Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

William Howard Taft Day

It's three hundred-plus pounds of relocation, baby! Stuck in your bathtub!

So, that election. It could have gone better. Three pro-stadium incumbents were knocked out by three anti-stadium challengers in yesterday's DC Democratic primary. What's this mean? Well, the current pro-stadium majority remains in office through the end of the year. Will that force MLB to speed things up? Apparently not.
Changes in the makeup of the D.C. Council won't force a quick vote on the District's baseball proposal.

Councilwoman Linda Cropp says business leaders remain committed to baseball and appear ready to increase their own tax burden to make that happen. She also says they understand that may not preclude additional increases in business taxes for other purposes in the future.

I'm glad to hear someone else spouting the Jack Evans line about how glad businesses are to buy me a baseball team. I wonder if they know that I don't patronize any of them except for the ones with Belgian beer. Speaking of Jack Evans, he got 100% of the vote! That guy is so rad.

I'm going to put words in your mouth now. "Well, so much for baseball in DC, smartass!" I beg to differ. And unlike you, I shall remain civil, sir. First, Northern Virginia:

A self-imposed ban on quoting Saturday Night Live jokes is the only thing standing between and me a "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead" crack. The point is that the Loudoun Cabal is still as dead as they were when I first put the tag on 'em. From the Post:

Concerns of Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner, as well as top state lawmakers, about putting the state's "moral obligation" on the line to finance a baseball stadium have complicated negotiations with Major League Baseball, backers of bringing a team to Northern Virginia said yesterday. (emphases mine)
Even NoVa's backers are despairing. Publicly, I mean; they've been crying themselves to sleep every night for weeks.

"But what about Montreal, merde-tete!" Hey, lay off, man. Anyway, I'm still convinced they aren't staying in the Great White North. Observe, RICO movement:

Lawyers for the former limited partners of the Montreal Expos plan to ask a federal judge to block major league baseball from moving the team.
The commissioner's office told the U.S. District Court in Miami on Tuesday that it intends to relocate the Expos for 2005 but did not specify to where. Washington and Northern Virginia are the leading contenders, and a decision could be announced this month. Baseball officials met with the Washington group Wednesday, one day after meeting with the Northern Virginia bidders.
But what of the reports of MLB already negotiating to use Olympic Stadium next year? Buried in a fairly worthless story about Reinsdorf's visit to NoVa (except that he didn't go to NoVa at all - I guess Georgetown is easier on the eyes and the itinerary), we see this:
Meanwhile, Expos president Tony Tavares denied recent press reports that the team was actively negotiating a lease to use Montreal's Olympic Stadium for the 2005 season. What happened, he said, is MLB requested potential dates to fill out a preliminary 2005 schedule. And without knowing where the team will be next year, Tavares submitted dates relative to Montreal and Olympic Stadium.
The early 2005 slate now lists the Expos in Montreal, but the new city will need to inherit that schedule. Tavares said he "guessed there may be a chance" the team stays in Quebec next year, but he continues to operate on the assumption the team will be moved.
"We're completely in the dark as to what's going to happen," Tavares said. "They needed dates, and I went with what I knew. But are we prepared to deal with last-minute changes? It's what we've been doing for the last three seasons."
To conclude: I think Montreal has a better shot than Loudoun County at this point, in the same way a one-legged man would beat a corpse in the 100-yard dash. That said, I don't think the announcement will come before the playoffs. The Expos will be in DC next year, but it will be some time before we know for sure.

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