View Full Version : Washington Nationals

12-21-2004, 12:12 AM
Note to Admin: this post is not about the White Sox but in this moment of offseason speculation I figured it would be a nice change of pace.

I am a lifelong White Sox fan, though I never lived west of the Allegheny Mountains until 2000. Having grown up in New Jersey and then Northern Virginia I was always a fan of the Mets and the White Sox. But spending several years in the DC area made me long for a baseball team for that city. The failures of the Senators twice hung over the city like an albatross but everybody knew that the DC area was nothing like it was in 1971. It's MUCH bigger, richer and more diverse than the sleepy Southern town of old. So when news of the Expos move to DC was announced a few months ago I was ecstatic. I now had THREE teams to root for this year, one AL team (Sox) and two NL teams. Then things got really messy. Mayor Tony Williams, who is a great reformer for the city in the post-Barry years but is a terrible politician, accepted a deal with MLB that required absolutely zero private financing, and made the city assume full liability for cost overruns and construction delays. The tax he negotiated would only hit large businesses, not the DC government, so much of the opposition cry about "schools...not baseball" was a bit disingenuous. Without baseball, there would be no new revenue to go for the city's schools, which are considerably worse than Chicago, BTW. But the problem about cost overruns was real. In virtually every city that has financed baseball, stadium costs were well beyond originally planned, and the city has had to absorb the costs and service the bonds through general revenues. DC would be no different. DC Council Chair Linda Cropp, who was in on the dealings the whole time, threw an 11th hour monkey wrench into the deal last week when she insisted that half the stadium financing come privately. Now in an ideal world that would make sense. But MLB owns the Expos and they're trying to get as high a sale price as possible so they wanted a 100% publicly funded deal. The man behind the wheeling and dealing on the MLB front, of course, was our own Jerry Reinsdorf. Anyway, MLB said the Council's amendment was unacceptable and it looked like 33 years of DC frustration would go on forever. But then Cropp and Tony Williams met all day today and worked out a compromise. The city and MLB would split liabilities for construction delays and cost overruns in half and she would drop the private-financing-or-bust amendment tomorrow. Assuming all goes as planned Cropp will introduce the bill tomorrow and it will pass 7-6. Cropp will look like she saved the District millions of dollars and Tony Williams will still get baseball in DC. The whole thing confirms Bismarck's observation about politics and sausage. But here's hoping it all works out. I love Chicago (I live in Evanston, actually) and the White Sox will always be my favorite AL team. And considering I live here that means they are basically my favorite team outright. But if the Nats indeed play in DC I will be very very happy.

12-21-2004, 10:12 AM
Here, here!

Washington deserves a ballclub, and I couldn't be happier it's going on while I call DC my temporary home.

DC Sox Fan
12-21-2004, 02:45 PM
I'll drink to that! :gulp:

I'm a lifelong sox fan, but a lifelong NoVA resident. Can't wait to go to some NL games here, root hard against the sCrUBS and stick it in Angelos' face :cool:

See you guys at the park!

BTW it seems like us DC/Suburbs Sox fans have been growing in #s lately. We should organize somethig when the flubs come to town :redneck

12-21-2004, 03:54 PM
I keep laughing at all the idiot posters on the Nats message boards excited Sosa and the Cubs coming to RFK. Who cares? Cubs fans are scum no matter where they reside.

Anyway, looks like the Council approved it and it's game on for the Nats. Great news!