Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Done, done and I mean DONE

It's over. Our long National(s) stadium nightmare is over. MLB signed. Mayor Williams signed. The District's CFO, Natwar Gandhi has signed off. Linda Cropp and the City Council have signed off. We have a legally binding agreement and this long, tortureous nightmare can finally be put behind us.

Still not convinced? Well...the Washington Post article provides the final nail in this coffin:

"No additional council action is needed to seal the lease agreement."
That's it, folks. We have a stadium.

In the end, MLB decided (after some last minute grandstanding...perhaps revenge for everything the city has put it through) that it was better to just move on rather than fight out for a something that only would have gotten worse with time. Is this a perfect deal for the city? No. Is this the perfect deal for the owners? No...but they shouldn't complain...they're getting quite a bit. Everyone is going to make money here... Let's just get to it. So, both sides essentially "declared victory" and have decided to move on, as Marc Fisher elaborates in his column/postmortem today.

So...now what? Glad you asked...

Next up, the City Council has some administrative business to take care of today, which should go through without any problems, now that the Council's worries (they need to calm down a bit) are taken care of. And then the stadium construction can begin.

MLB needs to announce the new owner. In theory, that could come as soon as later this week or next, but is more likely to probably come towards the end of the month, since MLB doesn't want news to distract anyone from the WBC. Betting line's still open on who that owner will be and I won't even try to read MLB's tea leaves.

Past that, decisions will need to be made regarding team president Tony Tavares (probably gone - ownership will want their own person, and Tony was only a caretaker), GM "Trader" Jim Bowden (I'd put his chances at 50-50...but if ownership is wise, he's probably gone as well...and I'd kick him out sooner rather than later) and, of course...team manager Frank Robinson (I don't see how he survives).

But it looks like we can finally stop reading about the Nats on the Metro and front page of the WaPo and put them in the Sports section. The nightmare appears to be over. Amen.

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