Showdown over D.C. stadium
For the first time in several months, Mayor Williams has gotten involved in the showdown over funding for the new baseball stadium, calling on D.C. Council Chairman Linda Cropp to meet with MLB officials. He warned that failure by MLB to make concessions would jeopardize the project. The mayor was thoroughly exhausted from the battles he waged to get the deal through a year ago, but as a political "lame duck," his clout is limited. As a candidate for mayor in next year's race, meanwhile, Mrs. Cropp faces overwhelming temptation to "grandstand," appealing to populist sentiment. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who was in charge of the relocation process, is visiting Washington in hopes of overcoming the impasse. Both sides have dug in their heels, daring the other side to blink first in a classic game of "chicken," but we've been through this before. See Washington Post. A deal's a deal, of course, but the big honchos in baseball cannot ignore the fact that political atmosphere has changed since last year, nor the obvious huge commercial success that the franchise in Washington has become and promises to remain. They need to get off their monopolistic high horse and cut a deal soon, or risk spoiling the enormous goodwill the Nationals have earned with D.C. area fans.