Merry Christmas in D.C.!
Thanks to common sense and perhaps just a bit of goodwill shown by D.C. political leaders toward each other, baseball fans in Washington and Virginia will enjoy glad tidings this Yuletide for the first time in a generation. But what about the New Year? Well, that's another matter. You may notice that the "current likelihood" of baseball in D.C. (displayed in the upper left of the Baseball page is only 98 percent. Why isn't it 100 percent? Just ask Peter Angelos, who is still haggling over distribution of revenues from broadcasts and would not hesitate to file an injunction to get his way, and Marion Barry, who is about to take a seat on the D.C. Council and no doubt relishes the prospect of throwing his weight around once again. The passage of the stadium funding bill supposedly contained ironclad procedural safeguards to prevent it being reversed, but anything is possible in Our Nation's Capital, especially with a crafty politician like Barry. Indeed, according to Thursday's Washington Post,
[Councilman Vincent] Orange said that the maneuver effectively tabled a reconsideration of the legislation forever because no date was attached to the motion.
But, according to Phyllis Jones, the council's secretary, such a maneuver is meaningless. Jones said that a simple majority of the 13-member council could vote to undo the tabling.
Even though chances that the Nationals won't play in D.C. are negligible, there are sure to be all sorts of polemical fireworks, scary showdowns, work stoppages, and assorted mayhem as this l-o-n-g overdue relocation and construction of the new stadium go forward.
The D.C. United soccer team will play its first game in RFK Stadium next year on April 9, five days before the Washington Nationals do. The plan is to cover the baseball infield with a layer of grass with a special clay backing that enables it to be rolled up and stored for a few days. According to the Washington Post, "It will take two days to transform the playing surface from baseball to soccer and three days from soccer to baseball." This should be interesting... Stay tuned for a soccer version of the diagram on the RFK Stadium page.
Web site updates...
The Baseball in D.C. page has been partly updated (the chronology is still lacking) and now includes the table listing the D.C. Council members and their votes on the stadium bill, with a "racial profile." Contrary to the presumption that baseball boosters are white folks, five of the six African-American council members voted "yes" on the stadium bill, while only two of the seven white members did. On the Baseball page, the list of stadiums in the left hand column is now arranged in alphabetical order of the city in which they are located, rather than by franchise, in the respective leagues and divisions.