Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Montreal Stand-Off

Reinsdorf's back in town. Much as I crack on MLB, it's nice that he's out doing his relocation work instead of finding himself a competent GM. Anyway, this isn't particularly newsworthy. DuPuy said at the meetings that they'd be talking again to DC, NoVa, Norfolk, and Vegas, and so they are.

In a continuation of what I was talking about yesterday, the Washington Times printed an editorial today in opposition to public ballpark financing.
Why offer the owners heavily subsidized housing when Washington demographics prove strong enough to sustain a new team and a new home? The city should neither increase taxes nor use tax dollars to finance a new stadium.
This is pretty interesting. Well, not the editorial itself, but this: yesterday, leftist Ralph Nader declared his opposition. Today, the righty Washington Times has done the same. So who's in favor, aside from single-minded baseball fans? I'm seriously asking here. It seems like all the most outspoken people are invariably against publicly-funded stadia, yet they keep getting built. I'm no poli-sci type, so I really have no idea.

Neil daMause of Field of Schemes had a story in Baseball Prospectus about the Expos' relocation. Unfortunately, it's accessible only to subscribers, but he offers a precis here at his site. DaMause maintains that Peter Angelos actually has very little to do with the endless delays. As I've mentioned from time to time, he has no legal standing; DC is not in his MLB-demarcated territory. Even if it were, the same 75% of the owners who need to approve a franchise shift could override the Orioles' territorial rights. DaMause also puts the smack down on Angelos' fanciful claim that a DC team would cost him $40 milion.

So, what's the hold-up? Guaranteed stadium funding. That's it. If the Cabal manages to get all their land and get those bonds through the House, they get the Expos. If Mayor Williams somehow reveals and then passes his financial plan, DC gets them. Who's going to blink? Whoever it is, I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't happen for some time yet. Let's not forget that the Commissioner-4-Life bought and moved the Seattle Pilots within a week. I don't see either group coming up with the goods in the next month, but there's no way MLB wants to keep the Expos in Montreal next year. They could make some money in DC next year, and the Council would be more likely to deliver once the Senators have captured all our hearts at RFK. Therefore, my feeling right now is that we'll see the Expos at RFK next year without new ownership, but don't put any more stock in that than you would in a Will Carroll prediction.

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