May 2, 2006
Today's Washington Post confirms what WUSA TV-9 reported last week: that MLB has decided to sell the Nationals to the family of Theodore Lerner. According to anonymous sources,
Commissioner Bud Selig, who will decide who gets the franchise, was angered by accusations that Lerner's group was unacceptable because it had included minorities only as tokens rather than genuine partners...
D.C. Council members Marion Barry and Vincent B. Orange Sr. held a news conference yesterday to accuse Lerner's family of "renting blacks" in its effort to win the right to buy the team from Major League Baseball.
Ouch. We all know how sensitive Bud is to criticism, and how insensitive he is to community opinion. It would appear that the lobbying by D.C. officials on behalf the alternative franchise bidders, Malek-Zients and Smulyan, backfired. It should be noted that Mr. Orange has been a consistent supporter of baseball in Washington, while Mr. Barry's support has been highly conditional. Let's hope this episode, if true, doesn't spoil the enormous good will the Nationals earned in Washington last year.
"Now pinch-hitting for the Washington Nationals, Livan Hernandez." Believe it ... or not! That was about the only good thing from last night's game at Shea Stadium, as the Nationals lost again, 2-1. That makes eight losses in the last nine games. Gary Majewski's throwing error in the bottom of the ninth was what enabled the Mets to prevail. See MLB.com. The Nats have lost six games by a one-run margin so far this year, while they have won only one one-run game. (Say that last part fast, three times.) That's the exact opposite of last year.
It was Johnny Damon's first game in Fenway Park since being traded to the Yankees, and the bad vibes may have unnerved him as he went hitless. Tonight former Marlin pitcher Josh Beckett faces Shawn Chacon in the second game of the two-game series. The Yanks are having a sluggish start this year, but are now only one game behind the Red Sox.
Somehow the Colorado Rockies' ascent to first place in the NL West escaped my notice until my brother Chris drew that to my attention.
Mayor Julio Robaina of Hialeah, Florida is pushing a plan to use property tax proceeds from a recently-approved industrial park to helping pay for a new stadium for the Florida Marlins. The land had been subject to tight restrictions on development, for environmental reasons. There is some urgency because the Marlins have to decide by May 15 whether to express a willingness to relocate to San Antonio so that a stadium bond referendum there can be scheduled. See Miami Herald; link via Mike Zurawski. This sounds like great news, but the area in question is near the edge of the Everglades, which are already under severe ecological stress from rampant development. The Hialeah site is about eight miles northwest of downtown Miami, compared to 14 miles for Dolphins Stadium and two miles for the Orange Bowl alternative site. That would still be ideal for everyone concerned, as long as the money could be found.