Monday, March 21, 2005

Thoughts on a Monday morning (err...afternoon)

In the St. Patty's Day ruckus and the stress involving my move, I neglected to note that last Thursday's Washington Examiner had an article on our good friend Peter Angelos, the Baron of Baltimore, citing unnamed sources within MLB that the league has basically called the Orioles bluff on the television package and said..."the best deal is on the table." This would jive with reports out of the league in multiple sources last week that MLB was not happy with that little fullpage ad stunt Angelos pulled in the Washington Post last Sunday. Peter, of course, wants to put the Nats on the O's TV network...basically controlling broadcast rights to the Nats forever and making them the junior partner...thus diminishing the value of the team and increasing the Orioles value at the same time. According to the article:
MLB has offered the O's a larger part of the pie for two to four years of the new RSN. Then all three partners would be equal from that point on. Being an equal partner is key to the future of any group that would purchase the Nationals. The bottom line is the Nationals and the O's would share a network and both teams would be seen in the same areas if the MLB plan is accepted by Mr. Angelos.

MLB is not interested in the O's TV network. They do not want the Orioles owning the Nationals' TV rights.

So, MLB has given the Orioles three choices:



1. Take the total compensation package with the MLB developed regional sports network.

2. Take the compensation package on the table without being part of the regional sports network. That means the Nationals and O's would have separate TV deals.

3. Take no compensation and let chips fall where they may.
Interesting...basically, MLB is saying...no matter what, the compensation deal is as good as we're going to get and rejecting Peter's pet idea. Moreover, the article also notes:
MLB has decided to make it clear that Mr. Angelos does not own the TV rights to all broadcast territory south of Baltimore to North Carolina.
That in itself is an awesome victory for Washington. Getting the league to make it's case that Angelos went way over the line when he argued that, despite lacking any paper proof of his claim. This means that, technically...MLB does not have to compensate Baltimore for the Nats. Translation: Take the offer, Peter...it's the best you're going to do. Otherwise, we'll set up a network for the Nats and let things fall the way they will....essentially...they're daring Peter to sue because deep down, MLB knows that Peter can't win on this.

Speaking of the Nats...today's Examiner, which has been doing an awesome job with Nats coverage (despite my quibbles with some of the rest of the aspects of that paper), has an indepth article on the Nats first spring training (as the Nats, of course). Interesting reading and a nice bit of coverage about the team. They're going to be interesting this year, that's for certain. Maybe not "good" - but they will be interesting.

Other things to note:

Hypocracy alert!. Conservatives love to talk about federalism and getting the federal government off people's backs...about getting the courts out of people's private lives...about lettings states handle things instead of the national government. Except, of course, when doing so doesn't serve the interests of the family values crusaders who control the GOP and set the agenda. They want the federal government to essentially legislate their values as national values. *sigh* Why do people have to stick their noses into other people's business? Bush says there are "substantial doubts" and "serious questions" - like what? According to the laws of Florida, her husband has the right to do this...given that she has been determined by numerous experts to be in the so-called "persistive vegetative state." No...this is all about "right to life" and nothing more. This is born-again nonsense. It was settled in state courts in Florida over the last seven years, for crying out loud. What happened to Federalism, Republicans? Aren't you outraged at the federal government's interference in a local matter? *sigh* Just goes to prove that they only believe that junk when it suits their purposes...when 'federalism' means that the states are making the right "moral" decisions.

Oh...and this is great: the NYT has an editorial today (writen by the paper's editorial board) adovating the "culling" of the deer population in America...particularly in suburbs. Sharpshooters are mentioned. Priceless.

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