Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Can You Feel It?

That's the feeling of momentum, dear reader(s).  Something's about to happen, and there's a decent chance that it's going to be good.  In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict right here that the Expos will wind up in DC or Northern Virginia.  The problem is that from my standpoint, that's the difference between being patted on the head and clocked with a shovel.  
Sunday saw two columns, both by guys named Fisher, in the local papers.  It's more of the usual conjecture, but I aim for thoroughness.  From the Times' Fisher:

One high-ranking MLB executive was overheard during the All-Star break saying residents in Herndon would need to start preparing for noise from a nearby ballpark. But MLB sources say at least one key member of the relocation committee is dead set against Northern Virginia's plan to build a ballpark near Dulles International Airport, believing the site is far too remote from central Washington to support a team during competitively lean years.

The second guy's right.  The Virginia Monologues are not going to be a very good team upon their theoretical arrival.  What happens when the novelty wears off, the Metro isn't extended, and the ownership has managed to stir up enough ill-will among non-Virginians to make us all Orioles fans?  Gabe Paul's smug assertion that they'd be happy with a million fans would look amazingly prescient, that's what.  
And I forgot to mention that before the Expos have the honor of becoming just another attraction in the stripmall (between the Barnes and Noble and the paint-your-own-mug place), they have to spend a few years at RFK Stadium.  Now, the Loudounites have made it clear that they have no interest in journeying to our nation's capital to see a game, so I'm sure not too many of them will be checking out the action at RFK.  We DC and suburban MD residents may be starved for baseball, but the prospect of having the team stolen from us in three years would have to serve as a damper on attendance.  So we have team ownership with poor attendance in a sub-optimal stadium, a new stadium to build, and probably a big ol' payment to get Angelos to finally shut the hell up.  Put all those things together and you get a team that's not going to spend any money for a good long time.  Have fun in last place, Loudoun.  
The Post's Fisher has an even-handed DC vs. Loudoun analysis, as he's more interested in arguing for the area against Norfolk or Vegas or wherever.  There's some pretty interesting demographic data in there, in case you run into anyone making some kind of asinine argument about how DC shouldn't get a team because the Senators left thirty years ago.  Fisher also talks to my man Christopher Rehling, the mysterious genius behind Remember the Grays, so go check out the Post article and the Grays site, which even got itself a link on the Primer.
Rehling also hipped me to this message board, where the elite meet to take VA vs. DC cheapshots at one another.  So get over there and start yelling at some Loudounites.

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