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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Can it be that Washington D.C. is about to get a baseball team?

All signs are that Major League Baseball (MLB) will decide sometime in the next few weeks (perhaps in coming days) to relocate the Montreal Expos to Washington DC. The team would begin play, next season, in DC and initially play home games at a remodelled RFK Stadium. After a year or two at RFK the team would move in to a new baseball stadium to be constructed overlooking the Anacostia River in SE DC.

As a baseball fan I am drooling at the prospect of 81 home games.. think Barry Bonds, Clemens, Pujols, Randy Johnson etc regularly coming to DC!!!!!!!!... For too long DC baseball fans have been shunned by MLB despite representing the most lucrative untapped market (i.e., could the rocket scientists that awarded a team to Tampa Bay please stand up...).

Current MLB sentiment seems to be that MLB team owners OWN the Expos and can ill afford to move the team to a city that would fail maximize its investment (i.e., selling team to DC investor(s) will maximize profits on the investment for the 28 major league team owners- each has about $5 million invested in the Expos)....In addition, all signs indicate a team in DC is a viable long term proposition

Conventional "wisdom" is MLB will look to work out some sort of compensatory arrangement with Peter "Attila the Hun" Angelos , owner of the Baltimore Orioles, who believes a DC team will cut into his revenues and therefore opposes the move. I speak for a lot of DC baseball fans when I say I will never again set foot in Camden Yards (Orioles home park) until DC gets a team.

So on to specifics.. the DC team would play in the National League in the NL East. The Expos currently have some interesting players.. I think of Jose Vidro particularly.. a phenomenal second baseman who has been signed I believe to a long term contract... The Expos manager, Frank Robinson is no slouch either and the General Manager (I think the name is Minaya) has done a good job.

Obviously one has to wonder what the new DC baseball team's name will be... I say odds are they will revert to the "Washington Senators" moniker they used with the two previous DC baseball teams... Other suggestions include the "Masons" and the "Monuments". If anyone has any others I'd love to hear them... I am partial to "Democrats" but for obvious reasons this name will not fly!... I also like "Hill People" in recognition of Capitol Hill residents...

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