D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission.
MLB officials publicly took a neutral stance on Cropp's surprise maneuver Friday, when she sought to alter a detailed relocation contract calling for a ballpark near South Capitol Street SE. But in extensive private discussions with District officials continuing this weekend, baseball's tone is considerably darker.
"Baseball is very unhappy about this. This has got to be worked out," Tuohey said. "RFK is not the appropriate long-term site. Baseball was set on that, and so were we. And Linda was certainly in on these negotiations. If this doesn't get worked out, baseball is simply going to be looking elsewhere. They will not be here."
Baseball's options for the soon-to-be-renamed Expos next season are likely limited to going back to Olympic Stadium in Montreal or playing temporarily at the current RFK Stadium. But a refusal to build the new ballpark in Southeast ultimately would cause Washington to lose baseball for the third time, Tuohey said.
The Council vote is on Tuesday, and Jack Evans thinks Cropp has the votes. This might be a good time to bombard the Council with unsolicited advice. The next couple of days should be very interesting, and perhaps not in a good way.

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