The "Nationals" It Is!
Mayor Anthony Williams just led a ceremony announcing that the Washington baseball team will be named the "Nationals." It had been understood that the new owners of the franchise would have discretion to choose the team name, but the fact that someone has invested a lot of design work into the new team logo suggests that MLB may be appeasing or giving political support to Mayor Williams, who has rejected reusing the "Senators" name because D.C. lacks any representation in Congress. Score one for Tony. Another possible name occurred to me recently, but I guess it's too late now: the Washington Warblers! Three other baseball teams already have bird names, including our friendly neighbors up in Baltimore. Another crucial landmark is that there is now an official MLB Washington Nationals Web site, which has replaced that of the defunct Montreal Expos.
Sadly, the auspicious occasion was marred when a protester took over the podium, held up a sign, and started yelling about the pending stadium financing deal. Opposition to public funding for sports stadiums is certainly a legitimate point of view, but expressing it in such a rude and obnoxious fashion detracts from the cause. (Where was good old dull-but-earnest Ralph Nader?) The culprit was identified as Adam Eidinger, who recently ran for D.C. "shadow representative" on the D.C. Statehood Party ticket, and indeed the photos on his Web site match the guy I saw on TV. It was a reminder of one reason why MLB has long been leery of Washington: It's a hotbed of disruptive fringe political activists, rather like Greenwich Village or Berkeley. Getting things done in Our Nation's Capital often means pandering to zealous fools.